Tag Archives: American music

John Corigliano’s The Red Violin Concerto

John Corigliano is widely considered one of the leading American composers of his generation, which includes such luminaries as Morten Lauridsen, Terry Riley, and Ned Rorem. Commentators have characterized his style as “highly expressive,” “compelling,” and “kaleidoscopic.” In addition to … Continue reading

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Terry Riley’s Requiem for Adam

Terry Riley’s Requiem for Adam was written as a memorial to Adam Harrington, son of David Harrington, first violinist of Kronos Quartet. Adam died suddenly at the age of 16 while walking with his family on Mt. Diablo, near San … Continue reading

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Leon Fleisher’s American Album: Aaron Copland, Piano Sonata; Roger Sessions, From My Diary; Leon Kirchner, Piano Sonata; Ned Rorem, Three Barcarolles

American music of the twentieth century, at least that variety that styles itself “serious” music, is inhabited by a range of highly independent composers. One of its most notable aspects, in fact, is its resistance to “schools” outside of the … Continue reading

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Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings: Orchestral and Chamber Works

Samuel Barber is one of those composers I haven’t paid enough attention to, except for the Adagio for Strings, which at its best is an overwhelming piece of music — but more on that later. Barber was born into comfortable … Continue reading

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Hector Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique, Op. 14, Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17 (Part II: Love Scene); Aaron Copland’s Billy the Kid: Suite; Waltz; Ferde Grofé’s Grand Canyon Suite

The idea of “meaning” in music is a complex one, the pursuit of which can go all sorts of places I don’t want to go right now. Suffice it to say that most commentators feel that relating music to some … Continue reading

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Carol J. Oja’s Colin McPhee: Composer in Two Worlds

The music of the East, particularly the gamelan of Indonesia, and even more particularly that of Bali, has a longer history of interaction with the music of the West than many might imagine. Claude Debussy first encountered the gamelan in … Continue reading

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