How the symphony changed musical history

Posted on: September 13, 2013

On Tuesday (9/10) at his blog at the Guardian (U.K.), Tom Service writes, “Starting next week, I will be telling the story of how orchestral music’s most famous form has shaped musical history by curating a non-chronological, entirely personal (and therefore doubtlessly controversial!) canon of 50 symphonies.…  I hope what will come over is the sense that the development of a supposedly abstract musical structure isn’t simply about compositional invention or experimentation, but about how we hear ourselves and our place in the world.… It’s often said that the story of the symphony is bounded by historical time, and that we’re now living in a post-symphonic age. That’s because a symphonic frame of mind, with its associations of order and coherence doesn’t fit with our more fractured and fractious sensibilities. What I hope you might hear … is rather the opposite: the extremities, disturbances, and strangenesses at the heart of the symphonies of the 18th and 19th centuries, and the urge to create some kind of order from chaos in the works of the later 20th and 21st.”

Posted September 13, 2013