Opus pocus ...
Have you seen these sites?
Some time has passed since we last visited the web especially to seek
out composers. It's now becoming quite difficult to evaluate all the information
online and sniff out the genuine and interesting proponents of the art.
One problem is that with so much help from computer-aided composition and
typesetting software for anyone that cares to try, it's never been easier
to tell the world -- 'I am a composer'. If you're tempted, then please first
read these wise words from Stravinsky (as quoted by Basil Ramsey) -- A composer is or isn't.
Many of the composers mentioned below are from the past. We can be sure
that they had no help from computers when creating their scores, and that
they didn't spend eight hours a day online, promoting their own music! (Read
Gordon Rumson on Self-promotion and the web).
There's a hungry drive to seek out the new, the forgotten or the unexplored
in music. It's on the increase (fuelled to a great extent by the web and
the visibility given to our collective online knowledge) and seems to be
an essential component of any form of musical promotion. Some of the sites
below contain a huge amount of information about their chosen subject ...
The world's first website about Austrian composer Joseph Marx (1882-1964)
-- a neglected master of late romantic impressionism: in German and English.
This site is quite a tome ... lots to read and listen to, and you can download
all the text to read offline, either in PDF format or as a huge web page.
Well worth exploring.
Romantic German composer Norbert Burgmüller (1810-1836) has been
largely forgotten. Dr Klaus Zehnder-Tischendorf's site provides details
of Burgmüller's life, works and circle, and again it's in German and
English, and rather comprehensive.
Gustav Hanns Strümpel (1855-1927) is a rather forgotten Russian
composer whose biography, photos, and works are on offer at the site below,
courtesy of Peter Sulman. Again, the information is in German, with most
of it also available in English translation.
Nigel Hall writes to invite us to visit the web site for a festival commemorating
one hundred years since the death of the organist, choirmaster and composer,
Sir John Stainer (1840-1901). The festival, at the end of March 2001, has
been and gone (sorry this is late, Nigel), but the site still provides some
Moving on now to those composers lucky enough to still inhabit this planet,
there's contemporary orchestral music by Michael Kelly -- 'MyStories' (and,
coming soon, 'MyStories 2') at the address below. The page links take the
visitor to various areas of the mp3.com empire, from where, presumably,
Mr Kelly hopes to make his fortune.
According to Jeremy Bines of Oxford University Press, Gerald Barry
(born 1952) is 'Ireland's clearest musical voice and an uncompromising provocateur'.
A pupil of Stockhausen and Kagel, Barry writes music which investigates
systems under stress, anarchy and dogma. You can read more at the link below,
including a catalogue of works, a discography and (now appearing increasingly
on composers' websites) a library of programme notes. There's also a link
to further information at the Irish Contemporary Music Centre.
Australian-born composer Malcolm Williamson (born 1931), studied with
Eugene Goosens and Elizabeth Lutyens, and is the UK's Master of the Queen's
Music. Paul Conway marks the composer's 75th birthday in a detailed online
tribute at musicweb.uk.net :
To discover more unknown composers deserving attention, have a look at
Kai Czepiczka's Unknown Composers site (once more in both English
and German versions), where Felix Draeseke, Louise Farrenc, Louis Moreau
Gottschalk, Igor Markevitch and William Wallace are all featured.
Tim Debrie's Classical Music Database lists compositions by (at the time
of writing) 3894 composers, with recommended works, performances and CDs.
There's also a directory of 41,943 composers with 129,300 links, so if you're
thirsting for more, then please surf on at your leisure ...
Finally, Walter Ekelins added the following to our links page: 'Walter
Ekelins hemsida om konstmusik av internationella, svenska och nutida tonsättare',
so we asked him to provide a translation of the Swedish ... The homepage
of Walter Ekelin about classical music by international, Swedish and contemporary
composers. Only in Swedish.
There -- mystery solved. We're waiting for an English translation of your
Copyright © 31 July 2001 Keith Bramich,
Stapleton, Herefordshire, UK
<< Music & Vision
your site Correspondence >>