Family ties resemble teacher-student relations in weird ways. A student's music might "resemble" a teacher's style, or sometimes try very hard to disassociate itself. Occasionally there is even happy harmony, a musical coming of age. Complex relations abound this week on Hammered! as we sort through the branches of four different musical family trees.
Monday we hear pieces by three unlikely relatives: Arnold Schoenberg, Leon Kirchner and John Adams, Adams being the pedagogical grandson of Schoenberg. Despite their stylistic differences, there are a number of striking harmonic similarities between the three, especially when hearing Schoenberg's early opus 11 against Kirchner's Piano Sonata and Adams's American Berserk.
Tuesday's starting point is famed teacher/composer Olivier Messiaen, juxtaposing his music with that of his remarkable class of one-time students, including Pierre Boulez, William Bolcom, George Benjamin, Iannis Xenakis and others. Thursday stems from the music and teaching of Milton Babbitt (whose students include Stephen Sondheim, among many others), and Friday focuses on the alumni and teachers of Yale University.
Wednesday is a special nod to 75th birthday boy John Corigliano, with a survey of his extraordinary piano output. In fact, his birthday is being celebrated tonight (Monday) at LPR in New York City.