Harrison Birtwhistle’s new disc

22 December 2011

Listening to radio 3’s CD Review, they discuss a new disc of Harrison Birtwhistle recordings including Night’s Black Bird. Coming in half way through I thought it must be Schoenberg or Berg, before the presenter identified it – the music has that same otherworldly intensity and weirdness, ominous orchestral colours and sudden stabbing chords. Striking how the second Vienna school created a new system, a new sound amidst the collapse of the Western harmonic tradition, which so dominated and dominates ‘serious’ music even to the present day, 100 years later.

Birtwistle: Night’s Black Bird / The Shadow of Night / The Cry of Anubis

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