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Speaking of Music:
Milton Babbitt

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 103 min
Event Type: Interview and Music Program Origin: KPFA

In a program recorded on November 15, 1984 as part of the San Francisco Exploratorium’s Speaking of Music series, Charles Amirkhanian interviews composer Milton Babbitt. Babbitt taught at Princeton and Juilliard among other institutions; won numerous awards including a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation in 1982; and has several honorary doctorates. In this talk he describes in great scholarly detail the various techniques he has used in his compositions, and any serious student or pianist would be thrilled to hear what is essentially a free class in music theory given by one of America’s foremost professors. Joining Babbitt and Amirkhanian is pianist Alan Feinberg who plays a number of Babbitt's works. Feinberg also explains why one of Babbitt’s pieces could not be played on the piano provided by the San Francisco Exploratorium, where this event was held, because the piano was made in 1895 and does not include several of the highest notes found on modern pianos, and which were essential for Babbitt’s works “Playing for Time” and “About Time”.

Part 1 of 2:  
Musical Selections:  Minute Waltz: 3/4 ± 1/8 (1977) / Milton Babbitt -- [sample of early electronic motion picture music] -- Occasional Variations (1971) / Milton Babbitt
Performers:  Alan Feinberg, piano (Minute)
Genres:  New Music; Electro-Acoustic / Electronic
Subject:  Babbitt, Milton, 1916-; Schoenberg, Arnold, 1874-1951; Sessions, Roger, 1896-1985; New music; Electro-acoustic; Electronic music; Piano music; Waltzes; Composers; Motion picture music; Synthesizer music
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Babbitt, Milton, 1916-; Feinberg, Alan
Recording Date:  11/15/1984
First Broadcast Date:  1/6/1986
 
Part 2 of 2:  
Musical Selections:  Minute Waltz: 3/4 ± 1/8 (1977) / Milton Babbitt -- The Head of the Bed [excerpt] (1982) / Milton Babbitt
Performers:  Alan Feinberg, piano (Minute)
Judith Bettina, vocals (Head)
Genre:  New Music
Subject:  Babbitt, Milton, 1916-; Schoenberg, Arnold, 1874-1951; New music; Composition (Music); Performance practice (Music); Piano music; Waltzes; Songs (High voice) with instrumental ensemble
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Babbitt, Milton, 1916-; Feinberg, Alan; Bettina, Judith
Recording Date:  11/15/1984
First Broadcast Date:  1/6/1986
 
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