Segments in this Video

Technology of Sound: Edgard Varèse (03:54)


Science and technology have had a large impact on 20th-century music. Listen to an excerpt from "Ionization," a work solely for percussion instruments by Edgard Varèse. It is accompanied by visual effects.

Twentieth-Century Composers (02:50)

James Galway divides 20th-century composers into three groups: entertainers, philosophers, and dreamers. Stravinsky exemplifies a composer who never took his eye off the public. An excerpt from "The Rite of Spring" is included.

Entertainment Composers: Igor Stravinsky (03:36)

Stravinsky's "Symphony in C" is representative of his neoclassical period. An excerpt is included. The music serves as a backdrop to biographical narrative on the composer.

Entertainment Composers: Aaron Copeland (02:08)

Copeland's music was once considered "far from entertaining." An excerpt from Copland’s "El Salón México" is included.

Entertainment Composers: Michael Tippett (03:30)

Tippett’s "Double String Concerto" is an example of his pastoral style.

Philosopher Composers: Tone and Rhythm (04:48)

These composers like Anton Webern used tone rows, employing all 12 pitches of the chromatic scale. Melody and harmony could no longer be expected. An excerpt of Webern's music is included.

Philosopher Composers: Messiaen (03:31)

Messiaen spent most of his life as a church organist. Francis Grier plays "The Breath of the Spirit" from Messiaen’s "Pentecostal Mass."

Dream Composers: Stockhausen (06:00)

The versatility of technology appealed to the dream composers of the Fifties. Stockhausen moved from synthesized music to transforming existing sounds by electronic means. An excerpt from his trumpet piece "Aries" is included.

Dream Composers: Boulez (03:43)

In Paris at the Institute for Acoustic Music Research. An excerpt from Boulez’ atonal "Le Marteau sans maître" is included,

Dream Composers: Berio (03:50)

Berio's focus was to use the human voice in different ways. His "A-Ronne" is to the composer a "documentary for voice," En excerpt from "A-Ronne" is included.

Dream Composers: Gyorgy Ligeti (04:12)

Ligeti’s "Melodien" for chamber orchestra is a richly sustained and constantly transforming web of sound. An excerpt from this piece is included.

Dream Composers: Luigi Nono (02:12)

Nono's "La Fabbrica Illuminata" demonstrates the large expressive interval leaps that became a typical feature of his melodies. Underlying his music are political statements

Dream Composers: Hans Werner Henze (05:04)

Henze was also a politically mindful composer. He made his political statements with the utmost clarity, especially to express his sympathy with the poor and underprivileged. An excerpt from his overt anti-slavery "El Cimarrón" is included.

Composer John Cage (06:08)

John Cage, a poet and a visionary, describes the multiplicity of sounds that he hears when all is silent. An excerpt from Cage’s Improvisations "Songbooks" is included. James Galway plays a sprightly tune on a piccolo.

Credits: Today and Tomorrow (01:44)

Credits: Today and Tomorrow

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Today and Tomorrow

Part of the Series : Music in Time
DVD Price: $99.95
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Music of our time is harder to assess; we should remember that today’s war-horses were in their own time shockingly modern, and that contemporary audiences often spurned those whom we most venerate today. This program presents a broad cross-section of modern music and musical trends, leaving to listeners the guess as to which will be tomorrow’s classics. Contents include excerpts from: Lennon and McCartney’s When I’m 64; Varèse’s Ionization; Stravinsky’s The Firebird, Rite of Spring, Symphony in C; Copland’s El Salón México; Tippett’s Double String Concerto; Messiaen’s Pentecostal Mass; Stockhausen’s Kontakte; Boulez’ Le Marteau sans maître; Berio’s A-Ronne; Ligeti’s Melodien; Nono’s La Fabbrica Illuminata; Henze’s El Cimarrón; Cage’s Improvisations from "Songbooks." (58 minutes)

Length: 58 minutes

Item#: BVL730

ISBN: 978-0-7365-6341-3

Copyright date: ©1982

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