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Time Within Space

Remembering Milton Babbitt, The Path Least Taken – At age 76, Milton Babbitt received his PhD from Princeton University for his thesis on 12-tone theory—an event in and of itself unremarkable, and one the composer himself hardly noticed. That it came forty-six years after the thesis’s submission makes it somewhat more intriguing. By way of explaining the delay, the university claimed its readers in the music department at the time had simply not understood it. Impossible to understand, unplayable, unimpeachably academic—such are the stigmas notching the years gone and criticisms leveled against Babbitt’s far-ranging oeuvre. Yet there are also listeners who, without comprehending the high math architecture of Babbitt’s music, have … [Read more...]

Night Gives Way to Day

Hymns to the Night, Tommie Haglund (Composer), Hannu Koivula (Conductor), Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra (Orchestra), Elizabeth Pitcairn (Violin) Label: Phono Suecia, ASIN: B003QF0J6Q, Release July 2010 – The Ich in Novalis’ lyrical cycle Hymnen an die Nacht embarks on the great journey inward—an inversion of the hero’s journey taken by Odysseus, Rama, and Zarathustra—to a great and eternal interior space where death gives way to eternal life as night gives way to day. Typically Christian in its appeal, yet also heterodoxical, the journey into the dark night and the world beyond are dynamic and ongoing personal creations, for, as Novalis observes, “in us or nowhere is eternity with its past and future worlds”. Such ideas found a place, … [Read more...]