Normally in a symphony there are at least 5 different lines of music (meaning one group of instruiments follow the same tone and rythm) and the 5 different lines can be quite different. Think of the Scherzo from Beethoven's 9th symphony and pretty much the majority of Baroque music. Minimalist music reduces this to two or three lines and even then...the lines don't differ from one another much...think Schostakovich's 5th symphony (a work written during the horrors of Stalinism which, even though minimalist has subversive messages of protest hidden within. Minimalist doesn't mean slow or simple, it's more the focus on only a few ideas and limited complexity.
Like the king said...Amadeus W. Mozart uses "too many notes" I loved that line from the flick.
Schostakovich's 5th symphony is stunning, I am surprised I liked it so much....it does get a bit monotone and forceful at times.... Debussy, Ravel and Satie manage to orchestrate one or a few parts so skillfully and beautifully... I do not consider them minimalists but some see them as beginning of the style.
I like Bartok's String Quartet #2. Of course, trios, duets, and solos are more minimalist still, but there's so much more a composer can do with a string quartet.
Personally, I think Bartok is the foremost composer for strings of the 20th Century.
I was lucky enough to see the 5th last Wednesday here by the visiting Orchestra of Porto (Portugal). Not performed very often so we splurged on nice seats...right in the path of the trumpets and trombones. The conductor blasted the hell out of the brass section. My ears hurt and were ringing for a while after...but it was worth it. The horror of Shostakovich...forced to write a grand soviet symphony to purge his denunciation...while being brave enough to add subversive messages inside with a faint hint of hope at the end...is an epic moment of great music and great meaning combined...no?
You don't find Satie minimalist? At least in his famous piano pieces?
I believe Satie was writing soundtracks before film existed. I would call them "ambient" more than minimalist because of the repetitive nature and subtle harmony. I guess he was a minimalist. I still enjoy playing gymnopedie no. 1 or 3 if I find myself at a piano with a few drinks in me. It gets hypnotic. Last time I played him (at a late night party) I was getting marriage proposals.
Hahahahahaha. LOL If the gymnopedies got you proposals...I guess the gnosiennes would get you a harem.