When working with young composers preparing a composition to be read for the first time by orchestral musicians, I have a very simple premise. The best shot a composer has at a successful premiere is to have:
excellent musical ideas, 2. cast within thoughtfully engraved parts.
This post is one of a series on composer Florence Price.
Below is a timeline of some of the major events of the life of Florence Beatrice Price with many linked sources allowing the reader to explore further.
I recently began contributing to Baltimore Magazine. Here's my first piece:
Wendel Patrick, “Let’s Ride”
The holidays get me thinking about sleigh rides, which, while they weren’t the inspiration for this track, still make me think of “Let’s Ride.” The vintage keyboard sounds alongside spicy drumbeats and clean electric guitars make this a perfect fit for our off-the-beaten-path sleigh ride. When you’re finished, check out some of Patrick’s other projects and collaborations, like the Baltimore Boom Bap Society and Bond St. District.
This is one of the most informative and educational videos on any musical topic that I have ever seen. Youtuber Vihart has condensed many hours of information into the densest half hour explainer on serialism one could imagine.
A year before my first Boulez performance, I wrote an essay about what it's like to listen to Boulez in 2009.
...upon repeated hearing, this music does indeed open itself up to the listener. It slowly, reticently yawns forth its secrets to the hearer in unexpected ways. His output is by no means monolithic either, with very thorny yet electric piano sonatas and sometimes breathless long-distance sprints like Sur Incises (cue the linked clip to 4:15 to hear this ‘long-distance sprint’), contrasted by eerily celestial portions of Pli selon Pli and the richly colorful ‘folds’ of the aforementioned Le Marteau.
The most obvious concrete benchmark for quality is the demonstration of compositional craft. Here are some elements and composers that can be recognized for their innovation and/or mastery.
In 2006, I wrote an analysis of the early orchestral works of Brahms. I revised it in 2011.
Johannes Brahms stands as one of the central-most figures of late 19th century German art music. Brahms was the first true successor to Beethoven in the symphonic tradition… many volumes have been devoted to cataloguing the significant melodic, harmonic, and formal features of his four symphonies. Fewer have been devoted either to the early orchestral works or to the rhythmic and metric techniques employed.