Thursday, November 03, 2005

Building Bridges To The Twentieth Century -- And To Audiences

"In the last 15 years I think the quality of what one writes is critical because we're trying to build bridges back to the audience which we've lost. That's a good thing, but it can also involve throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

"There are a lot of things that audiences find very difficult, from the Second Viennese School right up to Stockhausen, and a lot of lessons to be learned from that music that shouldn't be chucked out.

"The richest tonal music being written today -- which is by John Adams, David Del Tredici and others -- is by composers with the most sophisticated awareness of what preceded them. They have worked through that in a very rigorous way, and I would like to think I have been similarly rigorous in working through the things that have made me what I am today -- the architectural aspect of Britten's music, or the detailing and formal structure in a composer like Berg, or the unbelievable careful patterning in Ligeti and Boulez."

Composer/Conductor Oliver Knussen quoted in Joshua Kosman "Conductor has a passion for precision, but hitting deadlines just isn't his thing" San Francisco Chronicle November 3, 2005.

Composer/Painter Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis, Tiesa, 1905


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