Orlande de Lassus : dare spirito alle parole

The seven Penitential Psalms are a group of Psalms, numbers 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, and 143 in the Anglican numbering (in the Vulgate all except Psalm 6 are numbered one digit lower), which have been in liturgical use for penitential prayer since early Christian times and, in the later Middle Ages, were prescribed […]

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 […]

Haydn: Sonata ‘Un piccolo divertimento’

“Haydn’s piano music is often complicated and formally wayward: its beauties do not, on the whole, lie on the surface. It is music whose appeal is primarily intellectual, requiring both thought and explanation.”  (H.C. Robbins Landon) Haydn composed the Variations in F minor, Hob.XVII:6 in Vienna in 1793 for the talented pianist Barbara (‘Babette’) von Ployer, […]

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 […]

Wynton Marsalis : His Jazz Suites from the 1990s

Shortly after Wynton Marsalis burst on the scene in the 1980s, he and what was seen as his “agenda” became subjects of controversy.  Just prior, the Jazz scene had experienced Free Jazz and Fusion, both of which were styles Marsalis and his fellow traveler Stanley Crouch opined were “outside the tradition” of Jazz. Two decades […]