In the early '60s, George Rochberg became dissatisfied with the restrictions of musical fashion, and began to revisit traditional tonality, at first by quoting Mozart and Bach in his music. But in his controversial Quartet No. 3 (1972), he wrote his own "19th-century music," so to speak, combining the language of high Modernism, angular and often atonal (the idiom of Elliott Schwartz's mercurial, virtuosic Bellagio Variations, also on this disc), with a ravishing theme-and-variations movement that seems to take up where Beethoven and Schubert left off. Rochberg sets these styles in opposition, much like a composer from an earlier time might have dramatically contrasted major and minor modes, and makes musical style itself an element for a composer to play with. (Rochberg's preferred analogy was to compare the difference between tonal and atonal music to the difference between representational and abstract art.)
By Justin Davidson on 01.16.15 in Features
She is no longer the goofy but serious alien girl with the long flowing hair; instead she’s a sage.
By Justin Davidson on 12.02.14 in Features
Justin Davidson examines the way recent solo cello albums by Alisa Weilerstein, Jeffrey Ziegler and Maya Beiser reinvent that wordless, eloquent voice.
By Ami Armstrong on 11.26.14 in Features
Stream the Punch Brothers documentary 'How to Grow a Band' this week.
By John Schaefer on 10.28.14 in Reviews
The interlocking rhythm patterns of Steve Reich, the micro-universe contained in the drones of La Monte Young, the hypnotic sounds of the German motorik bands of the '70s…these are a few of the straws I will grasp at in...