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Especially in music there's still an absence of language and of course many of those composers and almost everybody who somehow felt oppressed by the limitations of the U.S. before of course felt free and went as a normal balance on the other side. And therefore it produces a certain effect but maybe seems unnatural outside because almost everybody when he just left us or for up on God because this was forbidden fruit before he answered You know we need to have a bit of food is great the desert island slings and this is a man's many things that the biz spend a little. Probably stayed there and stays there not with all composers bets with majority of the younger generation. This is very normal and they cannot. They try to do something you know that was not written before. As our times indicate and those movements are
pretty fast. I mean every year you should bring re something else and if you cannot This is what was the it finally in my world fall and since 50 euro was 6 maybe it's too early to 57. Age became one of the completely free countries for culture. Has any other western country and fortunate in music stays as I was I know at that time you were at the Krakow Philharmonic. Yes I have been a cracker since 54 to 56 in 56 I switched to Warsaw as my beginner who was with him only at that time were you performing a great deal of this. Yes yes and of course we were free to perform everything. What was the audience reaction. Incredible favorable because the audience also needed and of course they treated the possibility of hearing the new work and you work as an act of freedom. So the two kids are almost
not musically but politically. Yes it was symbolic of something illegal for you to have so everybody wins and if you have a new and a new composition or more of a garter and you know chamber electronic music concerts or some composers like John Cage or Boulez or. Through their performance coming there it was filled and it all just was and was just to the point of embarrassment of the performers because they didn't know what if they areso good luck is that some of them they just swear or became disoriented because of the direction that this was at the beginning of a very very soon it became a more stand our direction they liked or disliked lated to three years but the first festival of the Warsaw 2056 was kind of absolutely and enthusiastic for anything new. Now this this autumn Warsaw festival the autumns as they're called has become a an international festival they're not only Polish music
but music from the West is also brought to public hearing. Have you attended any of these. Yes I was yes as a little bit I've been I've been performing conducting since 50 60. Tonight all the first three or four I don't remember but not since then no. No because I left Poland in the early 60s and this was my life. Do you have any remembrances from from those three or four years that you were at the festival because this is because this is come to be one of the principal festivals in the whole of Western music almost replacing the prominence of the International Society for contemporary music. Yes both composers univers have decided to do something to start something on the radio on the highest level and it's very international and in 56. With the duration of our life generally speaking. The first festival was really grand years it was for about two weeks and you had to go to a free concert
every day we had five foreign orchestras at the time released I don't know as does any of those three or four police officers although big bear the brunt of that was exciting that you couldn't find any other festival like that in the world. A distain was called 57 58 later of Cuz they reduced because of the costs the amount of foreign office of they still have one or two minutes for an orchestra and three for a police orchestra there and of course a lot of more chamber all samples now because because they cost less money and maybe that many music and some music interesting. So this was I think very good festival it was meant by Oz which was politically quite natural as a kind of encounter between West and East for the first time just to get 3D permission to do it from the government. So we had the professionally the first to tweet us to
bills. We had the Western one or a very avant garde music focus also on these composers performace and also we always had focused on performance from Russia through other means to countries at the same time and they played what they what they wanted. It means you can you could have also kind of very conservative. Nationalistic direction music at the same time and John Cage killer blazer and HOLMES And you're listening to a conversation with Stanislav Scroope a jet ski. But there are some that George St.. We paused 10 seconds for station identification. Now resuming the conversation with Stanislav Scroope Cesky here is George St.. I wasn't encouraged to have an exchange of musical ideas representation of talents and so on
between Poland and other communist countries. I'm thinking particularly of the enthusiasm which Cottle and Sheryl expressed over certain of the new composers new to us certainly and I'm sure new there to have a lodge for example. Yes and others you're familiar with the I know well where these composers who performed in Poland. Yes and Yes Dickie as we had always a amount of polish and composes compositions and also check your Russian order and Gary and it was very eerie very. Literally and very nice just everything could be recently maybe. Recently I would say since for five years the bullshit the war so often became more of a God directed. I don't think they have any more of the conservative works better. This is just because the person voices probably thought this is this
is what they should do for some reasons I don't know I can it's judgment. But it became a definitive more and more of them got related to this festival has been I believe since the hundred fifty eight. An experimental studio connected with a Polish Radio Television. Yes yes and has developed since and occupies some composers interest particularly with it 20 years ago. Also some others like it as Lossky was not but if you're interested but he like to work and to see some some possibilities in the course of the time so they accept you like before in the early fifties studio in Cologne or beyond it it just is so they do it in Warsaw and I heard Francis some tapes or recordings of some new compositions are quite interesting done in the studio for instance I remember one was. Composition imitating Concetta for percussion but done entirely by means I mean what I mean
said it to me means another was a concerto for although done only by oboe and nothing else. That's part of his pain was of course of the oboe playing music and the parts of his some of his music where I taped and transformed it Tony Klee and served as a companion. I say it's simply this way. That's very good Mr. Scruby Cesky that you do not reject out of hand the developments in electronic music myself. Yes No why should I know what I want to be more than I do when I do. Well you simply say this is not music let's not discuss it. Conductors you know they had they don't have to conduct it's of course the you know just they they lose their work maybe if everything goes on tape we are just out of our jobs. Isn't Well you can see. You fight for your own and though I was quite interested in it if I spent some time in Milan I would bury you and go six or seven and I
was very amazed by possibilities and also in Cologne. I try to do something myself and my own house with my home wife when I was sometimes composing music to drive us to Earth or theatres or movies at the time in Poland I had some very fine producers and directors and they asked me for some music and sometimes they based their dramas on the contestants on the musical development. It was a very nice collaboration and then I used. This kind of music can catch and I did it myself with my wife at home with some and sometimes with some instruments mostly with the piano as as a basic because from the piano you can play his son there you can really develop all kinds of snow it's marvelous. It also goes by like 20 but I didn't have any 20 producer home
I don't care about what instrument does music because electronic instrument is an instrument simply like any other instrument only played by its own means by tape. But I think the invention imagination the composer and the level the composer is really deciding here. So if your rights for 30 20 years ago or standard instruments read this I don't think this is the special difference to me. But what he says this is I think this is the. Important along similar loveliness aleatory music chance music leaving final decisions to the performers. What is your reaction to this. In this case you might have a many different since what they're leaving and how much of the performer is free to do whatever he wishes. For instance you might have this partial Tory things first lose last uses very John fully He writes certain sections for the
orchestra chamber or solo instruments a certain section with the timing and at the same time he writes for or even full orchestra a couple of instruments a certain music in the section with a bitch that it's been written. What is indefinite is the amount of repeats. All of these bits quicker and he has to start again and they need me so he defines So the performer really is not free to do but he has to played only the conductor is not organizing these all together vertically but it and amazingly enough I'm speaking about the work of loose last legs evince you know the definition of the Mission games or his new second symphony. Amazing enough. Of course every performance is different because there's really no organization but he chooses his material both rhythmic and of course especially bij the way
that this section sounds almost almost the same. That's very you know it's only this kind of moral life Mosaddeq of sounds but it sounds the same and then he has certain almost none of the key to those sections because he changes his termination and some pitches here and there. And get another chord because this is one and this is I like if somebody has imagination and if somebody knows so well like just like you would to do remakes get this kind of half of the toric approach for certain sections at least the other way just to let the performers sit down on the platform and do ask them to play where they wish to turn the chairs and make noise. I find it completely an artistic and unnecessary lose love peace way that you could could almost be described as a kind of controlled ad libbed would you say yes let's just let's talk about we are coming to America. It was at the invitation of George cell right leave yes. Would you tell us
about this. Well it was a wonderful thing to me. He came with the Cleveland Orchestra the first time to Europe in 57 and they came to Poland when I was conductor in the war so and the band he knew my symphony for strings at the time and he asked Well he would like to meet me. He met me. He didn't see me conducting the dime. It may be asked and he invited me next year to come to Cleveland to bring some music just to conduct and to the big towns and it was nice to see it was fifty eight I came to give in to the first time and the next year I came the second time to Cleveland and at the same time there are two jets and organize some constant visible the neck United Nations with the new if you have money for shopping on you there's three CMU I think Cincinnati and but never to Minneapolis and at that time I thought the Rocky was leaving me now producer and the
members of the board of the symphony came to see me but I didn't know about these two people in the deposit book. If that we decide to do ask me to. Oh you think they came to hear your voices. Yes both councils in both cities and they decided to ask me to become. And it just happened that time. I want to go abroad for sure because a bullet unfortunately was becoming again a bitch. Oppressed by politics and government line in arts and so on. And this was just see if your opportunity to do have at the same time. My own wish with the opportunity to show this was that in September of 60 fans 60 I became music director in the symphony. I think errand was leading up to a moment ago to a question about the kinds of music you perform in Minneapolis as compared with your experience.
I had to study to know what they did before me and who did what and how many times and so on and of course the history of the symphony is quite interesting because they have excellent conductors and great form conductors we like our Monday metropolis and the rocky and goes all of them did different music at their times. As you know especially Metropolis was re foster father for anything contemporary written and he played very much of contemporary music. American over a European to the extent of the great problems with the public. Probably he he was so kind and he felt his duty to serve. The actual moment of in composition the public something he couldn't stand the amount of work he played the rocky
he played a lot of anger in music like Bartok and called Davis. But Nigel his mother's musical so it was strange enough because of Metropolis not of the school of Schomberg barrack and of a baron stating I was not played many to very little. All throughout and I'm talking about this because I wanted to from one side to continue a certain line of including contemporary compositions in my programs they felt absolutely necessary for my it from well any point of view educational or just simply artistic because it completely wrong to do something on one side but just to mix it as much as possible and to show. Mall or city could the public a certain nature will bridges in development trends between schools or centuries and so on which was
really necessary because otherwise the going to bring music seems to be completely isolated from the past to the public goes. I started with playing a bit of Denise's school because this was not played so we did as many first performers who played all the orchestral and many of barrack pieces and Schoenberg not too much together but we always connected it with a verse of 19th century composers to show certain lines. Van Of course I play the words that seem to me exciting some policing music was not heard in me now please even older like Szymanowski from the beginning of the century. And I try to alter how it goes because of course I didn't know I was the public and I had to for season was just a tryout. I made some concerts for all that with electronic music connected with the orchestra we played oh quite soon. Interesting words for five groups
orchestras and the balconies and so on. It's a kind of and develop a brand and then we played to such a scheme would have to for tape in August at that time it was the first time a thing was again in Minneapolis it was the entire concert having as a classical piece symphony of Hanukkah for instance. We'd brought people to what is going on. So I had the opportunity does happen to do something easily that wasn't done before. So public you acted with a lot of I would say enthusiasm would be no that's a great interest interest in hearing something new and. This interest I would say is has been developed somehow fortunately to the extent that if for some reasons we play a concert a program of rather standard music entirely standard music for some recording reasons of songs do we have to play it than the amount of criticism and letters you know became famous. That's why
nothing new in selling these seem to be not bored. It depends but it seems that it is nothing new. He was Something is strange why this is very good because I would say I saw a situation here however I would say this is so marvelous because as everywhere you have problems with contemporary music and the public is very deep. If they hear something once. And you were not repeated. Dick can't really get that very easily. Even musicians even the orchestra which plays for four days repeats or here or here is a new piece. After a year or so they don't remember very much. What was it like when so many ways to do it. Ways of mixing or ways of doing separate concert series of music and maybe always to make some concerts. Historically organized because it helps so much if you show certain connections with
the past. Have you done a separate series in which you play. Yes I have done my first two years. Some cancers come to you for out entire concerts. Later I thought how were they received quite well quite well. But also the reaction was very strongly against it from the more standard concert goers and supports symphony. Did you find elderly interest in these wayout concerts was my first principly among young people. No unfortunately not I would like to see it because I thought if you can bring the struggle. In the public in the form of Bob did you have a two opposites or more groups in the public itself than you can really handle it that somehow the younger generation students I don't know if everywhere but students in Minneapolis the young generation do not
manifest enough or they are just mute unfortunately. So we have rather kind of typical standards other older audience which we decide to go to build their elections and programs and what they like because they're very eager to learn something new. As I said there's no doubt this is open minded very pleasantly. But still it is not easy. Well I left those concerts entirely in continuously because also I thought this is a priori something that I say I'm against it because then they say well he thinks this is different music for different people. Maybe he just likes this and doesn't like the any past. And of course this was wrong as far as I'm concerned it also is one for music because to me to show that if they can find in contemporary music as much emotions or or beauty or ideas as in the old music. This was the biggest goal and the result. If I could show it
so why not do do it to mix it rather and to say that what I try to play is the music I consider really the best and the reed to genuine music in high art. This was my point therefore I stopped it however I do play it is a 20th century music but when you can play almost and yet if you see you're out there live goes to every Stravinsky and. Anything else of this is it doesn't really matter as I wondered where most of them actually. But this kind of vital programming that you are carrying out there in Minneapolis it means that you constantly involved with studying new scores. How do you go about your self preparing for conducting the orchestra in a new work something like that in the Redskin choral piece that you recently did I believe. Yes. Well it also depends on scores of goes bet because of some bit of aeration to inhale as they say
everything that might be found in the worg disguise my members concerned or as far as my understanding of composer wishes and just know that what he wrote simply if this is the sharper the nature and why of course certain scores like you mention Penderecki diggers have clusters. But even with clusters here and there you know with a cluster of five or six or ten don't. So you know you have to know it also because the mob some errors they don't sound the way the composer wished. And preparation it is impossible to say in the one word what kind of oppression about France any more standout score without diagrams of clusters or left toric sequences. I thing has to be prepared on two levels the one is complete knowledge of the score on sight or just mental. I would songs and then the second is imagination of
the entity of of the line. Or that we come to the style with which would correspond. Why conductors would stop violence and say well this is you play too hard or too heavy or does this involve the style and understanding of of the particular idiom or the atmosphere the composer wants you of course. Everybody can be wrong with this and it will be all wrong or right because even composers very often change their minds after performances with other conductors and so on. Better than our taste in nature or intelligence should work and to define for one performance at least certain definitions of it. They're humming style and this is this is the second part of the variation I think you have heard it in your mind's ear before you are in many cases certainly yes especially if you goes to if you go to don't live music and not only tonal but
if you goes to music there is down there with the with it with instruments and organized you don't have any any left Tonico or is it clusters of Sanderson's of three or just cultic places death and purpose then you can read it you should you should hear it in your mind. Does someone screen for you. Many scores which must be submitted to you for performance. Do you know how to read the lawyers know it's impossible to have someone to screen because they says very and even the best friend and the most respected friend in music would do this as well. Of course so it makes sense. He done some some some sort of just nonsense or. Childish and something there is one thing fortunate so I want to be presumptious about this but there are many scars that you can see in five minutes or three minutes about the music so it helps some other
known as one of the difficult to do get the idea of composer but in many cases it can be done very quickly. How long is your season in Minneapolis. Our season now in the winter season season is mostly snow has no chill because we increase every year and I'd say we're planning now in two years ahead so I make of the last but I think the we have all together in the year we have now we came to 40 or 41 weeks and I think 40 won and the next season there will be 4 3 and the next could go to 45 and after which will be new content of the property we expect due to come in based on 52 weeks as all. Almost no although they are bigger than I was and I mean this is shitty. How much of that. Load do you carry yourself. It depends what decision I would decide I would like to do in summer in the summer season or some other sections of the year it was the winter season is the most important still and we don't increase to record a demountable conses subscription concerts.
How many guest conductors do you normally have during a season. Not enough and I know I always seem old enough when I came in we had only two guest conductor so he was absolutely not enough. We have increased it now to 4 5 and I'm trying to get even 6 during those periods. Do you generally rest or do you yourself go elsewhere to conduct. Well the best rest probably is to go to contacts in Wales I was going to ask. Yes this is really refresh your outlook. Yes oh it was a lot of oh yes so are other audiences. Yes absolutely it's great just being so this is just gross. It's been most interesting having this opportunity to talk with you and and and and I certainly thank you for visiting with us today. Well thank you very much I was great peace to be able to do in the disclosure to thank you thank you very much. This has been a conversation with Stanislav Scrivener Cesky music director of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra participating where Aaron Parsons professor of music theory at
A conversation with
Episode Number
#10 (Reel 2)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Identifier: 69-12-10 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Duration: 00:29:51
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