Piero Scaruffi's
History of Avantgarde Music

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Christian Revival

TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.

Eastern and northern Europeans developed a "sacred" version of minimalism that used Christian (not Indian) spirituality as a source of inspiration. Arvo Part (Estonia, 1935) with Tabula Rasa (1977) and De Profundis (1980), and Henryk Gorecki (Poland, 1933) with the Symphony 3 (1976), which is basically a requiem in disguise, and the Concerto for Harpsichord (1980), were the most influential. Per Norgard (Denmark, 1932) with his Symphony 2 (1970) and John Tavener (Britain, 1944) with Ikon Of Light (1984) and The Protecting Veil (1987) pursued similar endeavors.

Eastern Europeans also took atonal music to new heights. It eventually developed into a new language, tailored for monumental dimensions and emphatic masses of sound. Thus Witold Lutoslawski (Poland, 1913) with the Cello concerto (1970), the Symphony 3 (1983), the Symphony 4 (1992).

Serialism was downplayed in the "continuum" favored by Gyorgy Ligeti (Hungary, 1923) who studied at Cologne: Atmospheres (1961), the Requiem (1965), the Quartet 2 (1968), the Double Concerto (1972) and the opera Le Grand Macabre (1977) toyed with slowly-moving masses of sound. His was an art of intricate textures built out of meaningless elements. Atmospheres (1961) and the Requiem (1965) examples of almost total chromaticism, with little or no regard for melody and harmony.

Thus Krysztof Penderecki (Poland, 1933) with the Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima (1960), San Luke Passion (1965), the Polish Requiem (1983). Thus Alfred Schnittke (Russia, 1934) with the Requiem (1975) and the Concerto grosso 3 (1981).


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TM, ®, Copyright © 2004 Piero Scaruffi. All rights reserved.