I’m pretty glad that Katie and I keep writing about EXACTLY the same thing. I swear, I’m not copying her again. I wrote this sentence: “Jake Heggie is amazing.” And then went to see who else had all ready posted and sure enough; there’s KD with a solid “JAKE HEGGIE” title.
I’m usually not much of a “20th century” fan, but this guy has some good stuff. I attended both his concert on Thursday night and the one this afternoon. I didn’t go to any of the Augusta Reed Thomas stuff last year (I know, slap on the wrist) but from what I heard, she wrote mostly instrumental atonal music. I find it hard to be inspired to write that kind of music. I’ve written some myself and I always find it easiest to write in minor keys, and definitely IN a solid key that progresses logically.
My favorite pieces by Heggie were definitely the vocal pieces. As he said himself, he prefers to set words to music rather than just compose an instrumental piece. While overall, I prefer instrumental pieces (in this style) to music with words, I could tell that with him, it was much more engaging to write a song to a poem. I felt more into the piece when I knew he had enjoyed writing it more.
Jake Heggie has a “very good concept of melodic line” (according to Corinne) and I definitely agree. I had this stereotype in my mind of contemporary music being so atonal. But there’s definitely a continuum. I’m learning that more and more. I have never been exposed to so much contemporary music before. First, the one that Sarah played last week at her recital (which I really liked). Dr. Phang assigned me a contemporary piece by Richard Rodney Bennett for my proficiency. These two concerts with Jake Heggie were both amazing. All in all, I think I’ve had a very big stereotype of “20th century music” broken down over the past year. That’s a good thing. I used to hate opera too. I guess being in music school gives many more perspectives on a lot different kinds of music.