It was a time of list-making and so they made a list–the most important new musical works of an otherwise shitty, miserable decade.  I’ll begin:

1.  La Pasión según San Marcos (2000) Osvaldo Golijov

5. The Little Match Girl Passion David Lang

10. Paradiso Jacob ter Veldhuis

Your turn.

Update 1:

3. September Canons (2002) Ingram Marshall – An incredibly powerful 9/11 remembrance made transcendent by Todd Reynolds’ performance.

17 thoughts on “Sequenza21 Best of the Decade”
  1. Here’s my list, a shortened version for now, but it’s a start:

    Kevin Volans: String Quartet Nos.6 (2000) and 9 (2004), trumpet, vibes, ‘cello, piano (2008), Atlantic Crossing (piano concerto no.2)(2005)
    David Toub, mf (thank for the props above, Dude!)
    Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen: Concerto Grosso (rev. 2003 (or so))
    John Adams: Son of Chamber Symphony
    Steve Reich: Dance Patterns (2004), Double Sextet (2007), Variations for Vibes, Pianos and Strings (2004)

    I’ll think of others later…

  2. it’s hard to make a best of the last ten years… I’m sure many things will come to my attention that I haven’t yet heard, but here are my current favorites (in no particular order):

    Luc Brewaeys – Fiore con Bocca (opera)
    Phillipe Leroux – Voi(rex) (chamber ensemble)
    Helmut Lachenmann – Concertini (large ensemble)
    Concerto for Baritone Sax and Orchestra – G.F. Haas
    Gyorgi Ligeti – Hamburg Concerto
    Anders Hillborg – Brass Quintet
    John Luther Adams – for Lou Harrison (mixed ensemble

  3. Orchestral:
    Robert Erickson:Auroras New World
    Ge Gan-ru :Chinese Rhapsody BIS
    John Adams: Dharma and My Father Nonesuch
    John Adams: Dr. Atomic and Guide Nonesuch
    John Adams:Transmigration
    Steven Mackey: Tuck and Roll RCA
    Kamran Ince:Symphonies 3&4,Domes Naxos
    Zhou Long:Rhymes BIS
    Mark Applebaum: Martian Anthropology Innova
    Evan Ziporyn: Frog’s Eye Canteloupe
    David Rakowski: Winged Contraption BMOP
    Elliot Schwarts: Voyager Albany
    David Ward-Steinman: 3 Concerti Fleur De Son
    Christopher Rouse:Rapture etc.,Ondine
    Philip Glass:Symphony no.8 OrangeMountain
    Michael Daugherty:UFO Naxos
    Margeret Brouwer: Aurolescent Cycles Naxos
    John Cage:The Seasons ECM
    Reza Vali:Flute concerto,etc Naxos
    John Adams:Century Rolls Nonesuch
    John Adams Naive and Sentimental Music Nonesuch
    Steven Mackey:Deal and Banana Dump Truck Albany
    Mackey and Bolcom Sax quartet concertos Innova
    Michael Daugherty: Metropolis and Deux Naxos
    Joseph Schwantner:Orchestral works Hyperion

    Chamber and mixed chamber and orchestral:
    Mark Applebaum: Sock Monkey Innova
    Ge Gan-ru: Lost Style New Albion
    Ingram Marshall:September Canons Nonesuch
    Steven Mackey:Heavy Light New World
    Chinary Ung 7 Mirrors New World
    George Crumb: Volume Six Bridge
    C. Curtis-Smith GAS Albany
    Mario Davidovsky:Three Cycles Bridge
    Robert Carl Innova
    Kamran Ince:In White Innova
    Robert Moran Innova
    Tan Dun: Water Passion Sony
    Ingram Marshall: Kingdom Come Nonesuch
    Philip Glass:Orion Orange Mountain
    Steven Hartke:Clarinet concerto,etc Naxos
    Robert Erickson:Pacific Pacific Sirens New World
    Terry Riley:Cusp of Magic Nonesuch

    Cd’s ididn’t hear that would be on this list:
    Derek Bermel Voices BMOP
    Michael Daugherty:Fire and Blood Naxos
    Philip Glass :Toltec Symphony Orange Mountain
    Fred Lerdahl Orchestral works Bridge

    Composer sets:
    Henry Brant Collection:Innova
    George Crumb Collection:Bridge
    Leonardo Balada Naxos
    Bright Sheng Naxos and Bis

    This is not even complete
    It’s been quite an amazing decade for American contemporary music.

  4. Ligeti – Hamburg Concerto
    Beat Furrer – FAMA
    Georg Friedrich Haas – In Vain
    Carter – Dialogues
    Wolfgang Rihm: Jagden und Formen

    i am forgetting a lot of wonderful pieces. I know I am.

  5. My list kind of got out of hand. Sorry. There really was a lot of great music these past ten years. I urge you to check out anything you haven’t heard; a number of these pieces are sadly unavailable commercially but can be found on composers’ websites or by contacting publishers. Anyway, with no pretension to objectivity, here’s my 20 favorite “classical” compositions (whatever that means) of the decade, in alphabetical order by composer. Read it now; I will probably change my mind tomorrow.

    John Adams: Guide to Strange Places (2001) for orchestra
    John Luther Adams: Dark Waves (2007) for orchestra and electronics
    Richard Ayres: No. 37B (2006) for orchestra
    Oscar Bettison: O Death (2005-07) for six players
    Sir Harrison Birtwistle: The Shadow of Night (2001) for orchestra
    Elliott Carter: Boston Concerto (2002) for orchestra
    Sebastian Currier: Static (2003) for pierrot ensemble
    Tansy Davies: Tilting (2005) for orchestra
    Donnacha Dennehy: Bulb (2006) for piano trio
    Cenk Ergun: A Pig In Hell (2001) for chamber orchestra and CD
    Michael Gordon: Dystopia (2007) for orchestra
    Georg Friedrich Haas: In Vain (2000) for large ensemble and electronics
    Bryn Harrison: Four Cycles (2002-05) for chamber orchestra
    David Lang: Men (2001) for ensemble
    Marc Mellits: Brick (2005) for orchestra
    Andrew Norman: Unstuck (2008) for orchestra
    Michael Nyman: Love Counts (2005) opera
    Steve Reich: Variations for Vibes, Pianos and Strings (2005) for, well, you know
    Esa-Pekka Salonen: Foreign Bodies (2001) for orchestra
    Kevin Volans: Trio Concerto (2005)

  6. Frankly, “important” I’m finding a bit of a stretch for just about anything. I suspect most of the lists above are just personal favorites of the listmakers. Hard to make a case for the importance of much, especially while we’re still in said decade. I’d say we need to be at least a decade removed before making any calls as to anything’s (if anything’s) importance.

    After all, lots of “important” works of the 1930s and 1940s and 1950s and 1960s and 1970s turned out to be… not terribly important, in retrospect. I’d be more interested in looking at what everyone thinks are – now that we have some perspective – the most important works of the 90s.

    That said, since the call was for “new musical works” without mentioning genre, I’ll side with Kid A & Amnesiac as being more “important” than anything listed above.

    As to what I liked… well that’s here….

  7. John Adams: On the Transmigration of Souls (2002)
    John Corigliano: Symphony #3, “Circus Maximus” (2006)
    Michael Gordon: Decasia (2001)
    Osvaldo Golijov: Ayre (2004)
    Johnny Greenwood: Popcorn Superhet Receiver (2008)
    David Lang: The Little Match Girl Passion (2007)
    Kaija Saariaho: L’Amour de Loin (2000)

  8. I’m humbled-thanks, Paul.

    Here’s my list:

    Charlemagne Palestine: From Etudes to Cataclysms
    John Prokop: New England, Late Summer (2003)
    Mary Jane Leach: Xantippe’s Rebuke
    Michael Gordon: Trance IV
    Paul Bailey: retrace our steps
    Kraig Grady: Beyond the Windows Perhaps Among the Podcorn
    Dave Seidel: A Door Into Spring
    Samuel Vriezen: 20 Worlds
    Jukka-Pekka Kervinen: but as nothing (Canon #5)
    Steve Reich: Double Sextet

  9. Paul,

    Thanks for including URLS to listening links. One of the things that’s terrific about this site is that these type of discussions always gives one new pieces to seek out!

    I think Part and Liederman were terrific additions!

  10. some highlights for me:

    Julian Anderson: Book of Hours
    Georges Aperghis: Avis de Tempete
    Pierluigi Billone: Mani de Leonardis
    Unsuk Chin: Alice in Wonderland
    Michael Gordon: Decasia
    Georg Friedrich Haas: in vain
    Philippe Hurel: Loops I-IV
    Fred Lerdahl: Time After Time
    Beat Furrer: Fama
    Jonathan Harvey: Bird Concerto with Pianosong
    Bernhard Lang: I Hate Mozart
    Mauro Lanza: Aschenblume
    Philippe Leroux: Voi(rex)
    György Ligeti: Hamburg Concerto
    Benedict Mason: felt|ebb|thus|brink|here|array|telling
    Tristan Murail: Le lac; Terre d’ombre
    Wolfgang Rihm: Jagden und Formen
    Fausto Romitelli: An Index of Metals; Professor Bad Trip Lesson 3
    Marco Stroppa: Miniature Estrose, book I

    (I hope I don’t catch flack for going with Bernhard instead of David here)

  11. Hey there’s a Haas in there, good! And I’m including 2000, since we haven’t actually completed 2010 yet. Same as Matthew — nobody can say what’s the “greatest”; but these all stick in my ear and mind, and make me keep coming back to listen again and again:

    Evan Ziporyn: Pondok (2000); Ngaben (2003)

    Michael Gordon: Decasia (2001)

    Georg Friedrich Haas: Natures Mortes (2003)

    Andrew Violette: Rave (2001-03)

    Jürg Frey: String Quartet #2 (1998-2000)

    Jorge Liderman: That is already… (1999, but I don’t think premiered until the 00s)

    María Cecilia Villanueva: Intonso (2001)

    Paul Dolden: Entropic Twilights (1997- 2002)

  12. I’m not sure whether these qualify as the most important musical works for 2000-2009, but these are some of my favorites, in no particular order:

    Thomas Adès – Concentric Paths (Violin Concerto)
    Einojuhani Rautavaara – Manhattan Trilogy
    Kaija Saariaho – Orion
    Per Nørgård – Symphony No. 7
    Beat Furrer – Konzert für Klavier und Orchester
    Georg Friedrich Haas – In Vain
    Lera Auerbach – Requiem for Icarus

    Given another 10 years to reflect on this decade, I might generate a completely different list. It may have been a shitty decade by some measures, but it was amazing musically.

  13. Are we counting the new decade from 2010? That brings us back to the whole 2000 vs 2001 question

    John Adams On the Transmigration of Souls and Dr. Atomic
    Elliott Carter Boston Concerto and Dialogues
    I agree with Jerry about David Lang’s Little Match Girl Passion … would also nominate Lachenmann’s Little Matchgirl
    David Rakowski’s Piano Concerto
    Phil Kline’s John the Revelator
    Oliver Knussen Songs for Sue

    I’m sure I’m forgetting some … there’s been a lot of fine music this decade!

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