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Re: Boulez

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  • quartodeciman
    No, not Lennie! Pierre may not so much have dissed Ives as treated Ives as an amusing case. Of course, it might come out sounding like disrepect. He often
    Message 1 of 20 , Apr 1, 2004
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      No, not Lennie! Pierre may not so much have dissed Ives as treated
      Ives as an amusing case. Of course, it might come out sounding like
      disrepect. He often played the snob and made people mad with his
      opinions about other composers' music.
    • Bob Zeidler
      ... dissed Ives; I always thought he championed him, and certainly he chose to record and perform his works many times--and beautifully.--Annie in NYC
      Message 2 of 20 , Apr 15, 2004
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        Thus wrote Annie in NYC:

        > Let me join the fray. I can't imagine Bernstein would've ever
        dissed Ives; I always thought he championed him, and certainly
        he chose to record and perform his works many times--and
        beautifully.--Annie in NYC

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        I'm not going to exclude the possibility that Pierre Boulez made
        similar remarks about Ives. But the "group denial" here to the
        effect that Bernstein could never have made such remarks
        caused me to go back to my copy of Jan Swafford's "Charles
        Ives: A Life with Music." There, on p. 428, are Swafford's
        comments following his description of Bernstein's premiere of
        the Second Symphony (extracted from the middle of a
        paragraph):

        "The conductor (i.e., Bernstein) would be a double-edged
        advocate. On the one hand he famously called Ives 'Our first
        really great composer, our Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson of
        music.' He thereby declared Ives the founding father of American
        art music. That label would stick and rightfully so, but so would
        Bernstein's less fortunate ones: Ives the 'primitive,' the 'Grandma
        Moses of music.' Though in the fifties some critics already knew
        better and took Bernstein to task for it, Ives would not escape
        those terms for decades, if ever."

        Make of it what you may. Just be cautious where the matter of
        Swafford's scholarship is concerned. I've learned first-hand
        about his thoroughness and circumspection (particularly his
        circumspection, when all others accepted at face value an
        outrageous claim by ond David Wooldridge regarding Gustav
        Mahler and Ives's Third Symphony).
      • quartodeciman
        Bob, Thank you for pointing this out. Here is a collateral report: David Schiff,The Atlantic,January 1997,The Many Faces of Ives (see paragraph 3) ---
        Message 3 of 20 , Apr 16, 2004
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          Bob,

          Thank you for pointing this out. Here is a collateral report:

          David Schiff,The Atlantic,January 1997,The Many Faces of Ives
          (see paragraph 3) --->
          http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/97jan/ives/ives.htm

          By "a Grandma Moses" I presume LB meant that CI stayed home instead
          of taking instruction in Europe and following trends there. Maybe
          it's just an unfortunate inappropriate simile.

          What's wrong with Grandma Moses, anyway? She ain't no Picasso? :)

          Smithsonian Magazine,April 2001,Grandma Moses Country --->
          http://www.smithsonianmag.si.edu/smithsonian/issues01/apr01/moses.htm
          l

          Quart
        • mhberest
          ... Late psot #1243 I had not read this when I made the musical Grandma Moses remark!
          Message 4 of 20 , Jun 11, 2005
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            --- In charlesives@yahoogroups.com, "quartodeciman"
            <quartodeciman@h...> wrote:
            > I think PB wasn't terribly sympathetic. In a telecast, He referred
            > to Ives as "an amateur, a primitif".
            >
            > Sort of a musical Grandma Moses? :)
            >
            > Quart

            Late psot #1243

            I had not read this when I made the musical Grandma Moses remark!
          • patrpetit
            Boulez don t Know American music except Elliot CARTER,for him IVES and SATIE are the same thing :-(( Patrick
            Message 5 of 20 , Jun 11, 2005
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              Boulez don't Know American music except Elliot CARTER,for him IVES and
              SATIE are the same thing :-((

              Patrick

              --- In charlesives@yahoogroups.com, "mhberest" <mhberest@m...> wrote:
              > --- In charlesives@yahoogroups.com, "quartodeciman"
              > <quartodeciman@h...> wrote:
              > > I think PB wasn't terribly sympathetic. In a telecast, He referred
              > > to Ives as "an amateur, a primitif".
              > >
              > > Sort of a musical Grandma Moses? :)
              > >
              > > Quart
              >
              > Late psot #1243
              >
              > I had not read this when I made the musical Grandma Moses remark!
            • mhberest
              ... and ... Boulez loves to make outrageous absolutist statements, probably taking after Stravinski s tendency to do the same. The infamous 1951 Schoenberg
              Message 6 of 20 , Jun 12, 2005
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                --- In charlesives@yahoogroups.com, "patrpetit" <patrpetit@y...> wrote:
                > Boulez don't Know American music except Elliot CARTER,for him IVES
                and
                > SATIE are the same thing :-((
                >
                > Patrick

                Boulez loves to make outrageous absolutist statements, probably taking
                after Stravinski's tendency to do the same. The infamous
                1951 "Schoenberg est mort!" article, in which Boulez stated that
                Schoenberg was not only dead in the literal sense, but that his
                musical views were obsolete, while the beloved Webern's were au
                courant, is an example.

                He also condemned Berg to raise Webern's status. Then he does a
                complete reversal, says nice things about Schoenberg, conducts his
                music, suddenly abandons Webern as his musical god for Berg, and is
                involved with things like conducting the world premiere of Cerha's
                reconstruction of the three act version of Lulu. I'm even sure there
                is a brief quote from Lulu in his "Pli Selon Pli."

                Today Boulez thinks of Ives in that Musical Grandma Moses stereotype
                version. Tomorrow he may be praising Ives to the sky, abandoning Berg
                for him.
              • Frank Camiola
                ... He knows Zappa. He comissioned and conducted The Perfect Stranger in 83 with his Ensemble Intercontemporain. Great stuff. Frankie
                Message 7 of 20 , Jun 12, 2005
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                  > Boulez don't Know American music except Elliot CARTER,for him IVES and
                  > SATIE are the same thing :-((
                  >
                  > Patrick

                  He knows Zappa. He comissioned and conducted The Perfect Stranger in '83
                  with his Ensemble Intercontemporain. Great stuff.

                  Frankie
                • Douglas Jordon
                  ... I believe his comment about Zappas music was something like I reserve judgment on Frank Zappas music . Not exactly an endorsement. But Zappa is in good
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jun 12, 2005
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                    Frank Camiola wrote:

                    >>Boulez don't Know American music except Elliot CARTER,for him IVES and
                    >>SATIE are the same thing :-((
                    >>
                    >>Patrick
                    >>
                    >>
                    >
                    >He knows Zappa. He comissioned and conducted The Perfect Stranger in '83
                    >with his Ensemble Intercontemporain. Great stuff.
                    >
                    I believe his comment about Zappas' music was something like "I reserve
                    judgment on Frank Zappas' music". Not exactly an endorsement. But Zappa
                    is in good company. Boulez has criticized Messiaen as well. So we have
                    Boulez on one side and Ives, Messiaen, Schoenberg and Zappa on the
                    other. I know where I want to be.
                  • mhberest
                    Messaien?!?! That s like him attacking Webern to the tenth power! ... IVES and ... in 83 ... reserve ... Zappa ... have
                    Message 9 of 20 , Jun 12, 2005
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                      Messaien?!?! That's like him attacking Webern to the tenth power!

                      --- In charlesives@yahoogroups.com, Douglas Jordon
                      <douglas_jordon@y...> wrote:
                      > Frank Camiola wrote:
                      >
                      > >>Boulez don't Know American music except Elliot CARTER,for him
                      IVES and
                      > >>SATIE are the same thing :-((
                      > >>
                      > >>Patrick
                      > >>
                      > >>
                      > >
                      > >He knows Zappa. He comissioned and conducted The Perfect Stranger
                      in '83
                      > >with his Ensemble Intercontemporain. Great stuff.
                      > >
                      > I believe his comment about Zappas' music was something like "I
                      reserve
                      > judgment on Frank Zappas' music". Not exactly an endorsement. But
                      Zappa
                      > is in good company. Boulez has criticized Messiaen as well. So we
                      have
                      > Boulez on one side and Ives, Messiaen, Schoenberg and Zappa on the
                      > other. I know where I want to be.
                    • patrpetit
                      There is a difference between Boulez as a composer and Boulez as a conducter.When i said Boulez don t know American music except Elliot CARTER ,i mean: The
                      Message 10 of 20 , Jun 12, 2005
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                        There is a difference between Boulez as a composer and Boulez as a
                        conducter.When i said "Boulez don't know American music except Elliot
                        CARTER" ,i mean: The composer Pierre Boulez only accept this esthetic
                        of American Music,and refuse the musical conception of Ives , Cage and
                        Reich.The conducter is more tolerant.He has performed Zappa, Feldman
                        and also Ives (From the Steeples and Mountains with the Ensemble
                        Intercontemporain, and others works with his orchestra).

                        Patrick

                        --- In charlesives@yahoogroups.com, Douglas Jordon
                        <douglas_jordon@y...> wrote:
                        > Frank Camiola wrote:
                        >
                        > >>Boulez don't Know American music except Elliot CARTER,for him IVES and
                        > >>SATIE are the same thing :-((
                        > >>
                        > >>Patrick
                        > >>
                        > >>
                        > >
                        > >He knows Zappa. He comissioned and conducted The Perfect Stranger
                        in '83
                        > >with his Ensemble Intercontemporain. Great stuff.
                        > >
                        > I believe his comment about Zappas' music was something like "I reserve
                        > judgment on Frank Zappas' music". Not exactly an endorsement. But Zappa
                        > is in good company. Boulez has criticized Messiaen as well. So we have
                        > Boulez on one side and Ives, Messiaen, Schoenberg and Zappa on the
                        > other. I know where I want to be.
                      • Douglas Jordon
                        ... I appreciate Boulez honesty. After all, an artist can t help what they like or don t like; that s part of being an artist. But taken as a whole after
                        Message 11 of 20 , Jun 12, 2005
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                          patrpetit wrote:

                          >There is a difference between Boulez as a composer and Boulez as a
                          >conducter.When i said "Boulez don't know American music except Elliot
                          >CARTER" ,i mean: The composer Pierre Boulez only accept this esthetic
                          >of American Music,and refuse the musical conception of Ives , Cage and
                          >Reich.The conducter is more tolerant.He has performed Zappa, Feldman
                          >and also Ives (From the Steeples and Mountains with the Ensemble
                          >Intercontemporain, and others works with his orchestra).
                          >
                          I appreciate Boulez' honesty. After all, an artist can't help what they
                          like or don't like; that's part of being an artist. But taken as a whole
                          after decades, they would seem to paint a somewhat narrow-minded
                          picture. But if Boulez can't enjoy the Turangalila symphony because it's
                          sometimes tonal is his loss, IMO. Maybe that's one of the burdens of
                          being an artist of that stature, tho I'm sure Boulez doesn't see it that
                          way.

                          But then Ives was similar, was he not? How much of his contemporarys'
                          music did he like? Elliot Carter said Ives didn't think much of the Rite
                          of Spring, he went home and parodied it on the piano for Carter. Ruggles
                          I guess. Ives worked with Varese, but did he like or even hear Vareses'
                          music?
                        • mhberest
                          ... Elliot ... esthetic ... Cage and ... Feldman ... they ... whole ... because it s ... of ... it that ... contemporarys ... But then again Ives is more
                          Message 12 of 20 , Jun 12, 2005
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                            --- In charlesives@yahoogroups.com, Douglas Jordon
                            <douglas_jordon@y...> wrote:
                            > patrpetit wrote:
                            >
                            > >There is a difference between Boulez as a composer and Boulez as a
                            > >conducter.When i said "Boulez don't know American music except
                            Elliot
                            > >CARTER" ,i mean: The composer Pierre Boulez only accept this
                            esthetic
                            > >of American Music,and refuse the musical conception of Ives ,
                            Cage and
                            > >Reich.The conducter is more tolerant.He has performed Zappa,
                            Feldman
                            > >and also Ives (From the Steeples and Mountains with the Ensemble
                            > >Intercontemporain, and others works with his orchestra).
                            > >
                            > I appreciate Boulez' honesty. After all, an artist can't help what
                            they
                            > like or don't like; that's part of being an artist. But taken as a
                            whole
                            > after decades, they would seem to paint a somewhat narrow-minded
                            > picture. But if Boulez can't enjoy the Turangalila symphony
                            because it's
                            > sometimes tonal is his loss, IMO. Maybe that's one of the burdens
                            of
                            > being an artist of that stature, tho I'm sure Boulez doesn't see
                            it that
                            > way.
                            >
                            > But then Ives was similar, was he not? How much of his
                            contemporarys'
                            > music did he like?

                            But then again Ives is more likable as a composer (i.e., in his
                            music) than Boulez. Granted, I am not that up on Boulez, the
                            composer, having only heard a couple of his early works, but
                            Boulez's music doesn't appeal to me, not because of its hyper-speed,
                            or polyrhythms, or relentless atonaility, or use of a trill as a
                            thematic element. Boulez's music bespeaks a cynic afloat on a
                            horrible, chaotic world. Webern and Messaien used relatively
                            similar techniques and produced works that express joy. And I can
                            forgive Ives his curmudgeonhood and homophobia because the pleasure
                            his music has given me compensates for any flaws I see in the man.

                            Elliot Carter said Ives didn't think much of the Rite
                            > of Spring, he went home and parodied it on the piano for Carter.

                            This I would have loved to hear. I could imagine him hitting that
                            famed dissonant chord about 100 times.

                            Ruggles
                            > I guess.

                            Yes, but that's because Ruggles, of all composers, comes closest in
                            style to Ives, although only in a few of Ives's works.

                            Ives worked with Varese, but did he like or even hear Vareses'
                            > music?

                            I would guess Ives's heart condition might have limited him to
                            hearing only a few concerts. He may have disparaged others because
                            he just couldn't hear enough of their music to formulate an opnion
                            and didn't want to admit it.

                            Or he could simply not have had the patience in old age to sit
                            through a lot of things.
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