Ghazaros (“Lazar”) Saryan – Passacaglia in Memoriam

I heard this work by Armenian composer Ghazaros (Lazar) Saryan on Performance Today yesterday, and it made an impression. I found it on YouTube and thought I would share it. [Read more…]

Happy Birthday, George Enescu

Romanian composer and violinist George Enescu was born on this day in 1881. To mark the occasion, I’ve shared his Symphony No.3 above. But he is best known for his Romanian Rhapsodies, and so if you are new to his music, or to 20th century orchestral music, that might be a more accessible introduction. Why not just go [Read More…]

Film Composer James Horner Has Died

The news has been breaking that James Horner has been killed in a plane crash. I’m a huge fan of film music – and always annoyed that one still needs to specify film music and apologize for it, as though the great composers of the era before motion pictures would not have composed in this genre. Goodbye [Read More…]

Václav Dobiáš Symphony No.2

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I Passed For White

I’m a big fan of John Williams’ compositions. He is most famous for composing the music for Star Wars, E. T., Superman, Indiana Jones, and many other such blockbusters. But, as “Johnny Williams,” he was already composing film scores in the 1950s. I learned recently that one of his earliest scores was for the movie [Read More…]

Bernard Herrmann – Symphony

Everyone knows at least something from Bernard Herrmann’s work as a film composer. His concert works deserve to be wider known than they are. [Read more…]

Ola Gjeilo – Sanctus

I confess I had not heard of Ola Gjeilo until the above video appeared on the blog Vaisamar. You can hear more by this contemporary composer on his website. [Read more…]

Erich Wolfgang Korngold – The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex Suite

Erich Wolfgang Korngold came to Hollywood from Vienna, bringing with him his own unique style born from a context shaped by Richard Strauss in particular. What you know as the typical sound of Hollywood film scores is in fact the style of Korngold. If you don’t know his music, you should! [Read more…]

Kurt Atterberg in Memoriam

On this day in 1974, Kurt Atterberg, one of my favorite composers, passed away. Since I recently shared his “Sinfonia Funebra” which might be more appropriate to the occasion, I’m sharing his Symphony No.8 which I have not shared previously. [Read more…]

Kurt Atterberg, Symphony No.2

Another recording of my favorite piece of music has appeared on YouTube, Kurt Atterberg’s Second Symphony. The opening and closing sections of the second movement take my breath away. [Read more…]