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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


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.