Sofia Gubaidulina’s “Fairytale Poem”: The Dreams of a Piece of Chalk

In her youth, the Soviet-Russian composer, Sofia Gubaidulina (b. 1931), was censured by the cultural authorities and urged to abandon her “mistaken path.” It was a path which led far from the conventions of Soviet Realism to explore 12-tone serialism, alternative tunings, and the improvisational Eastern influences of her native Tatarstan. With gratitude, Gubaidulina remembers her 1959 meeting with Dmitri Shostakovich in which the older composer said, “My wish for you is that …

Read more

Bach’s Musical Offering: The Ricercars

J.S. Bach’s monumental chamber music collection, Musikalisches Opfer (The Musical Offering), was inspired by a momentous meeting. It began on May 7, 1747 when Bach met Frederick the Great in Potsdam. At the time, J.S Bach’s son, Carl Philipp Emanuel, was employed as one of the Prussian King’s most prized musicians. Frederick gave the elder Bach a tour of his palace, showcasing his vast collection of instruments, among which was a novel new keyboard …

Read more

Send this to a friend