Understanding Treasury Futures - CME Group

Moments Musicaux #36 : The History of Music

If you haven't read these before, see this post for an introduction, or look here for a list of previous Moments Musicaux posts.
Previous posts in this sub-series:
  1. Recompositions
  2. Composer-iana
  3. Music in the Old Style
At last we come to the final post in this little sub-series on backward-looking pieces. In the first we looked at compositions inspired by earlier pieces, in the second at those inspired by earlier composers, and in the third by earlier musical eras. You might think that the logical conclusion to this progression would be to look at pieces combining multiple musical eras, but I have a somewhat more specific goal in mind.
There are a few pieces of classical music which are written to contain within them an expression of the historical progression of classical music itself. Unlike the case with the previous three posts in this series where I had to pick and choose from a wide range of possibilities, I am actually not aware of many pieces like this, at at least not many that I know where to get a recording. So if you're familiar with others for which its relatively easy to get a good recording of a performance, please let me know!

Louis Spohr, Op.116, Symphony No.6 in G - "Historical Symphony"

Louis Spohr is one of those composers who was well known in his own time, but has since fallen into relative obscurity (although he's had a bit of a revival recently). He lived in Germany in the early 19th century and composed music which spans the gap between the Classical and Romantic eras.
Among Spohr's ten symphonies is his sixth, the "Historical Symphony". Each of the four movements is inspired by a different era in the history of musical composition, at least as of 1839 when the piece was written. The movements, or order, are entitled "Bach-Handel Period - 1720", "Haydn-Mozart Period - 1780", "Beethoven Period - 1910" and "Latest Period - 1840". The music is not written in strict adherence to the rules of each period, but rather blends each period's techniques with Spohr's own style. It's also worth noting that the final movement, representing the "Latest Period" actually satirizes what Spohr considered to be the poor quality of French opera music of the time, and serves to contrast it against what he considered to be the superior works of the previous composers. Apparently audiences of his time liked these operas, and did not particularly enjoy the feeling that Spohr was mocking the music they enjoyed.

Astor Piazzolla, Histoire du Tango

Astor Piazzolla was an Argentine composer and bandoneon virtuoso known for his works merging the styles of classical and tango music. One of his better known works is his Histoire du Tango, a piece for flute and guitar tracing the evolution of tango music. Each of the four movements represents a different era of tango music, starting with the lively music of a 1900 Bordello, to the slower and more lyrical music of a 1930 cafe, to the innovations heard in a 1960s nightclub, to the incorporations of modern classical trends heard in a "modern day" (i.e. 1986) concert hall. The Wikipedia article has Piazzolla's program notes describing these movements in more detail if you're interested:
  1. Bordello, 1900
  2. Cafe, 1930
  3. Night Club, 1960
  4. Modern-Day Concert

Heinrich Schweizer, Historical Symphony-Suite

Heinrich Schweizer is a moderately obscure swiss composer who, as far as I'm aware, is still active today. I'm not aware of many of his pieces that have been recorded, but one of the ones that has been recorded (at least twice) is his Historical Symphony. Schweizer wrote this piece in 1974, and it consists of a series of homages to influential composers of classical music. Each of these homages is written in the style of its associated composer, and they bring us in chronological order from Palestrina to Penderecki. Unfortunately the complete Symphony appears to only be available on LP, and I don't have a rig to digitize that so instead I've linked to the Historical Symphony-Suite which runs from Palestrina through Bruckner.
Personally, although I find each individual moment of this work to be nicely constructed, I find the overall piece to be rather bland. Nevertheless, it's still an interesting listen and fits perfectly into the theme of this post, providing the most literal view of the history of classical music of any of this post's pieces.

Morton Subotnick, Return - A Triumph Of Reason

Every 75 years or so, Halley's Comet is pulled by the sun's gravity from the far reaches of its orbit into the inner solar system where it becomes visible in the night sky. We're used to imagining Halley's Comet from the viewpoint of our Earth, but picture instead the view of Earth that you might see from the comet. Once every 75 years, you would be able witness a brief snapshot of Earth's history before once again returning to the depths of space.
In this piece, written to commemorate the 1985-1986 return of Halley's Comet, contemporary American composer presents Morton Subotnick creates this "comet's eye view" of music. The piece begins by depicting, well, the beginning of the universe, followed by the formation of the solar system. The musical references begin with the 1301 appearance of Halley's comet that inspired a fresco by Giotto di Bondone, signified by a representation of plainchant and medieval polyphony. This is followed by section loosely inspired by Scarlatti's keyboard sonatas, signifying the 1682 appearance of the comet and the calculation of its orbit by Edmond Halley. From there the music continues onward, capturing snapshots of musical history (loosely represented by Mozart, Liszt, and Ragtime) and continuing on into the future.
The reappearance of the musical theme associated with Halley toward the end of the piece reinforces the triumph of scientific reasoning which transformed our view of the comet. Once a mysterious harbinger looked at with fear and awe, Halley's insight for the proper application of Newton's laws of gravitation has given is a predictable and accurate picture of the ball of ice and dust on a remarkable and magnificent elliptical journey through our solar system.

Jeroen van Veen, Repeating History

Although it doesn't really fit into the theme of this post, I think that this minimalist piano duet by Dutch pianist and composer Jeroen van Veen serves as a fitting dénouement to this sub-series on backward looking music. The music here is essentially a mash-up of J.S. Bach and Steve Reich, merging two composers separated by 250 years:
If you liked this, you can find it and other of Van Veen's works in this 5-CD set, or further pieces on his soundcload.

Other posts:

Link to list of other Moments Musicaux posts
Requests? Questions? Comments? Suggestions? PM me or post a comment.
submitted by phlogistic to classicalmusic [link] [comments]

Moments Musicaux #36 : The History of Music

If you haven't read these before, see this post for an introduction, or look here for a list of previous Moments Musicaux posts.

Previous posts in this sub-series:
  1. Recompositions
  2. Composer-iana
  3. Music in the Old Style
At last we come to the final post in this little sub-series on backward-looking pieces. In the first we looked at compositions inspired by earlier pieces, in the second at those inspired by earlier composers, and in the third by earlier musical eras. You might think that the logical conclusion to this progression would be to look at pieces combining multiple musical eras, but I have a somewhat more specific goal in mind.
There are a few pieces of classical music which are written to contain within them an expression of the historical progression of classical music itself. Unlike the case with the previous three posts in this series where I had to pick and choose from a wide range of possibilities, I am actually not aware of many pieces like this, at at least not many that I know where to get a recording. So if you're familiar with others for which its relatively easy to get a good recording of a performance, please let me know!

Louis Spohr, Op.116, Symphony No.6 in G - "Historical Symphony"

Louis Spohr is one of those composers who was well known in his own time, but has since fallen into relative obscurity (although he's had a bit of a revival recently). He lived in Germany in the early 19th century and composed music which spans the gap between the Classical and Romantic eras.
Among Spohr's ten symphonies is his sixth, the "Historical Symphony". Each of the four movements is inspired by a different era in the history of musical composition, at least as of 1839 when the piece was written. The movements, or order, are entitled "Bach-Handel Period - 1720", "Haydn-Mozart Period - 1780", "Beethoven Period - 1910" and "Latest Period - 1840". The music is not written in strict adherence to the rules of each period, but rather blends each period's techniques with Spohr's own style. It's also worth noting that the final movement, representing the "Latest Period" actually satirizes what Spohr considered to be the poor quality of French opera music of the time, and serves to contrast it against what he considered to be the superior works of the previous composers. Apparently audiences of his time liked these operas, and did not particularly enjoy the feeling that Spohr was mocking the music they enjoyed.

Astor Piazzolla, Histoire du Tango

Astor Piazzolla was an Argentine composer and bandoneon virtuoso known for his works merging the styles of classical and tango music. One of his better known works is his Histoire du Tango, a piece for flute and guitar tracing the evolution of tango music. Each of the four movements represents a different era of tango music, starting with the lively music of a 1900 Bordello, to the slower and more lyrical music of a 1930 cafe, to the innovations heard in a 1960s nightclub, to the incorporations of modern classical trends heard in a "modern day" (i.e. 1986) concert hall. The Wikipedia article has Piazzolla's program notes describing these movements in more detail if you're interested:
  1. Bordello, 1900
  2. Cafe, 1930
  3. Night Club, 1960
  4. Modern-Day Concert

Heinrich Schweizer, Historical Symphony-Suite

Heinrich Schweizer is a moderately obscure swiss composer who, as far as I'm aware, is still active today. I'm not aware of many of his pieces that have been recorded, but one of the ones that has been recorded (at least twice) is his Historical Symphony. Schweizer wrote this piece in 1974, and it consists of a series of homages to influential composers of classical music. Each of these homages is written in the style of its associated composer, and they bring us in chronological order from Palestrina to Penderecki. Unfortunately the complete Symphony appears to only be available on LP, and I don't have a rig to digitize that so instead I've linked to the Historical Symphony-Suite which runs from Palestrina through Bruckner.
Personally, although I find each individual moment of this work to be nicely constructed, I find the overall piece to be rather bland. Nevertheless, it's still an interesting listen and fits perfectly into the theme of this post, providing the most literal view of the history of classical music of any of this post's pieces.

Morton Subotnick, Return - A Triumph Of Reason

Every 75 years or so, Halley's Comet is pulled by the sun's gravity from the far reaches of its orbit into the inner solar system where it becomes visible in the night sky. We're used to imagining Halley's Comet from the viewpoint of our Earth, but picture instead the view of Earth that you might see from the comet. Once every 75 years, you would be able witness a brief snapshot of Earth's history before once again returning to the depths of space.
In this piece, written to commemorate the 1985-1986 return of Halley's Comet, contemporary American composer presents Morton Subotnick creates this "comet's eye view" of music. The piece begins by depicting, well, the beginning of the universe, followed by the formation of the solar system. The musical references begin with the 1301 appearance of Halley's comet that inspired a fresco by Giotto di Bondone, signified by a representation of plainchant and medieval polyphony. This is followed by section loosely inspired by Scarlatti's keyboard sonatas, signifying the 1682 appearance of the comet and the calculation of its orbit by Edmond Halley. From there the music continues onward, capturing snapshots of musical history (loosely represented by Mozart, Liszt, and Ragtime) and continuing on into the future.
The reappearance of the musical theme associated with Halley toward the end of the piece reinforces the triumph of scientific reasoning which transformed our view of the comet. Once a mysterious harbinger looked at with fear and awe, Halley's insight for the proper application of Newton's laws of gravitation has given is a predictable and accurate picture of the ball of ice and dust on a remarkable and magnificent elliptical journey through our solar system.

Jeroen van Veen, Repeating History

Although it doesn't really fit into the theme of this post, I think that this minimalist piano duet by Dutch pianist and composer Jeroen van Veen serves as a fitting dénouement to this sub-series on backward looking music. The music here is essentially a mash-up of J.S. Bach and Steve Reich, merging two composers separated by 250 years:
If you liked this, you can find it and other of Van Veen's works in this 5-CD set, or further pieces on his soundcload.

Other posts:

Link to list of other Moments Musicaux posts
Requests? Questions? Comments? Suggestions? PM me or post a comment.
submitted by phlogistic to mylittlelistentothis [link] [comments]

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Former US attorney: FBI officials will likely face charges ...

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