Sonic Rebellion: Alternative Classical Collection

Sonic Rebellion: Alternative Classical Collection

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The Naxos label diverges from its usual plain graphic design with this attempt to create the idea of an "alternative classical" genre, an idea that has paid big dividends when applied to rock and country music. Most of the selections are drawn from existing Naxos releases, with a few taken from discs by Denmark's Da Capo and Germany's CPO labels. The contents do not… See more details below

Overview

The Naxos label diverges from its usual plain graphic design with this attempt to create the idea of an "alternative classical" genre, an idea that has paid big dividends when applied to rock and country music. Most of the selections are drawn from existing Naxos releases, with a few taken from discs by Denmark's Da Capo and Germany's CPO labels. The contents do not represent any new trends but rather package existing styles together as examples of "sonic rebellion." The idea is a good one, and the new listener in search of an introduction to the styles of the late twentieth century can turn to this selection with confidence. Further, close observers of contemporary trends may see this collection as a set of tea leaves suggesting what is wearing well and what isn't. For example, most of the music has a tonal center; just a few works are really classifiable as atonal, and Penderecki's well-known "Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima" is a clear textural study rather than a difficult systematic work. Minimalism appears in several guises, and the realization of Terry Riley's pioneering "In C," with voices mouthing "ta" syllables, is an unusually lively one. The collection favors aggressive, monumental sounds such as those in Scelsi's "Quattro pezzi per orchestra," perhaps on the belief that they would appeal to rock fans, but they are balanced by lean pieces like Nancarrow's "Toccata for violin player and piano." The sequencing makes sense, with the only really extreme electronic piece, Danish composer Jørgen Plaetner's "Beta," feeding into the quasi-electronic "Shaker Loops" of John Adams. The monumental Bartók-meets-Sibelius language of Rautavaara's "Piano Concerto No. 1" was a good pick to bring the curtain down; this composer's appeal to diverse audiences has widely been demonstrated. Whether the idea of alternative classical music has merit remains to be seen -- classical music is already alternative, at least most of the time. But this disc is optimal for a classroom anthology of music from the second half of the twentieth century.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/25/2007
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313076079
Rank:
132396

Tracks

  1. Symphony No. 4 ("Heroes"), for orchestra: Neuköln  - Philip Glass  - Marin Alsop  -  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  2. Threnody (for the Victims of Hiroshima), for 52 strings  - Krzysztof Penderecki  -  Polish National Symphony Orchestra  - Antoni Wit
  3. Toccata for violin & piano  - Conlon Nancarrow  -  Continuum  - Joel Sachs  - Cheryl Seltzer
  4. Sonatas and Interludes, for prepared piano: First Interlude  - John Cage  - Boris Berman
  5. Fünf Nachtstücke, for violin & piano: 1. Elegie  - Hans Werner Henze  - Peter Sheppard Skærved  - Aaron Shorr
  6. Quattro Pezzi su una nota sola (Four Pieces on Only One Note), for 25 musicians: 1.  - Giacinto Scelsi  - Hans Zender  -  Saarbrucken Radio Symphony Orchestra  -  Runfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrücken
  7. In C, for unspecified performers: [Excerpt]  - Terry Riley  - Paul Hillier  -  Ars Nova Copenhagen  -  Percurama Percussion Ensemble
  8. String Quartet No 2  - Charles Wuorinen  -  Group for Contemporary Music
  9. Déserts for brass, percussion, piano & tape: Beginning  - Edgard Varèse  - Christopher Lyndon-Gee  -  Polish National Symphony Orchestra  - Maryse Castets
  10. Songs, Drones and Refrains of Death, for baritone, electric guitar & double bass, amplified piano & harpsichord, & 2 percissionists: Death Drone 2  - George Crumb  - Nicholas Isherwood  -  Art Nouveau Ensemble  - Fuat Kent
  11. Bagatelles (6) for wind quintet: Allegro grazioso  - György Ligeti  -  Albert Schweitzer Quintet
  12. Silenzio, pieces (5) for bayan, violin & cello: II  - Sofia Gubaídulína  - Maria Kliegel  - Elsbeth Moser  - Kathrin Rabus
  13. Beta, electronic work  - Jørgen Plaetner  - Jørgen Plaetner
  14. Shaker Loops, for 7 strings or string orchestra: A Final Shaking  - John Adams  - Marin Alsop  - Nathan Gunn  -  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  15. Piano Concerto No.1  - Einojuhani Rautavaara  -  Royal Scottish National Orchestra  - Hannu Lintu  - Laura Mikkola
  16. Fratres, for strings & percussion  - Arvo Pärt  - Tamás Benedek  -  Hungarian State Opera Orchestra

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