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BOOK...Anthony Tommasini on composers

When he began to listen to the great works of classical music as a child, Anthony Tommasini had many questions. Why did a particular piece move him? How did the music work? Over time, he realized that his passion for this music was not enough. He needed to understand it. Take Bach, for starters. Who was he? How does one account for his music and its unshakeable hold on us today?

As a critic, Tommasini has devoted particular attention to living composers and overlooked repertory. But, like all classical music lovers, the canon has remained central for him. In 2011, in his role as the Chief Classical Music Critic for the New York Times, he wrote a popular series in which he somewhat cheekily set out to determine the all-time top ten composers. Inviting input from readers, Tommasini wrestled with questions of greatness. Readers joined the exercise in droves. Some railed against classical music’s obsession with greatness but then raged when Mahler was left off the final list. This intellectual game reminded them why they loved music in the first place.

Now in THE INDISPENSABLE COMPOSERS, Tommasini offers his own personal guide to the canon--and what greatness really means in classical music. What does it mean to be canonical now? Who gets to say? And do we have enough perspective on the 20th century to even begin assessing it? To make his case, Tommasini draws on elements of biography, the anxiety of influence, the composer's relationships with colleagues, and shifting attitudes toward a composer's work over time. Because he has spent his life contemplating these titans, Tommasini shares impressions from performances he has heard or given or moments when his own biography proves revealing.

As he argues for his particular pantheon of indispensable composers, Anthony Tommasini provides a masterclass in what to listen for and how to understand what music does to us.

When he began to listen to the great works of classical music as a child, Anthony Tommasini had many questions. Why did a particular piece move him? How did the music work? Over time, he realized that his passion for this music was not enough. He needed to understand it. Take Bach, for starters. Who was he? How does one account for his music and its unshakeable hold on us today?

As a critic, Tommasini has devoted particular attention to living composers and overlooked repertory. But, like all classical music lovers, the canon has remained central for him. In 2011, in his role as the Chief Classical Music Critic for the New York Times, he wrote a popular series in which he somewhat cheekily set out to determine the all-time top ten composers. Inviting input from readers, Tommasini wrestled with questions of greatness. Readers joined the exercise in droves. Some railed against classical music’s obsession with greatness but then raged when Mahler was left off the final list. This intellectual game reminded them why they loved music in the first place.

Now in THE INDISPENSABLE COMPOSERS, Tommasini offers his own personal guide to the canon--and what greatness really means in classical music. What does it mean to be canonical now? Who gets to say? And do we have enough perspective on the 20th century to even begin assessing it? To make his case, Tommasini draws on elements of biography, the anxiety of influence, the composer's relationships with colleagues, and shifting attitudes toward a composer's work over time. Because he has spent his life contemplating these titans, Tommasini shares impressions from performances he has heard or given or moments when his own biography proves revealing.

As he argues for his particular pantheon of indispensable composers, Anthony Tommasini provides a masterclass in what to listen for and how to understand what music does to us.


Oliver Knussen CBE (12 June 1952 - 8 July 2018)

Oliver Knussen was a British composer and conductor. Though Knussen began composing at about the age of six,; an ITV programme about his father's work with the London Symphony Orchestra prompted the commissioning for his first symphony (1966–1967). Aged 15, Knussen stepped in to conduct his symphony's première at the Royal Festival Hall, London, on 7 April 1968, after István Kertész fell ill. After his debut, Daniel Barenboim asked him to conduct the work's first two movements in New York a week later. In this work and his Concerto for Orchestra (1968–1970), he had quickly and fluently absorbed the influences of modernist composers Britten and Berg as well as many mid-century (largely American) symphonists, while displaying an unusual flair for pacing and orchestration. It was as early as the Second Symphony (1970–1971), in the words of Julian Anderson, that "Knussen's compositional personality abruptly appeared, fully formed". He was awarded CBE in the 1994 Birthday Honours.


Knussen was principal guest conductor of The Hague's Het Residentie Orkest (Residentie Orchestra) between 1992 and 1996, the Aldeburgh Festival's co-artistic director between 1983 and 1998 and the London Sinfonietta's music director between 1998 and 2002 – and became that ensemble's conductor laureate.

In 2005 Knussen was the music director of the Ojai Music Festival.

From September 2006, Knussen was artist-in-association to the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, and from 2009 to the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

His major works from the 1980s were his two children's operas, Where the Wild Things Are and Higglety Pigglety Pop!, both libretti by Maurice Sendak.

WIKIPEDIA




Gennady Nikolayevich Rozhdestvensky, 4 May 1931 – 16 June 2018

Conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky was born in Moscow. His parents were the noted conductor and pedagogue Nikolai Anosov and soprano Natalya Rozhdestvenskaya. His given name was Gennady Nikolayevich Anosov, but he adopted his mother’s maiden name in its masculine form for his professional career so as to avoid the appearance of nepotism. His younger brother, the painter P.N. Anosov, retained their father's name.

He studied conducting with his father at the Moscow Conservatory and piano with Lev Oborin. Already known for having conducted Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker ballet at the Bolshoi Theatre at the age of 20, he quickly established his reputation. He premiered many works of Soviet composers, including Edison Denisov's Le soleil des Incas (Sun of the Incas) (1964), as well as giving the Russian premiere of Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream and the Western premiere of Dmitri Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony at the 1962 Edinburgh Festival.

He became general artistic director of the Bolshoi Theatre in 2000, and in 2001 conducted the world premiere of the original version of Sergei Prokofiev's opera The Gambler.

WIKIPEDIA





Robert Mann, a Founder of the Juilliard Quartet, Dies at 97


Robert Mann (July 19, 1920 – January 1, 2018) was a violinist, composer, conductor, and founding member of the Juilliard String Quartet,as well as a faculty member at the Manhattan School of Music. Mann, the first violinist at Juilliard, served on the school's string quartet for over fifty years until his retirement in 1997.
Mann was a faculty member at the Manhattan School of Music. Mann, the first violinist at Juilliard, served on the school's string quartet for over fifty years until his retirement in 1997.
Mann played and performed on many instruments, including those made by Antonio Stradivari and John Young. Mann was the subject of a 2014 documentary, titled Speak the Music.
Mann was born and raised in Portland, Oregon.

In 1938, at the age of eighteen, he moved to New York City to enroll in the Juilliard School, where he studied violin with Edouard Dethier, composition with Bernard Wagenaar and Stefan Wolpe, and conducting with Edgar Schenkman. Mann won the prestigious Naumburg Competition in 1941 and made his New York debut two days after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Shortly after his graduation from Juilliard, he was drafted into the US Army.

WIKIPEDIA






Austrian Violist, Conductor and Composer Paul Angerer Has Died

Angerer studied music theory and composition with Friedrich Reidinger and Alfred Uhl, and conducting with Hans Swarowsky. He performed in the viola section of Wiener Symphoniker, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande early in his career and was viola soloist with the Wiener Symphoniker from 1953 to 1957. Angerer then began to conduct the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and the orchestras in Bonn and Ulm. From 1967 to 1972 he was principal conductor of the Salzburg Opera Theater (Salzburger Landestheater) and led the Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester from 1971 to 1982. In 1982, Angerer began conducting the Concilium Musicum Wien and held a teaching position at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna from 1982 to 1992.
Angerer was awarded the Austrian State Prize for Music in 1953 for his Musik für Viola allein and in 2001, he received the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, 1st class.
Paul Angerer's compositional style is influenced by that of Paul Hindemith. His works are published by Verlag Doblinger, Universal Edition, C. Haslinger and Editions M. Reift. (Wikipedia)



 VIDEO: A Bouquet of Old Vienna Dances (Paul Angerer conducts Haydn/Mozart/Beethoven/Schubert/Lanner)




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