How is it that the times inspire similar-sounding music?
I've often paused to wonder what the great European composers who came of age amid the emotional and physical wreckage of World War I -- yet were not avant-gardistes -- were looking for in their creative expression.
As in every other time, there's a commonality to the musical form, even from composers who probably did not have a chance to hear each others' work.
Within the limitations of YouTube -- not enough choice (yet) and variable performance quality -- here are three examples of music by unrelated contemporaries operating within an insular cultural context.
Let's start with the third and fourth movements on Improvisation on an Impromptu by Benjamin Britten, written in 1967 by William Walton (1902-1983). The performers are the London Philharmonic, led by Bryden Thomson:
Here is Valery Gergiev at a Proms concert in London, in 2006, leading the "Fears" movement of Symphony No. 13, written in 1962 by Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975).
To close, on this Maundy Thursday, is the Agnus Dei from the 1949 Messe Solenelle by Jean Langlais (1907-1991), as sung and performed by the musicians of Gustavi Cathedral in Gothenburg in 2007.