The semi-wonky play- and reading list from “An Inquiry on Contemporary Music,” a seminar I led Saturday at Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula. Thanks to all the curious listeners and sharp minds who attended.


Lutoslawski: Passacaglia from the Concerto For Orchestra. BBC Philharmonic, Yan Pascal Tortelier, conductor. (Chandos)

Oliver Knussen: “Flourish with Fireworks.” London Sinfonietta, Oliver Knussen, conductor. (Deutsche Grammophon)

John Adams: “Roadrunner” from the Chamber Symphony. London Sinfonietta, John Adams, conductor. (Nonesuch)

Vinko Globokar: “Voix Instrumentalisee.” Michael Riessler, bass clarinet. (Koch Schwann)

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9, first movement. New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein, conductor. (Sony Classical)

Stravinsky: Tango. Columbia Chamber Ensemble, Igor Stravinsky, conductor. (Sony Classical)


Jose Ortega y Gasset: “The Dehumanization of Art.” (Doubleday)

Virgil Thomson: “The Art of Judging Music” from “The Art of Judging Music.” (Praeger)

Nicolas Slonimsky: “Prelude: Non-Acceptance of the Unfamiliar” from “The Lexicon of Musical Invective.” (Norton)

Alain de Botton: “On Possessing Beauty” from “The Art of Travel.” (Vintage)