1926, vol. 14: Webern, Milhaud, Poulenc

Of all early Modernism, it’s Anton Webern’s music that’s most abstract and challenging. Introducing this music in the foreword to his six-CD set of the composer’s complete works, Pierre Boulez speaks of the “purity” of Webern’s “asceticism.” […] Click here to continue reading a transcript of this podcast.

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Shop for CD Recordings Recommended on This Episode:

Webern, Two Songs op. 19
Webern, Two Songs op. 19
Milhaud, Le Carnaval d’Aix
Milhaud, Le Pauvre Matelot
Milhaud, Le Pauvre Matelot
Milhaud, Le Pauvre Matelot
Poulenc, Chansons Gaillardes
Poulenc, Trio for Oboe, Bassoon, and Piano
Poulenc, Trio for Oboe, Bassoon, and Piano

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AYICM: 1926, vol. 14

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2 Responses to 1926, vol. 14: Webern, Milhaud, Poulenc

  1. Comment by William Block made on October 22, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Hi Brian

    I have been rereading some of the earlier podcasts and was impressed with how well they were written. I have taken your comments on Rachmaninoff from Vol. 12 and printed them out to have on file for future reference. I also came upon a video on Rachmaninoff called “Harvest of Sorrow” on Youtube” that is wonderfully done with vintage film of the composer himself but alas none of him actually playing the piano.
    I have listened to Webern’s String Trio and have to confess that my limited intellect does not connect with his aesthetic view. I know there must be something there because the very “cerebral” Glenn Gould liked much of Webern’s music and recorded some of it. I’m always amazed at the discipline and skill of performers who are able to negotiate his scores with any degree of artistry and panache. My humble impression is that it is 99% cerebral and comes across as unconnected fragments. There may be some emotion but there is no joy. It reflects the nihilistic view of life prevalent at the time.
    Darius Milhaud’s music has a facility and wit that makes it quite charming if a little superficial. I agree the “Carnaval d’Aix deserves more performances, but the plot of “Le Pauvre Matelot” is distressingly morbid. Poulenc’s Trio is thoroughly delightful, the epitome of French wit.
    A comprehensive review of 1926! Well done.
    William Block

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