After an unplanned blog hiatus, what better way to reenter than with the subject of rediscoveries — my story in Sunday’s Washington Post about neglected composers whose work is exhumed on CD, but not necessarily in the concert hall. (Though in fairness, some of the CDs I talked about — notably Kenneth Woods’s recordings of Hans Gal’s symphonies — were live recordings.)
I was struck by how many of the composers I wrote about were active in around the same period — born in the last couple of decades of the 19th century, active until the mid-20th (Alfredo Cassella, Albert Roussel, Hans Gal, George Templeton Strong, Alexander Zemlinsky, and the list goes on). This illustrates, I think, just how far World War II shattered a whole tradition, even for some composers who weren’t direct victims of it.
Above: The conductor Kenneth Woods discusses the neglected Viennese composer Hans Gal.
On a loosely related note (rediscovering old instruments...), Charles T. Downey wrote about the Westfield Harpsichord Competition , which takes place at the Clarice Smith Center this week. If you are suffering withdrawal after the Kapell Competition, here’s your chance to hear yet more keyboards.
And a roundup of a few recent reviews during what used to be a sleepy time of year: Charles T. Downey wrote about the harpsichordist Arthur Haas; the National Youth Orchestra of Canada; and, earlier in the month, The Rake’s Progess at Wolf Trap.. Earlier in the summer, Robert Battey covered the NSO@Wolf Trap, twice, though we did not review the live performance of West Side Story that Carla Broyles previewed in the Post. Cecelia Porter weighed in on a performance of the Washington International Piano Festival at Catholic University’s Benjamin T. Rome School of Music. And Patrick Rucker went to Evermay; to the Capitol Hill Chamber Music Festival; and to a performance by Urban Arias that he called “some of the best, most original musicmaking that I’ve heard inside the Beltway in a long time.”