Monday, August 6, 2018

Idea for Podcast Series: The 'Greatest Generation' of Composers

No, it's not the actual greatest generation. Even if that existed, this might not be it, and even if it were, how can one prove it? There is no 'greatest' anything in art, one can't quantify quality, one can only talk about various kinds of greatness. Perhaps people can objectively value one kind of greatness over another as being more essential to our quality of life, but even if we could, how do we quantify an essence?

Perhaps the only way to do so is by its uniqueness. And in the sense of what is unique, this period of composition - composers born between 1855 and 1885, is in many ways the most unique for reasons which we can get further into over these dozens of episodes. The basic thesis is this: 'absolute music' was so important to the life of the middle class over the long 19th century that this music, with its definite rules of tonality and sonata form, with its millions of amateurs who mastered instruments and learned to be musically literate just as they were literate in any language, accumulated ever new ways to be complex and unique until the invention of the electronic recording, which completely changed our relationship to music. Musicians and music lovers who did not remember a time when we could listen to music without playing it thought of music differently, wrote music differently, played music differently, listened to music differently. The era from which they emerged was a long and glorious sunset. With the dawn comes the excitement and hope for ever new possibilities, but also the necessity of re-learning from scratch everything we once thought we knew. 

Each of these podcasts will be no more than an hour long, with many recorded illustrations:

Unfinished Beginnings: Mussorgsky

Unfinished Beginnings: Bizet

Elgar the Pilgrim

Imperial Elgar:

Unimperial Elgar:


Verismo: Cav and Pag 

Verismo in Puccini:

Modern Puccini:

Mahler: Origins

Mahler: Originality

Mahler: Vienna

Mahler: Farewells

Mahler: The Anxiety of Influence

Debussy: Musical Stasis

Debussy: Musical Color

Debussy: Musical White and Black

Debussy: The Anxiety of Influence

Strauss: The New Poem

Strauss: The New Poem II

Strauss: Operatic Radical

Strauss: Operatic Conservative

Strauss: Collaborator and Mourner

Janacek: A Different Modernity

Janacek: Folklorist

Janacek: Slavophile

Janacek: The Power of Speech

Janacek: Old Man in Love

Delius in France

Delius in Germany

Delius and Fenby

Sibelius: Voice of a Nation

Sibelius: Ainola - Retreat to the Forest

Sibelius and the Gods

Sibelius in the Theater

Sibelius: The Road to Silence

Nielsen: Psychology

Nielsen at War

Nielsen: Tonality, Clarity, Strength

Busoni: The Piano Transcriber

Busoni Goes Home

Busoni's Faust

Busoni: That Piano Concerto

Koechlin: Forgotten Genius

Koechlin: Pantheist

Koechlin: Time Becomes Space

Koechlin: The Jungle Book

Koechlin: Hollywood

Schmitt: Imperial France

Joplin: American Bach

Joplin: Treemonisha

Beach: American Women

Price: African-American Women

Taneyev: The Russia that Was

Glazunov: The Russia that Was II

Arensky and Ivanov: The Russia that Was III

Zemlinsky: The Dwarf

Zemlinsky: Viennese Eros

Schrecker: Viennese Eros II

Schmidt: Viennese Eros III

Mystic Holst

Rural Holst

Choral Holst

Vaughan Williams at Cambridge

Vaughan Williams in France

Vaughan Williams's Women

Vaughan Williams in the Home Office

Vaughan Williams: The Lion in Winter

Reger: Variations on the Classical

Reger: Variations on the Baroque

Scriabin: Divinity

Scriabin: Ecstasy

Scriabin: Fire

Scriabin: Toward the Flame

Rachmaninov: Gold Watches and Hypnosis

Rachmaninov: Voluntary Exile

Rachmaninov: Involuntary Exile 

Ives in New England

Ives in Concord

Ives in New York

Ives in the Transcendent

Ives: The Anxiety of Influence

Ravel: The Apache

Ravel at the Opera-Comique

Ravel and His Mother

Ravel at War

Ravel: Le Jazz

Falla and Albeniz

Falla: Spanish Phantoms

Falla's Musical Puppets

Schoenberg: An Irritating Young Man

Schoenberg: Free Classical

Schoenberg: Other Planets

Schoenberg: The Twelve Commandments

Schoenberg: Arnie in America

Schoenberg: Arnie and Adolph

Respighi in Rome

Respighi in History

Respighi in Concert Mode

Bartok: No Hungarian Rhapsodies

Bartok: Rejected Love

Bartok: A Little Night Music

Bartok's Children

Bartok: East Meets West

Bartok in America

Bloch: Judaism Speaks

Bloch: Time Becomes Space

Bloch and the Quartet

Foulds: Forgotten Genius

Foulds: Mystic Researcher

Foulds: The World Requiem

The Kodaly Method

The Kodaly Voice

Szymanowski in France

Szymanowski's Men

Szymanowski in Poland

Stravinsky: Firebird

Stravinsky: Petrushka

Stravinsky: The Rite

Stravinsky: Leaving Russia

Stravinsky: Here Time Becomes Space

Stravinsky and God

Stravinsky and Gods

Stravinsky vs. Schoenberg

Stravinsky: The Anxiety of Influence

Villa Lobos and Bach

Villa Lobos and Brazil

Villa Lobos and Europe

Villa Lobos and the Guitar

Bax: Englishman Gone Irish

Bax: English Institution

Berg: Old Vienna

Berg: Wozzeck

Berg: Lulu

Berg: The Memory of an Angel

Berg: The Anxiety of Influence

Webern: Here Time Becomes Space

Webern and Science

Webern: Brevity is the Soul of...

Still need places for: Magnard, Dukas*, Bridge*, Suk*, Godowsky, Enescu*, Gliere, Kalinnkov, Liadov, Medtner, Myaskovsky, Stenhammer, Alfven, Wellesz, Casella, Braunfels, Albeniz*, Granados

No comments:

Post a Comment