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More adventurous than the average bear

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Friday, January 29, 2016

Unexpected Tonality / Geographic Music

Via Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum : Podcasts:

46. Not Exactly What I Expected

"Some of us start to get a little anxious when we hear those second Viennese school names—Schoenberg, Berg, Webern. These composers are known for their atonal works, which are wonderful, but can be thorny at first listen. So it's always interesting to see an audience's reaction to, for example, Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht - a luscious string sextet about a 180 degrees from what most of us think of as Schoenberg"

47. From Florence, With Love

"We often think of classical music as having a specific geographic origin, and indeed there are a lot of generalizations that can be made about the classical traditions of different countries. The French we often think of as expert colorists, the Germans as very structural in approach, and the Italians as melodic masters. But with a piece like Souvenir de Florence, a Russian composer’s memory of Florence, Italy, presented under a French title, those generalizations won’t help you much... In “Don Juan’s Serenade” we have a Spanish character, a Russian poem and an Italian vacation. You definitely can’t pin it down by geography, but when the music is this enjoyable, who cares?"
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