Do These Works Make a “Lasting Impression”?

(Thanks to Miranda Cuckson for pointing out this broadcast event. I was glad to see her recording of Ralph Shapey’s “Millenium Designs” made WFMT’s list! Purchase the recording here)

Today on WFMT, the station is featuring recent music as part of their “Lasting Impressions” program. The concept, a dozen panelists were each asked to name a work composed in the twenty-five years that they think will still be heard one hundred years from now. Here’s the list of chosen pieces:

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra Auld Swaara (1992) by Stephen Hartke
Mirage for Five Players (1990) by Shulamit Ran
Zwei Gefühle…, Music for Leonardo (1992) by Helmut Lachenmann
Momentum for Orchestra (1998) by Chen Yi
Harmonielehre (1985) by John Adams
Songs of Ascension (2008) by Meredith Monk
Millenium Designs for Violin and Piano by Ralph Shapey
Piano Concerto (2005-06) by David Rakowski
Anna Nicole, an opera in two acts (2008-10) by Mark-Anthony Turnage
Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ (1973) by Steve Reich
Requiem, Songs for Sue for soprano and chamber ensemble (2005-06) by Oliver Knussen
Concerto de Toronto by Leo Brouwer
Violin Concerto Concentric Paths (2005) by Thomas Ades

From the get go, notice that some of the panelists “break the rules,” including pieces up to forty years old. Surely one could have found more recent selections by Reich and Adams to include!

This is very different from a hypothetical list of my selections, but that is half the fun. Lists like these are conversation starters, not definitive prognostication.

In the comments section, feel free to share with us your lists of pieces from the last quarter century that will remain memorable in the distant future. The best list, chosen in entirely arbitrary fashion by yours truly, wins a mix CD compiled by yours truly.

2 thoughts on “Do These Works Make a “Lasting Impression”?

  1. I have to think that Lang’s Little Match Girl Passion will be performed for a long, long time. I can’t think of a piece of music that as affected me so profoundly in recent memory.

    I think the piano music of Ann Southam has the potential to continue on for quite a while, but I’m concerned about the number of people performing her music right now.

    I could come up with a few more works if you gave me 35 years instead of 25. :)

  2. One work I can say for certain – or at least that I hope – that will be performed for years to come is Gérard Grisey’s Vortex Temporum – such a fantastic piece! The descending ostinato in the piano in the second movement creates such an ominous atmosphere. The first movement is a workout for the players and certainly the conductor. It is such a shame he died so early. If you would like to know more, take at what Grisey has to say in his own words (also, the work is for flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, & piano – not voice & tape):

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