NHK Symphony Orchestra
The NHK Symphony Orchestra is a Japanese orchestra based in Tokyo. The orchestra gives concerts in several venues, including the NHK Hall, Suntory Hall, the Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall; the orchestra began as the New Symphony Orchestra on October 5, 1926 and was the country's first professional symphony orchestra. It changed its name to the Japan Symphony Orchestra. In 1951, after receiving financial support from NHK, the orchestra took its current name; the most recent music director of the orchestra was Vladimir Ashkenazy, from 2004 to 2007. Ashkenazy now has the title of conductor laureate. Charles Dutoit, the orchestra's music director from 1998 to 2003, is now its music director emeritus. Wolfgang Sawallisch, honorary conductor from 1967 to 1994, held the title of honorary conductor laureate until his death; the orchestra's current permanent conductors are Yuzo Toyama, since 1979, Tadaaki Otaka, since 2010. Herbert Blomstedt holds the title of honorary conductor, since 1986. André Previn has the title of honorary guest conductor, since 2012.
In June 2012, the orchestra named Paavo Järvi as its next chief conductor, as of the 2015–2016 season, with an initial contract of 3 years. Hidemaro Konoye Josef König Nicolai Schifferblatt Joseph Rosenstock Hisatada Otaka Kazuo Yamada Shin'ichi Takata Kurt Wöss Niklaus Aeschbacher Wilhelm Loibner Wilhelm Schüchter Alexander Rumpf Hiroyuki Iwaki Tadashi Mori Yuzo Toyama Hiroshi Wakasugi Charles Dutoit Vladimir Ashkenazy Tadaaki Otaka, CBE Paavo Järvi, Joseph Rosenstock Joseph Keilberth Lovro von Matačić Wolfgang Sawallisch Otmar Suitner Horst Stein Herbert Blomstedt Charles Dutoit Vladimir Ashkenazy André Previn List of symphony orchestras Official website of the NHK Symphony Orchestra
The avant-garde are people or works that are experimental, radical, or unorthodox with respect to art, culture, or society. It may be characterized by nontraditional, aesthetic innovation and initial unacceptability, it may offer a critique of the relationship between producer and consumer; the avant-garde pushes the boundaries of what is accepted as the norm or the status quo in the cultural realm. The avant-garde is considered by some to be a hallmark of modernism, as distinct from postmodernism. Many artists have aligned themselves with the avant-garde movement and still continue to do so, tracing a history from Dada through the Situationists to postmodern artists such as the Language poets around 1981; the avant-garde promotes radical social reforms. It was this meaning, evoked by the Saint Simonian Olinde Rodrigues in his essay "L'artiste, le savant et l'industriel", which contains the first recorded use of "avant-garde" in its now customary sense: there, Rodrigues calls on artists to "serve as avant-garde", insisting that "the power of the arts is indeed the most immediate and fastest way" to social and economic reform.
Several writers have attempted to map the parameters of avant-garde activity. The Italian essayist Renato Poggioli provides one of the earliest analyses of vanguardism as a cultural phenomenon in his 1962 book Teoria dell'arte d'avanguardia. Surveying the historical, social and philosophical aspects of vanguardism, Poggioli reaches beyond individual instances of art and music to show that vanguardists may share certain ideals or values which manifest themselves in the non-conformist lifestyles they adopt: He sees vanguard culture as a variety or subcategory of Bohemianism. Other authors have attempted both to extend Poggioli's study; the German literary critic Peter Bürger's Theory of the Avant-Garde looks at the Establishment's embrace of critical works of art and suggests that in complicity with capitalism, "art as an institution neutralizes the political content of the individual work". Bürger's essay greatly influenced the work of contemporary American art-historians such as the German Benjamin H. D. Buchloh.
Buchloh, in the collection of essays Neo-avantgarde and Culture Industry critically argues for a dialectical approach to these positions. Subsequent criticism theorized the limitations of these approaches, noting their circumscribed areas of analysis, including Eurocentric and genre-specific definitions; the concept of avant-garde refers to artists, writers and thinkers whose work is opposed to mainstream cultural values and has a trenchant social or political edge. Many writers and theorists made assertions about vanguard culture during the formative years of modernism, although the initial definitive statement on the avant-garde was the essay Avant-Garde and Kitsch by New York art critic Clement Greenberg, published in Partisan Review in 1939. Greenberg argued that vanguard culture has been opposed to "high" or "mainstream" culture, that it has rejected the artificially synthesized mass culture, produced by industrialization; each of these media is a direct product of Capitalism—they are all now substantial industries—and as such they are driven by the same profit-fixated motives of other sectors of manufacturing, not the ideals of true art.
For Greenberg, these forms were therefore kitsch: phony, faked or mechanical culture, which pretended to be more than they were by using formal devices stolen from vanguard culture. For instance, during the 1930s the advertising industry was quick to take visual mannerisms from surrealism, but this does not mean that 1930s advertising photographs are surreal. Various members of the Frankfurt School argued similar views: thus Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer in their essay The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass-Deception, Walter Benjamin in his influential "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction". Where Greenberg used the German word kitsch to describe the antithesis of avant-garde culture, members of the Frankfurt School coined the term "mass culture" to indicate that this bogus culture is being manufactured by a newly emerged culture industry, they pointed out that the rise of this industry meant that artistic excellence was displaced by sales figures as a measure of worth: a novel, for example, was judged meritorious on whether it became a best-seller, music succumbed to ratings charts and to the blunt commercial logic of the Gold disc.
In this way the autonomous artistic merit so dear to the vanguardist was abandoned and sales became the measure, justification, of everything. Consumer culture now ruled; the avant-garde's co-option by the global capitalist market, by neoliberal economies, by what Guy Debord called The Society of the Spectacle, have made contemporary critics speculate on the possibility of a meaningful avant-garde today. Paul Mann's Theory-Death of the Avant-Garde demonstrates how the avant-garde is embedded within institutional structures today, a thought pursued by Richard Schechner in his analyses of avant-garde performance. Despite the central arguments of Greenberg and others, various sectors of the mainstream culture industry have co-opted and misapplied the term "avant-garde" since the 1960s, chiefly as a marketing tool to publicise popular music and commercial
Paul Sordes was a French painter and set designer, an original member of Les Apaches, a group of artists in early 20th-century Paris whose most famous member was Maurice Ravel. It was at Sordes' studio home at 39 rue Dulong above Montmartre that the group met on Saturdays. In fact, the first meeting of the group occurred at his studio in either June 1902 or May 1903. Around 1900, Tristan Klingsor first met Sordes at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris, where he was impressed by Sordes' drawings and watercolors. Klingsor called him une sorte de Ravel de la palette in an obituary, Ravel dedicated Une barque sur l'océan from the piano suite Miroirs to him, his brother Charles Sordes was a member of Les Apaches
The contrabassoon known as the double bassoon, is a larger version of the bassoon, sounding an octave lower. Its technique is similar to its smaller cousin, with a few notable differences; the reed is larger than the bassoon's, at 65–75 mm in total length as compared to 53–58 mm for most bassoon reeds. The large blades allow ample vibration; the contrabassoon reed is similar to an average bassoon's in that scraping the reed affects both the intonation and response of the instrument. The fingering of the contrabassoon is different than that of the bassoon at the register change and in the extreme high range; the instrument is twice as long, curves around on itself twice, due to its weight and shape, is supported by an endpin rather than a seat strap. Additional support is sometimes given by a strap around the player's neck. A wider hand position is required, as the primary finger keys are spaced; the contrabassoon has a water key to expel condensation and a tuning slide for gross pitch adjustments.
The instrument comes in a few pieces. Sometimes, the bell can be detached, instruments with a low A extension come in two parts; the contrabassoon is a deep sounding woodwind instrument that plays in the same sub-bass register as the tuba and the contrabass versions of the clarinet and saxophone. It has a sounding range beginning at B♭0 and extending up three octaves and a major third to D4. Donald Erb and Kalevi Aho write higher in their concertos for the instrument; the instrument is notated an octave above sounding pitch in bass clef, with tenor or treble clef called for in high passages. Tonally, it sounds much like the bassoon except for a distinctive organ pedal quality in the lowest octave of its range which provides a solid underpinning to the orchestra or concert band; the lowest range, in comparison with the bassoon, can be played more than the bassoon can. Although the instrument can have a distinct'buzz', which becomes a clatter in the extreme low range, this is nothing more than a variance of tone quality which can be remediated by appropriate reed design changes.
While prominent in solo and small ensemble situations, the sound can be obscured in the volume of the full orchestra or concert band. Precursors to the contrabassoon are documented as early as 1590 in Austria and Germany, at a time when the growing popularity of doubling the bass line led to the development of lower-pitched dulcians. Examples of these low-pitched dulcians include the octavebass, the quintfaggot, the quartfaggot. There is evidence that a contrafagott was used in Frankfurt in 1626. Baroque precursors to the contrabassoon developed in France in the 1680's, in England in the 1690's, independent of the dulcian developments in Austria and Germany during the previous century; the contrabassoon was developed in England, in the mid-18th century. It was around that time; some notable early uses of the contrabassoon during this period include in J. S. Bach's St. John's Passion, G. F. Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks; until the late 19th century, the instrument had a weak tone and poor intonation.
For this reason, the contrabass woodwind parts were scored for, contrabassoon parts were played on, contrabass sarrusophone or, less reed contrabass, until improvements by Heckel in the late 19th century secured the contrabassoon's place as the standard double reed contrabass. For more than a century, between 1880 and 2000, Heckel’s design remained unchanged. Chip Owen at the American company, began manufacturing an instrument in 1971 with some improvements. During the 20th century changes to the instrument were limited to an upper vent key near the bocal socket, a tuning slide, a few key linkages to facilitate technical passages. In 2000, Heckel announced a new keywork for its instrument and Fox introduced its own new key system based on input from New York Philharmonic contrabassoonist Arlan Fast. Both companies' improvements allow for improved technical facility as well as greater range in the high register. Most major orchestras use one contrabassoonist, either as a primary player or a bassoonist who doubles, as do a large number of symphonic bands.
The contrabassoon is a supplementary orchestral instrument and is most found in larger symphonic works doubling the bass trombone or tuba at the octave. Frequent exponents of such scoring were Brahms and Mahler, as well as Richard Strauss, Dmitri Shostakovich; the first composer to write a separate contrabassoon part in a symphony was Beethoven, in his Fifth Symphony, although Bach, Handel and Mozart had used it in other genres. Composers have used the contrabassoon to comical or sinister effect by taking advantage of its seeming "clumsiness" and its sepulchral rattle, respectively. A clear examp
A trumpet is a brass instrument used in classical and jazz ensembles. The trumpet group contains the instruments with the highest register in the brass family. Trumpet-like instruments have been used as signaling devices in battle or hunting, with examples dating back to at least 1500 BC. Trumpets are used in art music styles, for instance in orchestras, concert bands, jazz ensembles, as well as in popular music, they are played by blowing air through nearly-closed lips, producing a "buzzing" sound that starts a standing wave vibration in the air column inside the instrument. Since the late 15th century they have been constructed of brass tubing bent twice into a rounded rectangular shape. There are many distinct types of trumpet, with the most common being pitched in B♭, having a tubing length of about 1.48 m. Early trumpets did not provide means to change the length of tubing, whereas modern instruments have three valves in order to change their pitch. There are eight combinations of three valves, making seven different tubing lengths, with the third valve sometimes used as an alternate fingering equivalent to the 1-2 combination.
Most trumpets have valves of the piston type. The use of rotary-valved trumpets is more common in orchestral settings, although this practice varies by country; each valve, when engaged, increases the length of lowering the pitch of the instrument. A musician who plays the trumpet is called trumpeter; the English word "trumpet" was first used in the late 14th century. The word came from Old French "trompette", a diminutive of trompe; the word "trump", meaning "trumpet," was first used in English in 1300. The word comes from Old French trompe "long, tube-like musical wind instrument", cognate with Provençal tromba, Italian tromba, all from a Germanic source, of imitative origin." The earliest trumpets date earlier. The bronze and silver trumpets from Tutankhamun's grave in Egypt, bronze lurs from Scandinavia, metal trumpets from China date back to this period. Trumpets from the Oxus civilization of Central Asia have decorated swellings in the middle, yet are made out of one sheet of metal, considered a technical wonder.
The Shofar, made from a ram horn and the Hatzotzeroth, made of metal, are both mentioned in the Bible. They were played in Solomon's Temple around 3000 years ago, they were said to be used to blow down the walls of Jericho. They are still used on certain religious days; the Salpinx was a straight trumpet 62 inches long, made of bronze. Salpinx contests were a part of the original Olympic Games; the Moche people of ancient Peru depicted trumpets in their art going back to AD 300. The earliest trumpets were signaling instruments used for military or religious purposes, rather than music in the modern sense. Improvements to instrument design and metal making in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance led to an increased usefulness of the trumpet as a musical instrument; the natural trumpets of this era consisted of a single coiled tube without valves and therefore could only produce the notes of a single overtone series. Changing keys required the player to change crooks of the instrument; the development of the upper, "clarino" register by specialist trumpeters—notably Cesare Bendinelli—would lend itself well to the Baroque era known as the "Golden Age of the natural trumpet."
During this period, a vast body of music was written for virtuoso trumpeters. The art was revived in the mid-20th century and natural trumpet playing is again a thriving art around the world. Many modern players in Germany and the UK who perform Baroque music use a version of the natural trumpet fitted with three or four vent holes to aid in correcting out-of-tune notes in the harmonic series; the melody-dominated homophony of the classical and romantic periods relegated the trumpet to a secondary role by most major composers owing to the limitations of the natural trumpet. Berlioz wrote in 1844: Notwithstanding the real loftiness and distinguished nature of its quality of tone, there are few instruments that have been more degraded. Down to Beethoven and Weber, every composer – not excepting Mozart – persisted in confining it to the unworthy function of filling up, or in causing it to sound two or three commonplace rhythmical formulae; the attempt to give the trumpet more chromatic freedom in its range saw the development of the keyed trumpet, but this was a unsuccessful venture due to the poor quality of its sound.
Although the impetus for a tubular valve began as early as 1793, it was not until 1818 that Friedrich Bluhmel and Heinrich Stölzel made a joint patent application for the box valve as manufactured by W. Schuster; the symphonies of Mozart, as late as Brahms, were still played on natural trumpets. Crooks and shanks as opposed to keys or valves were standard, notably in France, into the first part of the 20th century; as a consequence of this late development of the instrument's chromatic ability, the repertoire for the instrument is small compared to other instruments. The 20th century saw an explosion in the variety of music written for the trumpet; the trumpet is constructed of brass tubing bent twice into a rounded oblong shape. As with all brass instruments, sound is produced by blowing air through closed lips, producing a "buzzing" sound into the mouthp
Timpani or kettledrums are musical instruments in the percussion family. A type of drum categorised as a semispherical drum, they consist of a membrane called a head stretched over a large bowl traditionally made of copper. Most modern timpani are pedal timpani and can be tuned and to specific pitches by skilled players through the use of a movable foot-pedal, they are played by striking the head with a specialized drum stick called a timpani stick or timpani mallet. Timpani evolved from military drums to become a staple of the classical orchestra by the last third of the 18th century. Today, they are used in many types of ensembles, including concert bands, marching bands, in some rock bands. Timpani is an Italian plural, the singular of, timpano. However, in English the term timpano is only in use by practitioners: several are more referred to collectively as kettledrums, temple drums, timp-toms, or timps, they are often incorrectly termed timpanis. A musician who plays timpani is a timpanist.
First attested in English in the late 19th century, the Italian word timpani derives from the Latin tympanum, the latinisation of the Greek word τύμπανον, "a hand drum", which in turn derives from the verb τύπτω, meaning "to strike, to hit". Alternative spellings with y in place of either or both i's—tympani, tympany, or timpany—are encountered in older English texts. Although the word timpani has been adopted in the English language, some English speakers choose to use the word kettledrums; the German word for timpani is Pauken. The Ashanti pair of talking drums are known as atumpan; the tympanum is defined in the Etymologiae of St. Isidore of Seville: Tympanum est pellis vel corium ligno ex una parte extentum. Est enim pars media symphoniae in similitudinem cribri. Tympanum autem dictum quod medium est. Unde, et margaritum ipsum ut symphonia ad virgulam percutitur; the tympanum is hide stretched over a hollow wooden vessel which extends out. It is said by the symphonias to resemble a sieve, but has been likened to half a pearl.
It is struck with beating time for the symphonia. The reference comparing the tympanum to half a pearl is borrowed from Pliny the Elder; the basic timpano consists of a drum head stretched across the opening of a bowl made of copper or, in less expensive models, fiberglass or aluminum. In the Sachs–Hornbostel classification, this makes timpani membranophones; the head is affixed to a hoop. The counter hoop is held in place with a number of tuning screws called tension rods placed around the circumference; the head's tension can be adjusted by tightening the rods. Most timpani have six to eight tension rods; the shape and material of the bowl's surface help to determine the drum's timbre. For example, hemispheric bowls produce brighter tones. Modern timpani are made with copper due to its efficient regulation of internal and external temperatures relative to aluminum and fiberglass. Timpani come in a variety of sizes from about 33 inches in diameter down to piccoli timpani of 12 inches or less. A 33-inch drum can produce C2, specialty piccoli timpani can play up into the treble clef.
In Darius Milhaud's 1923 ballet score La création du monde, the timpanist must play F♯4. Each drum has a range of a perfect fifth, or seven semitones. Changing the pitch of a timpani by turning each tension rod individually is a laborious process. In the late 19th century, mechanical systems to change the tension of the entire head at once were developed. Any timpani equipped with such a system may be considered machine timpani, although this term refers to drums that use a handle connected to a spider-type tuning mechanism. By far the most common type of timpani used today are pedal timpani, which allows the tension of the head to be adjusted using a pedal mechanism; the pedal is connected to the tension screws via an assembly of either cast metal or metal rods called the spider. There are three types of pedal mechanisms in common use today: The ratchet clutch system uses a ratchet and pawl to hold the pedal in place; the timpanist must first disengage the clutch before using the pedal to tune the drum.
When the desired pitch is achieved, the timpanist must reengage the clutch. Because the ratchet engages in only a fixed set of positions, the timpanist must fine-tune the drum by means of a fine-tuning handle. In the balanced action system, a spring or hydraulic cylinder is used to balance the tension on the head so the pedal will stay in position and the head will stay at pitch; the pedal on a balanced action drum is sometimes called a floating pedal since there is no clutch holding it in place. The friction clutch or post and clutch system uses a clutch. Disengaging the clutch frees it from the post, allowing the pedal to move without restraint. Professional-level timpani have copper bowls; these drums can have one of two styles of pedals. The Dresden pedal is operated by ankle motion. A Berlin-style pedal is attached by means of a long arm to th