Thankfully, beginning in the mid to latter part of the century (and now into the 21st century), classical music has come back to the center. Composers like Rick Sowash and Eric Ewazen have found the balance between modernity and traditionalism, and write music that is aurally appealing.
Pictured here is the newest disk featuring music by Eric Ewazen, which I received in the mail a few days ago. As a former trombonist, I suppose I'm a little partial to music for the instrument, but I find much of the music on this disk to be quite appealing regardless of the instrumentation. My favorite from the disk is the Trio for Tenor Trombone, Bass Trombone, and Piano. To my ear, this is a prime example of what contemporary music ought to be: tonal with melodic and rhythmic appeal.
I also received recently a new disk featuring music by Rick Sowash, and a composer heretofore unfamiliar to me, named Mark Louis Lehman. I became acquainted with Rick not long after I began my work as music director of a public station. There were a couple of disks of his music on the shelf, left behind by my predecessor. As I was unfamiliar with him, I almost disposed of the disks, but took a chance and listened to them, and was blown away. I hadn't realized that 20th century composers were writing music that was so accessible. I looked him up and e-mailed him, and have had a cordial relationship with him ever since.
The new disk is entitled: Notes from the Midwest--seven chamber works by two Cincinnatians. The works by Rick are typically pleasing, and the works by Lehman are also quite charming.
The Ewazen disk was issued on the Albany label. Rick Sowash has his own publishing company.