1951 The Korean War continues: UN forces supporting South Korea establish a front north of the border; truce talks begin • Winston Churchill is re-elected as British Prime Minister • Egypt rejects Anglo-Egyptian agreement on Suez Canal • King Abdullah of Jordan is assassinated in Jerusalem • India-Pakistan dispute over Kashmircontinues; Prime Minister Ali Khan of Pakistan is assassinated • Electricity is produced by atomic energy in the USA • The Comet, first jet airliner, is developed in Britain • Pablo Picasso (Sp) paints Massacre in Korea • Hannah Arendt (Ger/US): The Origins of Totalitarianism • J. D. Salinger (US): The Catcher in the Rye
Britain’s King George VI dies and is succeeded by Elizabeth II • Vincent Massey becomes the first Canadian governor-general of Canada • Jawaharlal Nehru becomes first elected prime minister of India • Coup d’etat in Egypt: constitution of 1923 is abolished • Former president Fulgencio Batista of Cuba returns to power and establishesa brutal dictatorship • Mau Mau uprising against British rule in Kenya (until 1960) • Greece and Turkey join NATO • Willem de Kooning (Neth/US) paints Woman I • Lucian Freud (Ger/UK) paints Francis Bacon portrait • Ernest Hemingway (US): The Old Man and the Sea • Samuel Beckett (Ire): Waiting for Godot
Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes 34th President of the USA • Egypt becomes a republic • In the USSR, death of Stalin leads to a struggle for power: Georgy Malenkov becomes Premier (until 1955); Nikita Khrushchev becomes First Secretary • Korean War ends • Josip Tito becomes first president of Yugoslavia • Francis Crick (Eng) and James Watson (US) discover the structure of DNA • Edmund Hillary (NZ) and Tenzing Norgay (Nep/lnd) make the first successful ascent of Mount Everest • Francis Bacon (Ire) paints Study after Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X • Mark Rothko (Latvia/US) paints Homage to Matisse • Arthur Miller (US): play The Crucible
The Western European Union is formed • Colonel Gamel Abdul Nasser becomes premier of Egypt • France recognises independence of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam; the Communists and French agree to evacuate South Vietnam and North Vietnam respectively • French government sends 20,000 troops to Algeria to quell nationalist revolt • US Supreme Court declares racial segregation unconstitutional • Medical student Roger Bannister (Eng) runs the first under-four-minute mile • Film: The Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa; Jap) • Dylan Thomas (Wal): Under Milk Wood radio play • William Golding (Eng): Lord of the Flies • J. R. R. Tolkien (Eng): The Fellowship of the Ring
British prime minister Winston Churchill resigns; succeeded by Anthony Eden • West Germany becomes a member of NATO • The USSR creates the Warsaw Pact organisation as rival to NATO • In Algeria, independence fighters protesting against French rule carry out sabotage and killings • Violence breaks out in Cyprus over unionwith Greece • South Vietnam is proclaimed a republic • An uprising in Argentina results in the resignation and exile of President Juan Peron • Bandung Conference: First major conference between African and Asian states held in Indonesia • Lynn Chadwick (Eng) sculpts Winged Figures • Tennessee Williams (US): play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe
Arthur Asher Miller (October 17, 1915 – February 10, 2005) was an American playwright, essayist, and a major figure in the twentieth-century American theater. Among his most popular plays are All My Sons (1947), Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953) and A View from the Bridge (1955, revised 1956). He also wrote several screenplays and was most noted for his work on The Misfits (1961). Miller was often in the public eye, particularly during the late 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s. During this time, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama; was married to Marilyn Monroe.
John Cage experiments with what he terms ‘chance operations’ in Sixteen Dances for chamber ensemble and percussion.
John Cage: Sixteen Dances for Soloist and Company of Three, for flute, trumpet, 4 percussionists, piano, violin and cello.
I. - II. [01:29] - III. [05:39] - IV. [07:45] - V. [10:22] - VI. [12:42] - VII. [15:52] - VIII. [19:40] - IX. [23:21] - X. [27:09] - XI. [30:08] - XII. [32:38] - XIII. [35:24] - XIV. [36:56] - XV. [43:47] - XVI. [46:43]
Irene Angelino, flauto
Marco Toro, tromba
Giancarlo Simonacci, pianoforte
David Simonacci, violino
Marco Simonacci, violoncello
Ars Ludi Percussion Ensemble diretti da Gianluca Ruggeri.
Morton Feldman incorporates indeterminacy in Intersection 1, for orchestra, piano and cello, and in Projection 2 for flute, trumpet, violin, cello and piano. Projection 2 is one of the earliest works to include graphic notation.
Morton Feldman - Projection 2, for flute, trumpet, violin, cello & piano
Frank Denyer, piano
Morton Feldman - Intersection I
Realization by Samuel Clay Birmaher
Olivier Messiaen composes his Livre d’orgue (Organ Book).
Messiaen - LIVRE D`ORGUE MANUAL FOR THE ORGAN
Ralph Vaughan Williams’s ‘morality’ The Pilgrims Progress is first staged at Covent Garden.
The Pilgrim's Progress is an opera by Ralph Vaughan Williams, based on John Bunyan's allegory The Pilgrim's Progress.
Ralph Vaughan Williams - The Pilgrims Progress
BBC Radio Classics version
Igor Stravinsky directs the eagerly awaited premiere of his chamber opera The Rake’s Progress (1950) at the Teatro La Fenice, Venice. Dismissed as archaic by some, Stravinsky’s final neoclassical work becomes one of the most often performed operas of the 20th century.
Igor Stravinsky: The Rake's progress
cond. Kent Nagano
director: Alfredo Arias
Tom Rakewell - Jerry Hadley
Ann- Dawn Upshaw
Nick Shadow - Samuel Ramey
Baba the turk - Victoria Vergara
Trulove - John Macurdy
Mother Goose - Joan Khara
Selem - Steven Cole
Pierre Boulez pushes the boundaries of serialism at the Donaueschingen festival with his prickling, twisting Polyphonie X for 18 solo instruments. Not satisfied with his creation, he withdraws the work.
Pierre Boulez - Polyphonie X
Benjamin Britten returns to themes of alienation and the sea in his psychological opera Billy Budd, introduced under his own baton at Covent Garden. The libretto, based on Herman Melville’s tale, has been co-authored by E. M. Forster and Eric Crozier. Revisions bring the four-act opera into its final two-act form in 1960.
Britten - Billy Budd
The 1966 television recording of Britten's opera, with Peter Pears, Peter Glossop, Michael Langdon, John Shirley-Quirk, Bryan Drake, David Kelly, Kenneth MacDonald et al, Ambrosian Opera Chorus, LSO, conducted by Charles Mackerras
Amahl and the Night Visitors (1951)
Ash Lawn Opera - performed at the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, Virginia, 2013
Georges Auric composes the music to John Huston’s film Moulin Rouge.
Georges Auric: music from Moulin Rouge
Georges Auric: Main & End Title music from Moulin Rouge (1953). Conducted by Lambert Williamson.
Pierre Boulez completes his Structures book I for two pianos. His pointillistic Structures Ia is one of the most pure examples of integral serialism ever written, with serial technique rigorously applied to pitch, duration, dynamics and attack.
Pierre Boulez - Structures I & II
Premier livre (1952)
Deuxième livre (1961)
Alfons Kontarsky, piano - Aloys Kontarsky, piano
Karlheinz Stockhausen: Konkrete Etude
Stockhausen's first "Musique concrète" piece realized in Pierre Schaeffer's studio in Paris.
Hans Werner Henze, aged 25, sees his serially constructed one-act Boulevard Solitude introduced at the Hanover Opera. Henze’s first opera, a modern adaptation of the Manon Lescaut story, attracts wide international attention.
Hans Werner Henze - Boulevard Solitude
Sergei Prokofiev delights the Soviet authorities with his nostalgic Symphony No. 7, premiered in Moscow. Outside of Russia, critics are disparaging. This year also sees the completion of Prokofiev’s opera War and Peace in its final version.
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 7 in C-sharp minor, Op. 31
New York Philharmonic
MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH, cond.
Avery Fisher Hall, New York City, April 27-30, 2005
Leonard Bernstein – Trouble in Tahiti.
Trouble in Tahiti is a one-act opera in seven scenes composed by Leonard Bernstein with an English libretto by the composer, dedicated to Marc Blitzstein. It is the darkest among Bernstein's "musicals", and the only one for which he wrote the words as well as the music. The opera received its first performance on 12 June 1952 at Bernstein's Festival of the Creative Arts on the campus of Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Leonard Bernstein – Trouble in Tahiti.
Sam: Quirijn de Lang
Dinah: Wallis Giunta
Trio: Fflur Wyn, Joseph Shovelton, Nicolas Butterfield
Junior: Charlie Southby
Music: Leonard Bernstein
Text: Leonard Bernstein
Conductor: Tobias Ringborg
John Cage forces his audience to re-evaluate their conceptions of music with 4'33''at the aptly named Maverick Concert Hall in Woodstock (NY). David Tudor, with a score and stopwatch, sits at a piano and closes the lid. Soon he opens it; he closes it; he opens it; he closes it ... all the while turning the pages of the score. He raises the lid one last time, and leaves. Some of the audience have done so already.
John Cage - 4'33"
Performance by William Marx
In Los Angeles Igor Stravinsky conducts the first performance of his Cantata, scored for soprano, tenor, female chorus and instrumental ensemble.
Igor Stravinsky - CANTATA
For soprano, tenor, female chorus and instrumental ensemble. TO THE ANONYMOUS TEXTS OF ENGLISH POETRY, XV-XVI CENTURIES.
Cellist and dedicatee Mstislav Rostropovich introduces Sergei Prokofiev’s Symphony-Concerto for cello and orchestra, in Moscow.
Sergei Prokofiev - Symphony-Concerto op. 125
The Orchestra of the University of Music, Weimar
Conductor: Professor Nicolás Pasquet
Cello: Emanuel Graf
Henry Cowell looks to his American-Irish roots in his Symphony No. 7 for small orchestra, first performed in Baltimore.
Henry Cowell: Symphony No.7
Wiener Symphoniker diretti da William Strickland.
Karlheinz Stockhausen composes Elektronische Studien I, the first composition of pure electronic music. His second study follows in 1954.
Karlheinz Stockhausen - Studie I
Studie I, electronic music
Sir John Barbirolli conducts the first performance of Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Symphony No. 7 (Sinfonia Antartica), in Manchester. Scored for wordless soprano, chorus and orchestra, the work derives from the composer’s film score to Scott of the Antarctic (1948).
Vaughan Williams - Sinfonia Antartica (Symphony N°. 7)
00:00 1. 1st Movement: Prelude- Andante maestoso*
10:13 2.. 2nd Movement: Scherzo- Moderato
16:42 3. 3rd Movement: Landscape- Lento (Malcolm Hicks, organ)
27:41 4. 4th Movement: Intermezzo- Andante sostenuto
33:27 5. 5th Movement: Epilogue- Alla marcia, moderato (non troppo allegro)
Sheila Armstrong, soprano
London Philharmonic Choir
(Chorus master: Richard Cooke)
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by Bernard Haitink, 1985
Elliott Carter draws attention with his String Quartet No. 1, introduced in New York.
Elliott Carter - String quartet No.1
Juilliard String Quartet
I. Fantasia: Maestoso
II. Allegro scorrevole (13:16)
III. Variations (26:46)
Sergey Prokofiev dies of a brain haemorrhage near Moscow, aged 61. In the days following, no flowers are available for the composer’s coffin; all the florists have sold out for the funeral of his chief persecutor, Joseph Stalin, who died the same day.
Benjamin Britten’s opera Gloriana, celebrating the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, is presented with appropriate pageantry at Covent Garden, London. The production fails to impress.
The world premiere in June 8, 1953, London
Queen Elizabeth I - Joan Cross
Earl of Essex - Peter Pears
Lady Essex - Monica Sinclair
Lord Mountjoy - Geraint Evans
Lady Rich - Jennifer Vyvyan
Sir Robert Cecil - Arnold Matters
Sir Walter Raleigh - Frederick Dahlberg
Henry Cuffe - Ronald Lewis
A Lady-in-waiting - Adele Leigh
A Blind Ballad Singer - Inia Te Wiata
Housewife - Edith Coates
The Master of Ceremonies - David Tree
The City Crier - Maurece Bowen
Royal Opera House Orchestra and Chorus
John Pritchard, conductor
Tippett - Fantasia Concertante on a Theme of Corelli
Conductor: Richard Hickox Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (England), 1994
Olivier Messiaen’s Reveil des oiseaux (Awakening of the Birds), a dawn chorus for piano and orchestra, meets with general confusion at Donaueschingen.
Olivier Messiaen: Réveil des Oiseaux, per pianoforte e orchestra.
Yvonne Loriod, pianoforte
SWF-Sinfonieorchester Baden Baden diretta da Hans Rosbaud.
Dmitri Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony gains an enthusiastic public reception in Leningrad. The composer later writes: The second [movement] is a musical portrait of Stalin ... Of course there are many other things in it, but that is the basis.’ The third movement introduces his self-referencing D-S-C-H theme, alluding to his name via German notation: D, E flat, C and B.
Shostakovich : Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op.93
Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Kirill Kondrashin
English composer Malcolm Arnold pens three concertos (Opp. 45-47) back to back: the Flute Concerto No. 1, the Harmonica Concerto and the Concerto for Organ, two Trumpets and Strings.
Arnold - Concerto No. 1 for Flute and Strings (Op. 45)
Terri Sánchez, Flute
University of Texas at Arlington Symphony Orchestra
Dr. Clif Evans, Conductor
Arnold : Concerto for harmonica and orchestra Op. 46
Performed by Tommy Reilly with the Basel Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Cedric Dumont.
Arnold : Concerto for organ and orchestra Op. 47
Performed by Ulrik Spang-Hanssen with the Royal Aarhus Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra conducted by Douglas Bostock.
Joaquín Rodrigo conjures Spanish antiquity in his attractive Fantasia para un gentilhombre, dedicated to Andres Segovia. The dance suite for guitar and orchestra borrows from the music of Baroque Spanish composer-guitarist Gaspar Sanz.
Joaquín Rodrigo - Fantasia para un gentilhombre
John Williams plays Fantasia para un gentilhombre
Aaron Copland – The Tender Land. Act 1
Laurie. Emily Ulrich
Beth: Daniela Leska
Ma Moss: Caroline Vercoe
Mrs Splinters: Bridie Barrett
Mrs Jenks: Dannielle O'keefe
Martin: Henry Choo
Tom: Raphael Wong
Pa Moss: Tiriki Onus
Mr Splinters: Daniel Sinfield
Mr Jenks: Bernard Leon
Director: John Kachoyan
Designer: Rob Sowinski
Choreographer: Georgia Taylor
Conductor: Pat Miller
Aaron Copland – The Tender Land.
The Tender Land is an opera with music by Aaron Copland and libretto by Horace Everett. The opera tells of a farm family in the Midwest of the United States. Work had its premiere on April 1, 1954 at the New York City Opera.
Aaron Copland – The Tender Land. Act 2-3
Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Tuba Concerto makes its merry entrance in London.
Ralph Vaughan Williams ‒ Concerto for Bass Tuba
James Gourlay tuba, The Royal Ballet Sinfonia orchestra cond. Gavin Sutherland
Benjamin Britten conducts the first performance of his ghostly chamber opera The Turn of the Screw at the Teatro La Fenice, Venice. With libretto by Myfanwy Piper after Henry James’s novella, the semi-serialist work gains a favourable reception.
Benjamin Britten - The Turn Of The Screw
Il s'agit là d'une adaptation cinématographique, produite par la BBC, de l'opéra de Benjamin Britten "The Turn Of The Screw" (Le Tour d'écrou), lui-même adapté de la nouvelle éponyme de Henry James.
Un film quasiment introuvable aujourd'hui mais qui mériterait bien plus de succès.
City of London Sinfonia Orchestre dirigé par Richard Hickox
Mark Padmore - Quint
Lisa Milne - La gouvernante
Catrin Wyn Davies - Miss Jessel
Diana Montague - Mrs Grose
Nicholas Kirby Johnson - Miles
Caroline Wise - Flora
Sergei Prokofiev - The Fiery Angel.
Sergei Prokofiev's opera, The Fiery Angel (Ognenny angel), Op. 37, could be considered one of the composer’s largest challenges. Writing, production, and location were all factors in the piece’s progress. The journey to completion was not truly over until after Prokofiev’s time, when the piece was first presented in a full performance at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on 25 November 1954, and was first premiered at the Venice Festival in 1955.
Sergei Prokofiev - The Fiery Angel.
Sergei Prokofiev: The Fiery Angel
Ruprecht: Evgeny Nikitin
Renata: Svetlana Sozdateleva
Schenkwirtin: Heike Grötzinger
Wahrsagerin: Elena Manistina
Agrippa von Nettesheim: Vladimir Galouzine
Mephistopheles: Kevin Conners
Äbtissin: Okka von der Damerau
Faust: Igor Tsarkov
Inquisitor: Goran Jurić
Jakob Glock: Ulrich Reß
Mathias Wissmann: Tim Kuypers
Doktor: Matthew Grills
Knecht: Christian Rieger
Junge Nonne 1: Iris van Wijnen
Junge Nonne 2: Deniz Uzun
Musikalische Leitung: Vladimir Jurowski
Bayerische Staatsoper, 2015
Witold Lutostawski looks to Polish folk music and the legacy of Bartok in his popular Concerto for Orchestra, first performed in Warsaw.
Witold Lutosławski: Concerto for Orchestra
I. Intrada, Allegro maestoso
II. Capriccio, Notturno e Arioso [07:40]
III. Passacaglia, Toccata e Corale [13:24]
Deutsche Radio-Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern - diretta da Stanisław Skrowaczewski.
Edgard Varese employs pre-recorded sound for the first time in his colouristic Deserts for woodwind, percussion and tape, premiered at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees, Paris. French radio broadcasts the concert live, in stereo.
Edgar Varèse - Déserts
Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, 2 dicembre 1954. Dir. Hermann Scherchen.
Operatore nastro magnetico, Pierre Henry
William Walton - Troilus and Cressida.
Troilus and Cressida is the first of the two operas by William Walton, and debuted in 1954. The libretto was by Christopher Hassall, his own first opera libretto, based on Geoffrey Chaucer's poem Troilus and Criseyde.
William Walton: Scenes from Troilus and Cressida
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, soprano (Cressida)
Richard Lewis, tenore (Troilus)
Philharmonia Orchestra diretta da William Walton
Charles Munch introduces Bohuslav Martinu's commanding Fantaisies Symphoniques (Symphony No. 6) during a 75th anniversary concert of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. This year the composer completes Les fresques de Piero della Francesca for orchestra.
Bohuslav Martinu -.Symphony Nº 6 "Fantaisies symphoniques"
Spanish Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra - Arturo Tamayo (cond.), 2011 at the Teatro Monumental, Madrid.
Bohuslav Martinů: Les Fresques de Piero della Francesca
I.Andante poco moderato
II. Andante [06:44]
III. Poco Allegro [12:35]
Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra diretta da Sir Charles Mackerras.
Michael Tippett's first opera, The Midsummer Marriage, struggles to impress at its premiere in Covent Garden. It will be some 20 years before it is accepted as one of the composers masterworks.
Michael Tippett: Ritual Dances from The Midsummer Marriage, per orchestra con voci corali
BBC Symphony Chorus diretto da Stephen Jackson, BBC Symphony Orchestra diretta da Sir Andrew Davis
II. Transformation and Preparation for The First Dance
III. The First Dance: The earth in autumn
IV. The Second Dance: The water in winter
V. The Third Dance: The air in spring
VI. The Fourth Dance: Fire in summer
Darius Milhaud – David.
Opera in 5 Atti e 12 Quadri su testo di Armand Lunel, Op.320. Registrazione della prima esecuzione americana presentata da "The Festival of Faith and Freedom committee of the American Association for Jewish Education", Los Angeles.
Darius Milhaud - DAVID Op.320 (Part 1)
Darius Milhaud - DAVID Op.320 (Part 2)
Pierre Boulez's Le marteau sans maitre (The Hammer Without a Master) for contralto, alto flute, xylorimba, vibraphone, percussion, guitar and viola, is first performed in Baden-Baden.
Based on three poems by Rene Char, the serial chamber work gains high critical praise and affirms the composers international reputation as a leading figure of the musical avant-garde.
Pierre Boulez - "Le Marteau sans maitre"
University of Kentucky School of Music, 2016
conducted by Tim Weiss
contralto, Jessica Aszodi
alto flute, Molly Barth
viola, John Pickford Richards
guitar, Dieter Hennings
percussionists, Andy Bliss, Stuart Gerber, Paul Vailliancourt
Iannis Xenakis, aged 33, introduces his glissandi masses in Metastasis (Transformations) for orchestra, composed utilising probability theory, serialist techniques and the Fibonacci series. The groundbreaking textural piece receives a mix of boos and cheers at Donaueschingen, Baden-Wiirttemberg.
Iannis Xenakis: Metastasis
2011 - Farquhar Auditorium Victoria, BC, Canada
Dmitri Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 is introduced in Leningrad. David Oistrakh, for whom the work has been written, performs as soloist.
Dmitri Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No.1 in A minor, Op.77
I. Nocturne (00:00)
II. Scherzo (12:27)
III. Passacaglia (18:25)
IV. Burlesque (32:47)
Hilary Hahn, violin
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Riccardo Chailly, conductor
January 11, 2002
Grote Zaal, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam
Master of the Queen’s Music, Sir Arthur Bliss
has his orchestral masterpiece Meditations on a Theme by John Blow premiered in Birmingham.
Arthur Bliss: Meditations on a Theme by John Blow
I. Introduction: "The Lord is my Shepherd", "I will fear no evil"
II. Meditation I: "He leadeth me beside the still waters" (Allegro moderato ma tranquillo) [07:17]
III. Meditation II: "Thy rod and staff they comfort me" (Allegro deciso) [10:43]
IV. Meditation III: Lambs [13:34]
V. Meditation IV: "He restoreth my soul" (Allegro) [16:08]
VI. Meditation V: "In green pastures" (Larghetto - Andante tranquillo) [18:38]
VII. Interlude: "Through the valley of the shadow of death" (Molto agitato) [23:29]
VIII. Finale: "In the house of the Lord" (Moderato e deciso - Maestoso) [27:28]