The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

A Babylonian Tower: Marc Hollander's Favourite Music
David McKenna , June 17th, 2020 08:34

Marc Hollander's Aksak Maboul have released one of the albums of the year and his Crammed Discs label have consistently provided a wide-ranging soundtrack to the globe. He guides David McKenna through favourite albums in this week's Baker's Dozen

Stravinsky_1592244746_resize_460x400

Igor Stravinsky – L’Histoire Du Soldat (The Soldier’s Tale)
That stands for my interest in contemporary classical music. I listened to stuff like Beethoven when I was 12 or 13, which was bombastic and huge but then I got really interested really in Bartok and Debussy, Ravel, Olivier Messiaen and Stravinsky of course and I’m still listening to a lot of stuff like that. I recently discovered a French composer called Lili Boulanger.

But back to Stravinsky – it’s something he wrote during World War I, it was for a travelling theatre so he reduced the orchestra to the minimum, the highest sounding wind instruments and the lowest sounding trumpets and trombone, and a violin, double-bass and percussion so it’s like a reduction of an orchestra. It has a lot of influence of folk music, it’s something with Bartok as well. It sounds simple but it’s dissonant in a subtle way, and in-between tonalities. I have a fondness for modernist music of the 20s and 30s. Dissonance but not complete atonality or abstraction.


If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.