A title given by the Gods

Many musicians have wondered why Boulez used the German title Cummings ist der Dichter for a work based on an English poem. Here is the answer; "I was commissioned to write a piece for the festival at Ulm. I couldn't find a title for the work when they asked me what to print on the program. In a letter in German - my German was not very good at that time - I wrote: 'I have not chosen a title yet, but what I can tell you is this: Cummings is the poet.' A reply came from a German secretary who had misunderstood my letter: 'As for your new work, Cummings ist der Dichter....' I found that mistake so wonderful that I thought, well, then, that's a title given by the Gods" ~ from Boulez - Composer, Conductor, Enigma by Joan Peyser (Schirmer ISBN 0028717007)
Pierre Boulez (above) will be one of the composers in my Overgrown Path webcast on Sunday August 19 on Future Radio. I am playing his Rituel in Memoriam Bruno Maderna bookended by Bach. The opening work is Webern's orchestration of the Ricercara from the Musical Offering, BWV 1079/5, and the closing work is the cantata for the fourth Sunday after Easter, BWV 108, in a performance by the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists conducted by John Eliot Gardiner. The webcast is from 5.00 to 6.00pm British Summer Time on Sunday August 19, click here for the audio stream.

For the full story of Rituel in Memoriam Maderna follow this path.
Convert webcast times to your local time zone using this link. Windows Media Player doesn't like the stream very much and takes ages to buffer, WinAmp or iTunes handle it best. Unfortunately the royalty license doesn't permit on-demand replay, so you have to listen in real time. If you happen to be in the Norwich, UK area tune to 96.9FM.Photograph credit Richard Oliver. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk


rchrd said…
Congratulations on your radio program. Haven't heard it yet, but I will try. Any chance they will be archived on the net?

I've been doing Music From Other Minds on local KALW in San Francisco nearly 3 years now. The 115th weekly program will be broadcast on Sept 7 after a summer's break.

Doing radio programs like these are like inviting friends over for a listen .. "here's something I found recently that I want you to hear"

I got my musical education by listening to the radio back in the 50's in New York City. Those days with significant classical music programming on the air are long gone. So I figure now it's all we can do to put interesting things on the radio.

Good luck with the project.

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