The String Quartets of Krzysztof Meyer : a major achievement of the second half of the 20th century

Krzysztof Meyer (born 11 August 1943) is a Polish composer, pianist and music scholar, formerly Dean of the Department of Music Theory (1972–1975) at the State College of Music (now Academy of Music in Kraków), and president of the Union of Polish Composers (1985–1989). Meyer served as professor of composition at the Hochschule für Musik […]

Morton Feldman’s Piano and String Quartet

A major figure in 20th-century music, Morton Feldman was a pioneer of indeterminate music, a development associated with the experimental New York School of composers also including John Cage, Christian Wolff, and Earle Brown. Feldman’s works are characterized by notational innovations that he developed to create his characteristic sound: rhythms that seem to be free […]

Luigi Dallapiccola (February 3, 1904 – February 19, 1975) : Italian composer known for his lyrical twelve-tone compositions

Perhaps the greatest Modern Italian composer after Puccini, Luigi Dallapiccola was born in Pisino, in the disputed territory of Istria, then under Austrian rule (it is now part of Croatia and Slovenia). His father, a teacher suspected of Italian nationalism, lost his job during World War I, and the Austrian government interned the entire family […]

At last, Lukas Foss : Complete Symphonies

Released last month by the  Boston Modern Orchestra Project, this 2 disc recording collects all of the symphonies by Lukas Foss.  Even if these were not good performances – they  are – this would be a valuable recording since Foss’s symphonies have been unjustly neglected. Mr. Foss was, from the start of his composing career, considered an […]

In memory of John Cage

John Milton Cage Jr. (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American composer, music theorist, writer, and artist. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde. Critics have lauded him as one of the most influential […]

Dmitri Shostakovich : 25 September 1906 – 9 August 1975

Russian composer and pianist, and a prominent figure of 20th-century music.  A poly-stylist, Shostakovich developed a hybrid voice, combining a variety of different musical techniques into his music. Shostakovich’s music is characterized by sharp contrasts, elements of the grotesque, and ambivalent tonality; the composer was also heavily influenced by the neo-classical style pioneered by Igor […]