Fun with Lists
In an as-yet (perhaps to remain) unpublished blog item, I’ve been facing my biggest dilemmas. One of them has always been the sheer quantity of stuff – music, books, films, ideas – that vies for my limited time on this plane. I’m not the most disciplined of people (another dilemma), but I have found that if I have a list to follow point by point, I can at least reduce my scope a little and get some things accomplished.
Recently, I’ve been exploring new(er) music from the 20th/21st century. Culling textbooks to establish some direction is tedious – and, unless you randomize the list, gets you into historicist thinking that isn’t part of my project. Instead, I have taken guidance from some lists compiled by others:
The Century List & Another Century List by Frank Oteri (editor of NewMusicBox)
– The first is subtitled “100 Reasons to Play This Century’s [sic] Music.” An interesting, wide-ranging list of works that could be radio-friendly if classical radio would loosen up some (or quite a bit in several cases).
Music Since 1960 by Tim Rutherford-Johnson (The Rambler)
– Each installment has come with a beautifully and effectively written appreciation. Read the recent post on Morton Feldman’s Rothko Chapel for a prime example. The Rothko Chapel is a meditative sanctuary of austere grace located here in Houston.
101 Essential Pieces of 20th Century Concert Music by Steve Hicken (listen.)
– The list, in a block paragraph at the foot of every page on the blog, has undergone recent revision. Also, Steve Hicken has recently added me to his blogroll. Many thanks!
The Postclassical Piano Repertiore List by Kyle Gann (Postclassic)
– As a (non-practicing) pianist, I love finding out about new piano works – especially from a corner of the rep. that doesn’t get much mainstream exposure. Scroll up to the previous post for some updates.