Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Early 20th century masterpieces on Spotify

Dutch Avro radio program „Licht op 4” (light at 4, four being the National classical music channel in the Netherlands) just completed „the week of the starting listener”. Aimed at the starting classical music lover, they played „easy” classical music (bits, of course :-) and with the audience made a Spotify play list (bits, of course :-) for those who wanted to hear the music again.  What I would love is that the Avro will take this up and will continue this concept with the „not so easy” playlist, or even the „this will acquire some hardship” playlist…  As a follow up for the easy list I made the „Ietwat Lastige Lijst”, (the somewhat difficult list), with early 20th century works by Mahler, Schönberg, Szymanowski and Prokofiev. Tho bits, and two complete pieces… 

One of my composition teachers, Henk Alkema, once told me that he heard the Adagio of Mahler’s 10th symphony played on his car stereo and he had to pull his car from the road, because he was so emotionally charged that he could not get himself driving safely with this music on the speakers… 

Schönberg’s small piano pieces op. 11, written in 1908 were the first compositions that had no tonal basics. Pianist/composer Ferrucio Busoni „reconstructed" the second of the three piano pieces, making it audible that however faint, some tonality could be found back in these piece again…

Karol Szymanowski was a Polish composer who around world war one made beautiful colorful compositions. His first violin concerto from 1916 almost seems to defy the fact a terrible war was going on.

One war later, Sergei Prokofiev actually did the opposite, and wrote a symphony with drum rolls and marches, very much a „war symphony” with overtones of a victory (premiere was in januari 1945) to come.

So, hope you will like this selection… :-)

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) Symphony no 10 in f#minor (1911 completed by Derreck Cooke in 1960)
Movement 1, Adagio
Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon Rattle, conductor

Arnold Schönberg (1874-1951) Piano piece op. 11 no 2 (1908), arranged by Ferrucio Busoni (1910)
Daniel Barenboim, piano

Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937) Violin concerto No 1 op. 35 (1916)
Nicola Benedetti, violin
London Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Harding, conductor.

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) Symphony no. 5 in Bb-Major op. 100
Los Angeles Philadelphia Orchestra, André Previn, conductor.
(HTTP link)

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