Paul Hindemith – Octet (1958)

Paul Hindemith was in the final stages of his creative output when he composed the Octet in 1957–58. By then, perhaps, he may have become embittered that the vanguard of contemporary music seemed to have spurned him after embracing him as “The Future” immediately following World War Two. He had done his stint at Yale […]

Ted Hearne – 23 (2005)

Ted Hearne is one of a dynamic group of young composers born since about 1980 whose music defies categorization. Having fully internalized the synthesis of popular music and intellectualism that started in the sixties with pieces like Terry Riley’s “In C,” they are tearing down the boundaries that divide pop, jazz, and avant-garde so freely […]

Katherine Hoover – Summer Night (1984)

Katherine Hoover is an established composer based in New York. First published in 1972, she has produced numerous works in a variety of genres with a particular emphasis on works featuring the flute. Commercial recordings of her music are widely available. “Summer Night” was originally a showpiece for flute, horn, and string orchestra. However, the […]

Igor Stravinsky – Septet (1953)

By 1950 the winds of two World Wars had whisked Igor Stravinsky and Arnold Schoenberg from their birthplaces thousands of miles apart. Like tumbleweeds they had buffeted thither and yon across the devastated landscape of Europe and the uncertain landscape of academe in the United States until Fate had finally deposited them a few miles […]

Claude Debussy – Sonata “No. 4” (2011)

At some point in early 1917, Claude Debussy (1862-1918) scrawled a note in the manuscript of his “Sonata No. 3” for violin and piano stating that his next sonata would be scored for oboe, horn, and harpsichord. Lamentably for the players of those instruments, and indeed everyone else, the cancer that was invading his gut […]

Vivian Fine – Songs and Arias (1990)

Vivian Fine (1913-2000) was one of the members of the Young Composers’ Group that also included Aaron Copland, Arthur Berger, Bernard Herrmann, Elie Siegmeister, and others. Her composing career spanned essentially seventy years from her professional debut in 1931 until her death in 2000. She was also a skilled pianist. In the 1930s she premiered […]

Yie-Eun Chun – Urban Polyphony (2013)

Ensembles with a core of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano surged in the twentieth century. Often called “Pierrot” ensembles, after Arnold Schoenberg’s masterpiece Pierrot Lunaire for these instruments, they commonly add one or more additional instruments, especially percussion. These reviews—at least initially—focus on pieces that add horn to some or all of the core […]

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