Cream of the Crop

Got nine minutes? Listen to this:

Blue Rhythm (1990)

This piece by William Duckworth is what I consider absolutely top-shelf postminimalism. You can hear, I think, how different it is from works by Steve Reich or Philip Glass – its process isn’t obvious, there are a lot more textural changes, the form goes off at right angles. These things don’t make it better or worse than Glass or Reich, just different in style. The piece is so intricate in its textures, so melodically and rhythmically inventive, so lively in its momentum, that I think it’s maybe the best piece I’ve uploaded to Postclassic Radio so far, one of the very best chamber works of recent years. And since I had this direct link, I thought, why make you search for it in a 17-hour playlist when I can give it to you directly?

If you’re interested, you can purchase the score, or just find out more about Duckworth, at his web page. If you’re not wowed, well, I guess postminimalism’s just not for you.