April 19, 2006


Thanks to the rebirth of local classical radio, I've really gotten back into classical music listening. I'm still learning (and still rather ignorant), but my tastes have matured enough that I've been pursuing my interest in a specialized area of composition: short (under 20 minutes), concise (employing only as many sections as necessary to get the point across), focused (usually revolving around one or a pair of themes), and inventive pieces.

Particular favorites so far include:
- Mozart, "Masonic Funeral Music" (a ghostly piece unlike anything else he wrote -- or so I'm told)
- Vaughn Williams, "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis" (the most heartbreakingly beautiful piece of music I've encountered in my new interest.)
- Kernis, "Musica celestis" (inspired by the choral work of Hildegard von Bingen, 12th century abbess, sounds to be in the tradition of Vaughn Williams. Kernis is an impressive contemporary American composer)
- Beethoven, "King Stephen Overture" (famously contains some seeds of the 9th symphony, but it's a very witty piece that pivots around a mock-ominous theme)


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