recommend me some good modern/experimental classical music

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you know, along the lines of Max Richter or something. I don't know jack about this genre.

Riot Gear! (Gear!), Thursday, 20 January 2005 21:08 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

if i understand what you're looking for: arvo part's 'tabula rasa' and 'alina' and john taverner's 'the protecting veil' and henryk gorecki's 'symphony no. 3' are the pieces that if i had to guess i would imagine that most influenced max richter. arvo part's two things up there are my favorite two pieces of music of all time.

firstworldman (firstworldman), Thursday, 20 January 2005 21:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

There's a lot of good choral stuff coming out of Scandanavia but plz don't ask me for a composer because I can't spell any of them.

(xpost Part and Tavener = TEH EXTREME HOTTTTTTNESS! Also, Frank Martin's Mass for Double Chorus)

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 20 January 2005 21:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Also, Herbert Howells wrote what might be the best church music of the 20th Century.

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 20 January 2005 21:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Except maybe for Britten.

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 20 January 2005 21:14 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

can you describe or given names of pieces for howells, dan?

firstworldman (firstworldman), Thursday, 20 January 2005 21:15 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

My friend Jeff Snyder:

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 20 January 2005 21:15 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Howells excelled at doing really great a capella choral music steeped in the English choral tradition; it's a little like Britten with tunes added in. The pieces in particular to search are the Requiem he wrote after his son died and "Take Him, Earth, For Cherishing", which was written to commemorate JFK after his death.

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 20 January 2005 21:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Be warned that Howells is much more on the "modern" side than the "experimental".

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 20 January 2005 21:20 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

thanks! i so rarely find quality classical music that i cherish every recommendation. also, xposting back to gear, don't know if this works for you but there are some very wonderful and beautiful bittersweet solo piano pieces by eric satie. in particular the gymnopoedies (sp?) and the gnossiennes.

firstworldman (firstworldman), Thursday, 20 January 2005 21:20 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

three good blogs:

alex ross

kyle gann (who's also been saying interesting things about the divide between rock and new music criticism, responding to teaching a class of undergrads)

really liking tim johnson:
most relevant to this thread, check out his 40 years of modern composition series.

(Jon L), Thursday, 20 January 2005 21:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

thanks for the warning, dan... but i actually don't care for much experimental classical other than a few pieces by penderecki and a female russian composer's name which escapes me... thinking of more here... the soundtracks that zbignew preisner did for kryzstof kieselowski's films would often fit this criteria... particularly 'song for the unification of europe' from the film blue

firstworldman (firstworldman), Thursday, 20 January 2005 21:23 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Sofia Gubaidulina

(Jon L), Thursday, 20 January 2005 21:27 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

that's the one that i couldn't think of : )

firstworldman (firstworldman), Thursday, 20 January 2005 21:29 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Some of the ones I like:

Arvo Part: Te Deum

Gorecki: Miserere

DougD, Thursday, 20 January 2005 21:31 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Meredith Monk's Dolmen Music does some amazing things with quite non-traditional vocals.

o. nate (onate), Thursday, 20 January 2005 21:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

apart from Max Richter this was one of the highest profile Modern Composition albums of 2004:

JOHANN JOHANNSSON - Viroulegu Forsetar

DJ Martian (djmartian), Thursday, 20 January 2005 21:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Steve Reich - Music for 18 Musicians is a must.

mcd (mcd), Thursday, 20 January 2005 21:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

weirdly I have four of the records mentioned so far, and I know shit all about this kind of thing really.

How's Johann Johannsson's 'Englaborn'? Does that fit in the genre here too? I've considered picking that up before.

itchy crabs, Thursday, 20 January 2005 21:52 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Part's "Magnificat" is also fantastic, as is his "De Profundis".

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 20 January 2005 21:59 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

A point I would like to make of all modern music scenes, the worst disseminated and documented must be "Post Classical" e.g

Avant Classical / Modern Composition / New composed experimental classical music, also there is a cross over scene to Hypnos type ambient/ space music

this FAQ is nearly 10 years old:


Post-classical music, as defined by this list, is music incorporating elements of classical structure and instrumentation thru relatively unconventional means. It is not meant to represent any specific genre or period of music, but rather a cross-section of musical styles loosely defined by the following criteria:

artists generally considered outside the classical genre but whom incorporate traditional classical components in a predominantly unconventional manner. Instrumentation may either be acoustically or electronically generated, but usually fused with another musical style.

artists generally considered within the classical genre but whom work outside the boundaries of traditional classical structure. Instrumentation is usually acoustically generated, but often by unconventional means.
In practice, there are several readily identifiable musical "genres" which fall under the post-classical heading, or overlap with it. These include musique concrete, minimalism, indeterminate and aleatoric composition, sound ecology, ambient and post-industrial musics, electro-acoustic music and several other areas. In general, "composed" music is post-classical while "improvised" music is not, but there are enough works that don't fit these tidy pigeonholes to ensure there's no precise boundary. More details can be found in section 10.

but can anyone direct me to a significant resource that tracks that finest Post-Classical albums of the past decade.

Reasons why this music is poorly documented:

a: music released on small self released labels or small indeopendents
b: different sub genre scenes: each with the own agenda, e.g

New Age
Ambient / space music
electro-acoustic music

also Academic scenes don't promote their music well, maybe because they don't have the financial resourcs for marketing budgets

DJ Martian (djmartian), Thursday, 20 January 2005 22:01 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Oh yeah, I played percussion for a performance of Magnificat in high school, it was good.

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 20 January 2005 22:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

hmmmm... arvo part being performed in high schools... must remember to make a donation to a music education program... that is really great to hear.

firstworldman (firstworldman), Thursday, 20 January 2005 22:10 (thirteen years ago) Permalink,,55010,.html

chuck, Thursday, 20 January 2005 22:26 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Chants Hymns & Dances by Gurdjieff and Tsabropoulos is pretty amazing, and came out in September of last year.

Jonathan (Jonathan), Thursday, 20 January 2005 23:20 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

that dolden disc was one of the things I started with about 3 years ago -- it wz released on an 'electroacoustic' label but it wants to be more than that. I have a few problems with some of what he says in the booklet notes (a lot of it sounds like grant begging) and some of his compositions (the way he incorporates improv doesn't do much for me) but 'veils' is pretty good primer for what he does (or what he did then) -- hundreds of microtonally tuned tracks of music overlaid one on top of the other -- he calls 'crash' music ('rocks', you know) but I don't remember it being that 'difficult' the last time I heard it. First time it was a bit from the black-hole tho'.

gear -- it depends what you're looking for: there's 10 recordings I listed on the thread below (and you will be shot did add a few more when I revived this a month ago) -- didn't have time to go into everything. and its classical recordings from just the last five years, comes from very diff places within the 'scene'.

Have there been any Great Modern Classical Record released so far this century?

yeah there is tons of classical that mimic some of the shapes you find on the same instrument in an improvised context - and some of the composers are improvisers too. and there are divisions but that can be overplayed -- ensemble moderne (and the smaller ensembles are where its at) work closely with composers, are indepedent and play reich as well as less accessible composers like rihm.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Friday, 21 January 2005 00:01 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

check dis: I went to a vintage clothing store and bought a tee shirt and the woman behind the counter gave me a free DVD promo thingy, which I took straight to Amoeba and traded in for this:

Riot Gear! (Gear!), Friday, 21 January 2005 00:17 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

There's a lot of good choral stuff coming out of Scandanavia but plz don't ask me for a composer because I can't spell any of them.

You're making me curious, Dan! Could you make an attempt at their names, and I'll try to contribute spelling?

OleM (OleM), Friday, 21 January 2005 09:58 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Thanks for the link, Milton!

I'm really liking Armenian composers at the moment. There was a CD of Mansurian out on ECM recently that got a bit of press (picked up some Grammy nominations), and any of the symphonies by Avet Terterian are fantastic, in a giant, isolationist/ambient soundscape kind of way.

If you fancy following up on the Postclassic tip DJ Martian mentioned above, then you could do worse than spend some time with Kyle Gann's Postclassic online radio: - mostly American stuff, mostly of a minimalist/experimental bent, and lots of it very very good indeed.

Tim Johnson, Friday, 21 January 2005 11:31 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Kurt Nystadt (Nystedt?) does some good choral music, from things suitable for high school choruses to ridiculously complicated things. Also, there was a guy who put this completely gonzo coda on Henry Purcell's "Hear My Prayer, O Lord" that turns a pretty striaghtforward 8-part baroque motet into a swooping, soaring crescendo of madness; I think his name was Sandstrom?

There's another guy whose name I can't remember at all who did a really great piece about wandering in the snow looking for God.

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 21 January 2005 14:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

OH! There's also this avant-garde piece for men's voices we did at a concert last year that I'm completely blanking on; I'll try to see if I can dig up the composer.

There's also a fantastic Requiem by Pizetti (obv not Scandinavian) that we did this fall and a setting of Petrarch's Sonnet 35 by Lars Johan Werle.

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 21 January 2005 14:22 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

An excellent source of information about contemporary "classical" music is

Elizabeth Anderson, Tuesday, 25 January 2005 14:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

oops... See especially their CD Reviews and Composers Forum blog.

Elizabeth Anderson, Tuesday, 25 January 2005 14:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink


Funny that should come from Dundee uni- there's been a bit of an upsurge in Scotland of the kind of muzikkz wot gets covered in The Wire!!!!

For example, I daw some jolly interesting stuff here in Sunny Glasgow!!!!!!! There was a particularly interesting piece called "Ghost In The Machine" by John Harris...

Old Fart!!! (oldfart_sd), Tuesday, 25 January 2005 18:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Louis Andriessen "De Tijd"
Kaija Saariaho "Du Cristal"
Kaija Saariaho ". . . A la fumée"
Giacinto Scelsi "Anahit"

Drew Daniel (Drew Daniel), Tuesday, 25 January 2005 19:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Giacinto Scelsi's "Anahit" seconded. One of the best violin concertos ever.

Salvador Saca (Mr. Xolotl), Wednesday, 26 January 2005 01:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I thought Max Richter was a surrealist film maker from the 20s/30s (who am I thinking of?) I saw a Max Richter CD yesterday for £2 - I should have bought it. I'll go and find out what exactly it was.

Dadaismus (Dada), Friday, 4 February 2005 13:00 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

You're thinking of Hans Richter.

NickB (NickB), Friday, 4 February 2005 13:03 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Ah! The CD was "Memoryhouse", I'm sure it's worth a go at £2 a pop.

Dadaismus (Dada), Friday, 4 February 2005 13:06 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Bought the Johann Johannsson cd after reading this thread - it's FANTASTIC. Thanks to those who recommended it.

Chris Hill (Chris Hill), Tuesday, 15 February 2005 15:08 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

Bump. I've caught this bug, which is on one hand strange, because I can't stand classical music, but on the other is completely normal but I love lush, poignant strings and seeping. So I don't have to go through and listen to everything already mentioned, can anyone reaffirm suggestions. Particularly stuff that sounds like Max Richter, or the John Cassavettes tributes by Ekkehard Ehlers or Keith Fulerton Whitman type stuff and what have you. To be honest, I find it hard to digest a lot of classical music proper, even Arvo Part, but yeah, anything beautiful is beautiful nonetheless.

mehlt, Friday, 7 March 2008 17:23 (ten years ago) Permalink

9 beet stretch

ian, Friday, 7 March 2008 17:35 (ten years ago) Permalink

Gavin Bryars/Philip Jeck/Alter Ego -- The Sinking Of The Titanic.

Daniel, Esq., Saturday, 8 March 2008 12:17 (ten years ago) Permalink

On the same LP as Sinking of The Titanic you can also find the orig recording of "Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet" which is... dope.

ian, Saturday, 8 March 2008 15:48 (ten years ago) Permalink

Jean Paul Dessy - Le Chant du Monde/Harmonia Mundi

Jena, Saturday, 8 March 2008 17:45 (ten years ago) Permalink

"4'33" by John Cage is the only thing within that genre that I can actually bear listening to at all.

Geir Hongro, Saturday, 8 March 2008 18:15 (ten years ago) Permalink


ledge, Saturday, 8 March 2008 18:16 (ten years ago) Permalink

nine years pass...

Didn't know which classical thread to revive, picked this one.

Just bought The Four Pillars Appearing from The Equal D under Resonating Apparitions of The Eternal Process in The Midwinter Starfield 16 VIII 10 (Kansas City), a piece for piano and electronics composed by Randy Gibson (who, obviously, is a student of La Monte Young) and performed by R. Andrew Lee. It's a three-CD set running about three and a half hours, and the whole thing uses just the seven D notes on the piano keyboard. I listened to some of it before buying it on Bandcamp (here's the link), expecting a LMY-esque shimmering cloud of sound, but in fact it's more like Ryoji Ikeda, or like someone trying to send a Morse code message using small gongs. It's really pretty amazing-sounding, and I can't wait to check out the whole massive thing.

Seth Colter Walls wrote about it for the New York Times; here's that link.

grawlix (unperson), Saturday, 17 June 2017 00:38 (one year ago) Permalink

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