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What will be the enduring classical music from today?

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And now for something completely different...

I've started re-reading Harold Schonberg's The Lives of the Great Composers, and his intro casts doubt on the idea that our current classical music scene has an enduring pioneer.  I'm inclined to agree; much as I enjoy certain pieces by John Adams, Philip Glass, and Henryk Gorecki, I don't consider them on a par with Berlioz or Ravel, let alone the three Bs (Bach, Beethoven, Brahms).  Perhaps this is middlebrow of me, but I wonder if the music that will endure that was composed in my lifetime will be film music by the likes of John Williams, and a bit earlier, by Bernard Herrmann.

As far as personal favorites composed in my lifetime, I would say Adam's Nixon in China, Gorecki's Third Symphony, Philip Glass' Powaqqatsi, and Richard Einhorn's Voices of Light. 

I'd love to hear others' thoughts on this.

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Based on his ubiquity on soundtracks, it seems likely Arvo Part will endure. Here are a few other pieces that I think are great. I've been lucky to see nearly all of them performed with the composers in attendance at Big Ears over the years. Whether they'll endure, I don't know.

Music for 18 Musicians by Steve Reich
If I could save the work of only one late-20th/early-21st century composer it would be Reich. Honestly, I'd save his music before everyone from the classical and romantic eras too, but I'm a horrible person.

In C by Terry Riley
The other masterpiece of pulse-driven minimalism.

Anthracite Fields by Julia Wolfe
Winner of 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

Coming Together by Frederic Rzewski
Hearing Will Oldham perform this with Eighth Blackbird wrecked me.

The Sinking of the Titanic by Gavin Bryars
Also Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet.

The Little Match Girl Passion by David Lang
Or, just sample the music Lang, Wolfe, and Michael Gordon have written and performed as/with Bang on a Can.

In the Light of Air by Anna Thorvaldsdottir
Another tip: check out all of the composers International Contemporary Ensemble collaborates with.

Gay Guerrilla by Julius Eastman

Expecting the Main Things from You by Nico Muhly
Muhly's latest opera, Marnie, premiered at the Met a few months ago.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Darren H said:

Music for 18 Musicians by Steve Reich
If I could save the work of only one late-20th/early-21st century composer it would be Reich. Honestly, I'd save his music before everyone from the classical and romantic eras too, but I'm a horrible person.

Ha!  Thanks for giving me plenty of music to track down.  I know that Nico Muhly has also contributed film music here and there, including the score for Lonergan's fabulous Margaret.  He was also one of the subjects in the chapter on prodigies in Andrew Solomon's superlative, insight-rich book on out of the ordinary children and their parents Far from the Tree.

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