Chapter25 - Concise History of Western Music Fourth Edition...

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© 2010, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. By Barbara Russano Hanning Based on J. Peter Burkholder, Donald J. Grout, and Claude V. Palisca, A History of Western Music , Eighth Edition Concise History of Western Music Fourth Edition Chapter 25 The Changing World of Music Since 1945
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PRELUDE
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Prelude The tradition of performing classical music became stronger during postwar years Audiences grew. Government support increased. Schools of music expanded. Music education in public schools improved.
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Prelude Living composers shared fewer commonalities. Some tried to preserve particular aspects of tradition Others focused on the new Nationalism and neoclassicism were rejected. Every nation was subject to a wide diversity of styles and approaches.
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HEIRS TO THE CLASSICAL TRADITION
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Olivier Messiaen (1908–1992) The most important French composer born in the twentieth century An organist, he became professor of harmony at the Paris Conservatoire in 1941.
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Olivier Messiaen (1908–1992) His students after the war included: Pierre Boulez (b. 1925), France Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928–2007), Germany Luigi Nono (1924–1990), Italy Ton de Leeuw (1926–1996), the Netherlands
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Olivier Messiaen (1908–1992) Messiaen composed a variety of works, many on religious subjects. Vingt regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus (Twenty Looks at the Infant Jesus, 1944) for piano Saint Francis of Assisi (1975–83), an opera Numerous works for organ Turangalíla-symphonie (1946–48) Catalogue d’oiseaux (Catalogue of Birds, 1956–58), for piano
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Olivier Messiaen (1908–1992) Messiaen sought to embody an aesthetic of ecstatic contemplation. He presented concentrated meditation on a few materials. He juxtaposed static ideas rather than developing themes. He described his approach in The Technique of My Musical Language (1944).
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Quatuor pour la fin du temps (Quartet for the End of Time, 1941) Chamber work for violin, clarinet, cello and piano Written at a German military prison camp for performance by the composer and fellow prisoners
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Quatuor pour la fin du temps (Quartet for the End of Time, 1941) Liturgie de cristal (Crystal Liturgy), first movement The violin and clarinet play figures that suggest birdcalls. The cello constantly repeats a five-note sequence. Messiaen avoids movement toward resolution by repeating harmonies to create a sense of stasis or meditation. The piano plays a succession of twenty-nine chords six times.
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Liturgie de cristal, from Quatour pour la fin du temps
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Quatuor pour la fin du temps (Quartet for the End of Time, 1941) Rhythmic stasis Rhythms create a sense of duration, not meter. The piano and cello play a repeating series of durations that resemble the talea of medieval isorhythm. The piano has seventeen durations played ten times.
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Quatuor pour la fin du temps (Quartet for the End of Time, 1941) Messiaen preferred beautiful timbres, as heard in the high harmonics of the cello augmented by gentle birdcalls in the violin and clarinet set over soft dissonances in the piano.
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