Karl-Birger Blomdahl studied with Rosenberg from 1935 and took a leading part in the Monday Group, studying Hindemith and the Second Viennese School from the mid-1940s onwards. Within his own music, Hindemith's influence gradually gave way to that of Berg and Bartók, his style remaining vigorous and dynamic.
Alban Maria Johannes Berg is one of the central figures of twentieth century musical composition. As one of the triumvirate of the Second Viennese School, Berg produced a rather small body of work that is nonetheless distinguished by a strongly Romantic aesthetic and a distinctive dramatic sense.
Berg's father was an export salesman, his mother the daughter of the Austrian Imperial jeweler. The young Alban's musical training consisted mainly of piano lessons from his aunt. By his teenage years, however, he had composed dozens of songs without the benefit of formal compositional studies. Berg was a dreamy youth and an indifferent student. In 1903, he endured the end of a passionate (if adolescent) love affair, failed his school finishing exams, and became despondent over the death of his idol, composer Hugo Wolf, all of which ……….
This Ligeti entry in the Deutsch Grammophon (DG) 20th Century Classics series was one of the first Ligeti CDs. It remains a fine single-disc introduction to Ligeti, one of the greatest of late 20th century composers. These works are all from Ligeti's 1960s prime when he was exploring micropolyphony. If you never heard anything else, you would have a good basic sense of what Ligeti's contribution was to the late 20th century avant-garde. Included are "Lux Aeterna," the eerie choral work from 1962, made famous for its inclusion in Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey," and the String Quartet No. 2 from 1968, performed by the LaSalle Quartet. I think the Arditti Quartet surpassed the LaSalles with their Sony recording found in the "Ligeti Edition, Vol. 1," but this version is superb in its own right. The other three pieces are performed by the Ensemble InterContemporain, led by Pierre Boulez – "Ramifications," (1968-1969) "Chamber Concerto" (1970-1971) and the very strange vocal "Aventures" (1962-1965).
A generous and adventurous collection of piano concertos played by the Russian Giant of the Keyboard, Sviatoslav Richter. Next to standard concert repertoire some novelties, like the Franck, Britten, Berg and Hindemith works. Famous conductors like Evgeny Svetlanov, Kyril Kondrashin and the recently deceased Rudolf Barshai (his favourite conductor).
This is a most useful collection. The most important items (and, in fact, the only truly ‘genuine’ chamber works) are the String Quartet and Lyric Suite. The others are arrangements of more than passing interest (at least the ones by Berg himself) but it is probably the two big works that will interest collectors most.
The unifying idea of the concerto provides a way to get a handle on György Ligeti's experimental spirit, for a concerto here represents several fundamentally different things. The Cello Concerto of 1966, right at the height of Ligeti's exuberantly fearless adventures in 1960s Germany, might almost be called an anti-concerto, with the cello doing its best to hang on the edge of silence. Sample the very first movement, both for the precision of cellist Christian Poltéra's work at the low end of the dynamic spectrum and for the ideally clean engineering work by the BIS label, operating in a variety of Norwegian venues and mastering them, well, masterfully. The Chamber Concerto for 13 Instruments and the Melodien are essentially concertos for orchestra, with distinctive roles for each of the instruments, while the five-movement Piano Concerto, completed in 1988, is a fine and technically demanding example of Ligeti's later pulse-based, polyrhythmic style. Throughout, Norway's BIT20 Ensemble, a group of flexible size, delivers superb Ligeti performances, with the requisite laser-like focus on individual details but not losing a certain liveliness and humor that underlie it all. A superior Ligeti album.
Energetic performances and thoroughly researched interpretations by ensembles like La Magnifica Commynita and The Netherlands Bach Ensemble. And some big names like the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and the King's College Choir, Cambridge. Of course there are Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, Handel's Water Music and Vivaldi's Four Seasons. But also music by Albinoni, Locatelli, Telemann, Purcell, Couperin and Corelli.