VPR Classical

Timeline: Minimalism

Apr 3, 2017
U.S. Public Domain

The music of the early 20th century was marked by increasing complexity and abstraction. Serialism and the chance practices of John Cage and his followers created an aesthetic that stood opposed to the Romanticism of the century before. In the '60s and '70s a counter-reaction began to emerge as a new group of young composers sought to free themselves from the strict rules of atonalism and serialism and embrace the simplicity of minimalism.

Courtesy of Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

World-renowned pianist Simone Dinnerstein sat down with VPR's Walter Parker for a live performance from VPR's Studio One to debut VPR's new Steinway concert grand piano.

Dinnerstein performed works from Philip Glass and Franz Schubert, and discussed working with young musicians and selecting the right instrument.

Every morning, for more than 75 years, American composer Elliott Carter would awaken and go to his studio to write music. Carter and his wife, Helen Frost-Jones, lived in the same apartment in Greenwich Village in New York, since 1945. He was one of the most prolific composers of the 20th century, composing over 40 works after the age of 90. Carter’s music encompasses many of the influences and styles that shaped the last 100 years of music.

James Stewart / VPR

Musical labels are useful. The title of a genre or style comes in handy in the record store, on the radio or for streaming services. But these labels can also be problematic and divisive.

James Stewart

In 1952, on a summer day in Woodstock, New York, pianist David Tudor held an outdoor recital of contemporary piano music. During this concert he premiered a new work by composer John Cage. For this performance, Tudor sat at the piano with the lid closed, keys covered for 4 minutes and 33 seconds, split into 3 movements. The results of this performance are still controversial to this day.

Troy's Jacob Dennison is the featured young musician for VPR Classical's Student Composer Showcase.

U.S. Public Domain

In the second half of the 20th century, technology evolved at an ever-increasing pace. The ability to capture a performance and manipulate recorded sound allowed musicians, artists and composers a freedom that they had never experienced before. It all started with the advent and adoption of magnetic tape.

U.S. Public Domain

As a composer, Aaron Copland desired to be as American in his music as Mussorgsky and Stravinsky were Russian. He was always interested in expressing his Inscape, the true emotions happening within him. His writings, music and instruction helped bring the rigor of the European tradition to American music and influenced a generation of composers.

VPR

VPR's Reuben Jackson returns to VPR Classical for a pre-Oscars celebration of the best in film scores. Music for films by Quincy Jones, Henry Mancini, David Amram, Stan Getz, and many more.

Broadcast Thursday, February 23 at 8 p.m.

U.S. Public Domain

His life embodied the American dream. Starting from nothing, he used his talents and musical intuition to build a fortune and an international reputation. George Gershwin’s music touched a diverse array of audiences and forms, from popular song to concerti to opera. In his short life he helped shape the future of American music.

VPR Classical Now Available In Stowe
Photo: blackred, iStock; Illustration: VPR

VPR Classical, Vermont’s 24-hour classical music network, is now available in Waterbury, Stowe, Morrisville and Hyde Park at 96.5 FM.

U.S. Public Domain

The modern American musical is usually associated with the “triple threat”, singing, dancing and acting. It is also the culmination of costume and set design utilizing resources and technology that would make Wagner jealous. The line that connects operas to musicals is a complicated one, influenced by shifting cultural tastes, commercial enterprise and a wide ocean.

Courtesy

It's easy to get backlogged on your resolutions, even this early in the year. Cellist Ben Kulp is getting his out of the way early, with a concert of works for solo cello that he has "meant to play for a long time." Ben shared what was behind programming each of these works, and his tips for getting your musical resolutions taken care of.

courtesy

Emily Sinnott is a senior at Harwood Union High School, and is this month's pick for the Student Composer Showcase.

U.S. Public Domain

Aaron Copland, Jean Franciax, Elliot Carter, Philipp Glass and Quincy Jones; what do all of these musicians have in common? They were all students of Nadia Boulanger. Nadia was a composer, conductor and teacher. For seven decades, out of her family’s flat in Paris, she taught some of the most influential composers of the 20th century.

U.S. Public Domain

Ralph Vaughan Williams spent 60 years in the public eye as a composer, conductor, professor and writer. His work set off a renaissance of English music in the 20th century.

U.S. Public Domain

Russian composer, Dmitri Shostakovich saw himself a Soviet man first and a composer second. He felt that it was his duty to compose music for his countrymen that reflected the heart of the Soviet ideal. He left behind 15 symphonies and 15 string quartets that stand as some of the most influential works of the 20th century.

Simone Dinnerstein
Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

World-renowned pianist Simone Dinnerstein performs on the new VPR Steinway concert grand piano, recorded live in VPR’s Studio One in Colchester.

VPR Classical's Student Composer Showcase highlights the work of talented young composers throughout the region. This month, we're going behind the music, to learn about the mentoring relationships that help this music come to life.

U.S. Public Domain

As World War II began to rage across Europe and the Pacific, communication technology had spread to most of the world. Radio and recording allowed a unified soundtrack of the conflict shared across continents and oceans. Both sides of the war began to practice the art of propaganda in an effort to inspire their people or demoralize their enemies. Music played an important role in this effort to control the hearts of the populace as each country strove to find their musical voice during the war.

Pages