Thursday, July 26, 2007
Boulez - great bogeyman of 20th century music
Henry Holland has left a new comment on the post "Boulez - Rituel In Memoriam Maderna":
Ah, one my favorite Paths of yours Pliable since I started to read OAOP two (three?) years ago. I love Rituel in Memoriam Maderna, I listened to it on my iPod a few weeks ago. I wish that there was more than one official recording of it or I could find some live versions on my usual file theft sites. I know Boulez is The Great Bogeyman of 20th Century music along with Schoenberg, and while I certainly don't like all of his pieces, there are some that are among my favorite pieces of music.
I went to a performance of Pli selon Pli at the Concertgebouw when I was in Amsterdam recently and despite the excellent performance by the ASKO Ensemble and Barbara Hannigan I wasn't impressed by the piece all that much; I hadn't heard it in a while.
I keep hoping that a performance of the amazing Repons will take place in the US so I can easily afford to travel to hear it but it's obviously very complicated to do in a live situation.
About 15 years ago (?) Mr. Boulez conducted the four Notations that he had then completed the orchestral versions for here in Los Angeles with the Philharmonic and it was one of the most stunning things I've ever heard in a concert hall. The Phil back then could just barely play the pieces (they'd have no problem now that Mr. Salonen has whipped them in to shape) but what stunning music. I've really wanted Mr. Boulez to come back and conduct here, anything will do, but he hasn't been here in at least a decade. I wonder if he and Mr. Salonen had a falling out? :-(
Great picture of the set-up for the Gruppen premiere and what handsome men Boulez and Stockhausen are in the bottom picture. There's apparently going to be a book about the gay aspect of the Darmstadt group appearing soon and while I will buy it instantly, I'm also afraid that the revelations in it will be used to browbeat that group, much like if you read some of the criticism of Britten in the 40's-70's, there's a barely disguised layer of homophobia to it. As if a lot of people needed the gay angle to denigrate the Darmstadt composers, any excuse along the lines of "they killed classical music" will do! :-)
Thanks for that diversion Henry. Now follow this path for the funny side of Darmstadt, and my picture shows more handsome men there, from left to right, Luigi Nono, Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen.
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