Alexander Goehr

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Alexander Goehr (born 10 August 1932) is an English composer and academic.

Goehr was born in Berlin in 1932, the son of the conductor and Schoenberg pupil Walter Goehr. In his early twenties he emerged as a central figure in the Manchester School of post-war British composers. In 1955–56 he joined Olivier Messiaen's masterclass in Paris. Although in the early sixties Goehr was considered a leader of the avant-garde, his oblique attitude to modernism—and to any movement or school whatsoever—soon became evident. In a sequence of works including the Piano Trio (1966), the opera Arden Must Die (1966), the music-theatre piece Triptych (1968–70), the orchestral Metamorphosis/Dance (1974), and the String Quartet No. 3 (1975–76), Goehr's personal voice was revealed, arising from a highly individual use of the serial method and a fusion of elements from his double heritage of Schoenberg and Messiaen. Since the luminous 'white-note' Psalm IV setting of 1976, Goehr has urged a return to more traditional ways of composing, using familiar materials as objects of musical speculation, in contrast to the technological priorities of much present-day musical research.

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Discography

Album

Year Title Artist Rating Releases
1965 Two Choruses, Op.14 / Leopardi Fragments for soprano, contralto and chamber orchestra / Symphony for voices / Calendar for chamber ensemble Alexander Goehr / Sir Peter Maxwell Davies / Malcolm Williamson / Richard Rodney Bennett, John Alldis conducting The John Alldis Choir, Geoffrey Shaw, Pauline Stevens, Rosemary Phillips, Mary Thomas, John Carewe conducting members of the Melos Ensemble: Richard Adeney, Peter Graeme, Gervase de Peyer, William Waterhouse, Philip Jones, Arthur Wilson, Osian Ellis, Terence Weil, Lamar Crowson, James Blades, Stephen Whittaker, Emanuel Hurwitz & Cecil Aronowitz 1
1981 Piano Sonata / Capriccio / Nonomiȳa Sir Peter Maxwell Davies / Alexander Goehr, Stephen Pruslin 1
Das gesetz der quadrille Op. 41 / String Quartet No. 3 Op. 37 Alexander Goehr 1
String Quartet No. 2 Op. 23 / Piano Trio Op. 20 Alexander Goehr, Allegri String Quartet & Orion Trio 1

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