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Andrea Marcon at the Library of Congress; and the perils of lists

August 28, 2006
Andrea Marcon
The Library of Congress has released its 2006-7 concert schedule, and I'm jumping up and down to see that the Venice Baroque Orchestra under Andrea Marcon is coming in February. (If you haven't heard their Vivaldi recordings, head to Amazon right away.) Plenty of other ear-watering stuff coming too, including the Beaux Arts Trio (Oct 7), the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (December 7), and Daniel Bernard Roumain (February 15), to name just a few.

lute1.jpgAnd if you're at all interested in early music and haven't seen the exhibit "Noyses, sounds, and sweet aires":  Music in Early Modern England at the Folger Theater, try to drop by soon. 

It's a modest but genuinely interesting show -- and it's only there until September 9.

The Post's chief critic Tim Page had a big spread in Sunday's paper listing the top works of the 20th Century ("20th-Century Music Gets a Bad Rap. Here Are 25 Reasons to Reconsider").

Take a look; it's aimed at people dipping their toes into these scary but fascinating waters for the first time, and includes thoughtful suggestions of works by Mahler, Janacek, Sibelius, Strauss, Busoni, Debussy, Schoenberg, Ravel, Orff, Bartok, Stravinsky, Berg, Copland, Revueltas, Shostakovich, Sondheim, Pettersson, Babbitt, Messiaen, Boulez, Stockhausen, Reich, Lucier, Britten, and Glass.

But of course it's a thankless task -- impossible to include the whole gang, and everyone with an interest in contemporary music will yell at you (Where's Ives? And Xenakis! What's Sondheim doing there?  It's too avant-garde! It's not avant-garde enough!).

And I have to say, it was a venal crime not to include Sofia Gubaidulina.

Missing: Sofia
But it's great to see so many people responding with their own enthusiastic suggestions, including (as of this morning): Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Webern, Ligeti (twice), Rachmaninoff, Carter (of course!), Shapey, Elgar, Enescu, Falla, Honegger,  Martinu, Prokofiev, Roussel (um ... Roussel?) and Szymanowski. And one reader took issue with the "dead white male " thing, pointing to a dozen female composers from Lili Boulanger to  Meredith Monk who should have made the cut.

Next week:  The top 100?  Let the yelling begin!   

Posted on Monday, August 28, 2006 at 11:56AM by Registered CommenterStephen Brookes | CommentsPost a Comment

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