Are composers who use early music techniques writing new music? Milos Raickovich



Milos Raickovich

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Since 1979, I have been composing in a “style” which I like to call New Classicism. This is what I wrote some twenty years ago:

New Classicism may be roughly defined as a blend of musical Minimalism and the styles of Viennese Classical and early Romantic music.

Its form is classical (e.g. the sonata cycle), but the tonality is reduced to only a few notes of the scale. This reduction gives tonal music a new quality – a new energy.

New Classicism enables me to express my feelings while at the same time it satisfies my need for a clear and coherent musical language.”

This is, of course, a simple description of my music, and more can be said about its more subtle sides. A great text by Mark Swed can be found on the liner notes for my CD entitled New Classicism (Mode Records).

Today, my style can vary a bit from piece to piece, and different influences can be found, but the basic principles from the above description are still here. My music is mostly “abstract,” and its connection to the “modern world” is more in details than in the most obvious gestures. Occasionally, I do write music that is shaped by “outside” elements, like the score for Evans Chan‘s film The Map of Sex and Love (2001). Even then, I try to stay with my New Classicism, and to focus mostly on tonality/modality. My piece Alarm (1999), with dedication “to Mumia and the Yugoslavs, may the Empire fall!,” is yet another example of my dealings with the contemporary world: against the screaming, siren-like glissandi in violin and cello, a beautiful and quiet melody is played by the piano.