Tag Archives: Milton Babbitt

🎻♫♪ – Transfigured Notes by Milton Babbitt

List Item: Listen to half of the 1001 Classical Works You Must Hear Before You Die
Progress:
83/501Title: Transfigured Notes
Composer: Milton Babbitt
Nationality: American
Year:
1986

The random picks have once again delivered a more recent classical piece, one that took a few years to hear its first public performance as it was seen as being unplayable. Now that I’ve heard it, I am still not entirely sure how a conductor is able to keep track of all the different lines, let alone how the many different threads of this piece can be properly synced up.

So many centuries of classical music have been in the pursuit of harmony, then here we have a more modern piece that attempts to produce something that is very complex and utterly atonal. In listening to this piece for a string nonet, it was hard to let go and try to appreciate it for the unusual being that it was. The sudden switches in tempo, the overlaying; everything was making it so that I was unable to find order in the discord.

I know that this is kind of the point and I should be able to take the piece for what it is, but for someone that had the beginnings of a anxiety attack listening to Bitches Brew this was a it of a sensory overload.