For a long time Pierre Boulez has been one of the most important conductors of the 20th century, certainly when it comes to the execution of modern composers such as Berg, Webern, Schönberg or Bartok.
A must for the amateurs of Modern Classical Music
Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) was arguably THE pivotal composer who launched the 20th century avant-garde in classical music. Along with his students Alban Berg, Anton Webern, and Hanns Eisler - the Second Vienna School - Schoenberg exploded the late Romantic soundworld and opened up new worlds of possibilities, first with atonal expressionism, and later with the innovative serialist system of composition.
This end-of-the-millennium quartet session probably best defines all the inherent contradictions in who ECM attracts to the label – what kind of musician records for them – and what concerns these artists and ECM's chief producer (and creator) Manfred Eicher hold in common. This set, although clearly fronted by Markus Stockhausen and Arild Andersen on brass and bass, respectively, allows space for the entire quartet to inform its direction. Héral and Rypdal are not musicians who can play with just anybody; their distinctive styles and strengths often go against the grain of contemporary European jazz and improvised music. Of the 11 compositions here, four are collectively written, with two each by Andersen and Stockhausen.
The Symphony No. 7, nicknamed "The Song of the Night," is widely regarded as the most enigmatic of Mahler's cycle and the most difficult to coherently interpret as a symphonic structure, even by this composer's extraordinary standards. The movements are undeniably Mahlerian in their abrupt mood swings and ironic twists, and each offers a wealth of fantastic ideas and brilliant orchestration – arguably the most innovative sounds in all of Mahler's works.
Originating in 1969 with a short melodic fragment that grew into an elaborate piece that runs well over an hour, Karlheinz Stockhausen's Mantra for two pianos and electronics is recognized as one of his major keyboard works and an example of his increasingly liberal use of serial methods. The central idea operates on many levels throughout the composition, and the organization of Stockhausen's 13-pitch series a twelve-tone row with the first note repeated at the end takes place on small and large scales, with some permutations of the motive or "mantra" extending over so much time that their relationships become imperceptible.
The performers in Kurzwellen react to the completely unforeseeable events which they receive on short-wave radios while performing on their instruments. But this is not improvisation. Stockhausen s score instructs them how to transform what they hear: how they imitate amd modulate it, make it longer or shorter, how to rhythmically articulate it, higher or lower, louder or softer, darker or more playful. Whether they should play and as solo, duo, trio or quartet, etc. Though not so familiar now, at the time short-wave radios made it possible to listen to live radio stations from all over the world. The transmission was not always clean, but disturbed by noises and interferences. Moving from one station to another one could hear Morse-code signals, amateur radio communications and all kind of electronic sounds and noises. Stockhausen wanted this sound world to be part of Kurzwellen. This new version created by C.L.S.I., premiered at the Stockhausen Summer Course in Kurten on August 10th 2011, is a kind of updating of Stockhausen s one of the 1960s.
An internationally known pianist and conductor, Daniel Barenboim has toured with the Chicago Symphony and was the music director of the Orchestre de Paris for more than 14 years. His repertoire includes Beethoven, Mozart and Anton Bruckner symphonies.