Contemporary Music

Today’s Music by Today’s Composers.

The twentieth century was, among other things, the century of communism. Many composers have wanted to write music in the spirit of this political system. But what was considered to be communist music, however, varied according to the region, era, and person.

Most communist music we find, of course, in the Eastern Bloc, where it was imposed by the government. Initially, communist art represented freedom and experiment, but Stalin radically changed that: labourers had to be able to understand art. We all know Shostakovich’s struggle with this. The lesser-known Gavriil Popov also had to deal with this dilemma. He had to withdraw his radical First Symphony soon after the premiere. In Popov’s Sixth Symphony from 1969, it is clear to hear how the party had restricted his music. Nevertheless, the dissonant combativeness from the earlier art still resounds in it.



Gavril Popov. A part of the sixth symphony. The USSR Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Edvard Tsjivzjel

Peter Schat. On Escalation for winds, percussion, and string quartet. The Nederlands Blazers Ensemble and Slagwerkgroep Amsterdam

Cornelius Cardew, pf in 3 pieces by Cornelius Cardew: The croppy boy, Father Murphy en Charge.

Luigi Nono. Sofferte onde serene uitgevoerd by Markus Hinterhäuder, pf.

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