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Landmarks in Music Since 1950: Landmarks in Music Since 1950


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Harrison Birtwistle: The Mask of Orpheus

Harrison Birtwistle: The Mask of Orpheus

1st Edition

Jonathan Cross
August 19, 2019

Hailed at its premiere at the London Coliseum in 1986 as the most important musical and theatrical event of the decade, The Mask of Orpheus is undoubtedly a key work in Harrison Birtwistle's output. His subsequent stage and concert pieces demand to be evaluated in its light. Increasingly, it is...

Thomas Adès: Asyla

Thomas Adès: Asyla

1st Edition

Edward Venn
March 07, 2019

Thomas Adès (b. 1971) is an established international figure, both as composer and performer, with popular and critical acclaim and admiration from around the world. Edward Venn examines in depth one of Adès’s most significant works so far, his orchestral Asyla (1997). Its blend of virtuosic...

Louis Andriessen: De Staat

Louis Andriessen: De Staat

1st Edition

Robert Adlington
July 03, 2017

Louis Andriessen is one of the foremost composers in the world today. His music, with its distinctive blend of jazz, minimalism, Stravinsky and the European avant-garde, has attracted wide audiences internationally and made him a sought-after teacher among younger generations of composers. De Staat...

Leonard Bernstein: West Side Story

Leonard Bernstein: West Side Story

1st Edition

Nigel Simeone
May 31, 2017

One of the Broadway musicals that can genuinely claim to have transformed the genre, West Side Story has been featured in many books on Broadway, but it has yet to be the focus of a scholarly monograph. Nigel Simeone begins by exploring the long process of creating West Side Story, including a...

Robert Saxton: Caritas

Robert Saxton: Caritas

1st Edition

Wyndham Thomas
May 22, 2017

Caritas relates the 'true', yet largely undocumented story of Christine Carpenter, a 14th-century anchoress who moves towards insanity as her desire for a divine revelation continues to be unfulfilled after a period of three years locked in her cell. Although physically isolated, she is aware of...

Karlheinz Stockhausen: Zeitmaße

Karlheinz Stockhausen: Zeitmaße

1st Edition

Jerome Kohl
December 05, 2016

Zeitmaße is one of a group of four acknowledged masterpieces composed between 1955 and 1957 that together established Karlheinz Stockhausen as the leading figure in the European avant-garde. Of the four works, it is the only one that has not been thoroughly analysed from the composer's sketches and...

Iannis Xenakis: Kraanerg

Iannis Xenakis: Kraanerg

1st Edition

James Harley
August 28, 2015

Kraanerg by Iannis Xenakis is one of the most important works of the post-1950 era. James Harley, a leading Xenakis scholar, presents the genesis of Kraanerg, from the granting of the commission to the choreographer, to the selection of Xenakis as composer, to the premiere, recording, and...

Jonathan Harvey: Song Offerings and White as Jasmine

Jonathan Harvey: Song Offerings and White as Jasmine

1st Edition

Michael Downes
December 23, 2009

Jonathan Harvey (1939-2012) was one of Britain's leading composers: his music is frequently performed throughout Europe, the United States (where he lived and worked) and Japan. He is particularly renowned for his electro-acoustic music, an aspect on which most previous writing on his work has...

Olivier Messiaen: Oiseaux exotiques

Olivier Messiaen: Oiseaux exotiques

1st Edition

Peter Hill, Nigel Simeone
June 28, 2007

What makes Oiseaux exotiques so important is that it is arguably the first of Messiaen's major works to create a successful synthesis between his music and his passion for ornithology. The earliest composition to use birdsong to a significant extent was the Quatuor pour la fin du Temps (1940-41). A...

Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 8

Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 8

1st Edition

David Fanning
July 26, 2004

When it was first performed in October 1960, Shostakovich's Eighth String Quartet was greeted with a standing ovation and given a full encore. Its popularity has continued to the present day with over a hundred commercial recordings appearing during the last 40 years. The appeal of the work is...

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