Dear music lovers,
27 May 2013 marks the 10th anniversary of Luciano Berio’s death. His friend Umberto Eco remembers him: “I would have liked to reminisce about many episodes in those days that now seem heroic, when in 1956 Schönberg was jeered at La Scala and when in 1963, at the Piccola Scala, certain gentlemen in dinner jackets, outraged by Passaggio by Berio and Sanguineti, stood up indignantly shouting ‘centre-left!’ Instead I will speak in particular about Berio during his years at the RAI’s Musical Phonology Studio.”
According to Eco, Berio was interested in “the poetics of an open work of art extending beyond the historically somewhat provisional framework of artwork in motion” – that also contributed to his ranking.
31 March 2013: the 100th anniversary of the so-called “scandal concert” conducted by Arnold Schönberg and which, for many reasons, amounted to a caesura in European concert life. It was not merely a question of how an audience treated the performers – it was about partisanship at a crossroads of musical history.
In an interview for this issue, Nuria Schönberg Nono bemoans the fact that aesthetic confrontations have become “vapid” today; she is also keeping in mind that her father is a match for the contextual dimension of the confrontations. Only the polemic underhandedness was dispensable; the latent anti-Semitism, openly articulated at a later date, was scandalous. Musicologist Christoph Becher examines the “scandal concert” from the perspective of historical context.
Alex Ross is the music critic for the New Yorker and the author of the highly regarded book The Rest Is Noise; he takes a look at Morton Feldman in an extensive article. Ross quotes Feldman: “What are our morals in music? Our moral in music is 19th-century German music, isn’t it? I do think about that, and I do think about the fact that I want to be the first great composer who is Jewish.”
We also present another composer, Jay Schwartz, whose roots are likewise in the USA. As he says in the interview, “I believe that the listener is rewarded for enduring the metamorphosis of sound and thematic material he has helped to consummate.” In the second part of the large-scale Mahagonny interview, Kim Kowalke, president of the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, refers to the question of different versions: “There is no definitive version of Mahagonny and there will probably never be two productions which will be identical in terms of the musical text. Choices must be made too often; there are too many options.”
The Musikblätter no longer contain a full concert calendar. Find a complete up-to-date list of all performances online.
We hope you
will enjoy this issue.
Your UE Promotion Team