Musical anniversaries in 2022

January 3, 2022

There are a few notable musical anniversaries to celebrate this year. From a thorough list (Thanks again, Osbert) I have culled the following set:

Memorials

  • 10 years:
    • Richard Rodney Bennett
    • Elliott Carter
  • 50 years:
    • Havergal Brian
  • 350 years:
    • Heinrich Schutz

Birthdays

  • 100 years:
    • Iannis Xenakis
  • 150 years:
    • Alexander Scriabin
    • Ralph Vaughan Williams
  • 200 years:
    • Cesar Franck

As usual, I will structure some of my listening this year around these anniversaries. Franck’s music I do not know well, and it will be good to spend some time with his symphony and chamber music. Havergal Brian is the big, mad Englishman whose music has a genuine though maybe not entirely salubrious fascination; of his dozens of symphonies I’ll listen to at least a few. Schutz is a big name, but I struggle to love his music; time to give it another hearing.

But the big ones this year will be Vaughan Williams and Scriabin. The former is a favourite, and I’m greatly looking forward to spending lots of time with him: symphonies, songs, choral works, chamber music, even operas. Scriabin is more mercurial, but there are numerous famous recitals of his music by great pianists, and I’ll also give his orchestral music a try again, including the hyper-maximal, world-transforming Mysterium.

There is one birthday I will not be celebrating.

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