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Steve Reich: Variations

It seems paradoxical, on the surface, to posit a kinship between his own aesthetic and one of the central pillars of Western tradition, for Reich has radically shaped how the contemporary world thinks about music and its function.

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Composer Portraits: Michael Gordon

From my studio I hear the resonance, a complex palette of ringing overtones which linger in the air for a few seconds and then disappear.

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Composer Portraits: Hannah Lash

When I’m trying to find out as much as I can about an idea, sometimes I feel a bit like a zoologist. I’m trying to figure out what kind of animal it is that I’m observing.

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Composer Portraits: Hans Abrahamsen

Schnee is an hour-long set of gradually crystallizing canons that are also musical portraits of snow: its flurries, how it blankets and blanks out the landscape, its delicacy, its cold.

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Composer Portraits: Iancu Dumitrescu

Regarding music as unrepeatable, Dumitrescu revises and adapts scores for each new performance and each new set of performers.

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Composer Portraits: Alex Mincek

The one constant is heat, usually generated by a fast pulse that is at once insisted upon and offset by bristling syncopations, metallic-electric.

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Composer Portraits: Ashley Fure

Sound starts with touch: air bumps air, hair rubs wire, fingers press and pull and pluck. And yet, classical instrumental technique tends to deemphasize the body behind the sound.

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Carnival of the Animals

The “Introduction and Royal March of the Lion” kicks everything off with anticipatory tremolos and glissandos before announcing the arrival of the lion with a miniature fanfare of chords.

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The Tallis Scholars: Christmas Across Centuries

Pärt treats each antiphon as a sort of choral miniature, allowing each its particular character.

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New York Polyphony: Songs of Hope

Overall, the polyphony is lean in texture, albeit intensely charged in points of dissonance.

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Haimovitz Plays Bach

In the early 21st century, it’s difficult to imagine the cello suites considered anything less than masterpieces, and yet in the not so distant past, they were treated simply as exercises.

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The Passion of Joan of Arc

The more intimate medium of five unaccompanied voices is particularly appropriate to the portrayal of a woman whose divine inspiration came in the form of the voices of [saints].

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