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Recently on the campus of the University of Cincinnati a new series of lectures they call but music lectures were begun and the first speaker in this series was the guest conductor of the concert you are listening to by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Mr. Lucas fast and as I did to the tune featured on this program we have taken a section of Mr. Fox's remarks regarding modern music and serial composition technique. And so here is Mr. Lucas for us. When all is said and done where is the difference between art and science except in the most literal view of the end product. The scientist winds up with a formula the artist with the song but I bet giving the fourth impression that all change today is in the direction of science. It is not. Change is not moving in but one direction changes a new thing. True we have today a scientific type of artist but we also have today that artist who most accurately exemplifies the continuation of the romantic 19th century tradition the
so-called beatnik. For me the only one who looks like a 19th century artist today. His influence in painting and literature is undeniable. He seems to stand at the opposite pole from his serial scientific counterpart. His banner not system but chance. Though here again the frontiers have crumbled. The sciences have begun to work in the field of chance and randomness chance may be controlled exploited in short the gulf between Chance and system is narrowing. Today I can say with a reasonable assurance that music that in music chants and system here too for engaged in a deadly struggle are about to merge into an inseparable entity and so will in music art and science become indistinguishable here I indulge in proper siring when I promised not to be that foolish. Please let me qualify these statements that we describe to you the rather interesting compositional situation of today. In the light of what I
said about the scientific trend the composer of serial music is of particular interest in serial music. Everything is accounted for. There is a series for pitch one for rhythm one for tab or one for almost every aspect of the composition. The series is a pre-determined ordering of proportion serial composition is composition by measurement by analysis of all the entities and relationships that go into a piece of music. To illustrate the theory your mind at work. I recently came across an article on a contemporary serial composition by a young composer named Ligeti. Well he was tracing back the various series in the composition and found a number of errors whereupon true to his nature as a seer composed himself he began to see if he could not form with the errors a series in which case it would have been all right. A series of errata. I hope that my friends who are
painters will explain to me sometimes why there is no serial movement in their field which it would seem would adopt itself even more readily to a method of analysis and measurement Mondrian and Clay have taken certain steps in this direction. But all in all this seems to be no real counterpart. Perhaps among the great figures in contemporary painting that just has not been one man obsessed to that extent by the idea of order and ordering. Progress in art is after all simply the result of an artist's invention. The bewildering thought that hed there been a similarly oriented profit in painting many young artists today would use that statistics and proportion theories in their efforts at organizing their paintings on the canvas. You might argue with that if my description of serial music is correct then inspiration has sold out to technique. I think that inspiration and technique should be viewed in a different light.
A number of years ago with a young French composer Pierre Bill Ayers came to my University UCLA and gave a very scientific lecture there full of mathematical talk. Well at the end somebody got up and said rather indignant Lee I missed the Boulez is that Earl there is to musical composition today technique and layers. I thought for a moment and then said quite simply yes in the final analysis that's all there is. Well it struck me right then and there that if I. 100 years earlier Richard Wagner would have come to UCLA. He would have given a very different kind of a talk with Robin about intuition and inspiration and somebody might have well got up and said with the Wagner's is there all there is inspiration then he probably would say yes in the final analysis that's all there is
inspiration. I think that inspiration and technique are simply two views of the same Godhead. The last century chose to view art from one side. We choose to view it from the other. It matters little for the real technique the dignity of a great master is a highly personal and inspired thing and inspiration in its turn is a highly technical thing. Inspiration does not fall into a non-technical mind. A man without technique does not command inspiration. Inspiration is a form of exercising our power over the materials. Let me get back to the serial music for a moment. The serial composer put his ingenuity and choice into the pre compositional stage the setting up of the order. Once this is done the order usually a numerical one is translated into sound. Now the composer finds out what his piece sounds like. He himself is curious as to the exact outcome. Though the idea of
order obsessed the composer the result rarely sounds over ordered is likely to sound spontaneous even improvised. Now therefore were I to put improvisation or as it is currently chord Tory music from the Latin word AL Yes dice chance music. At the other end of the scale I would err. We have already seen that system and chance are closely related. Further similarity can be seen in the fact that in chant music Likewise the Compazine Tauriel ingenuity goes into the pre compositional stage the 13 up of the situations. I myself have experimented in the last five years in this direction though not in my composition itself. I like to keep composition improvisation and separate compartments rather in an effort of creating a new skill an outlet for the performing musician. The domestication of the chance element however. Learning how to quickly take advantage of a chance formation.
How to turn it into a meaningful event proved most fruitful to me. For purposes of composition I should think that painters who use jams paint drippings and the like have learned the identical lesson about all this more tomorrow afternoon at the conservatory when I am looking forward to an informal chat with the students. There is serialism as well as improvisation attract the modern composers because they lead him to places he would not find through traditional compositional practice. Also as I have already seen Did they help the composer in his difficult task of making choices. In theory your music the theory from the 5th organizers choice to limit them as it were in chant music chants and the subconscious help do the same for him. What is popularly known as action painting and automatic writing would likewise seem to offer solutions to the frame problem. These are among others. Among
other things the technique of choice avoidance in the face of overwhelming choice. That was a portion of the lecture delivered by Mr look as fast as our guest conductor on this concert by the sense that a symphony orchestra and a lecture recently delivered here on the campus of the University of Cincinnati the first of the new corporate music lectures. It was recorded especially for inclusion on this program. We return now to Music Hall. Following intermission. And the second half of our concert. Will be occupied by a performance of Stravinsky's Rites of Spring. When this was first presented at Paris in 1013 it caused a scandal and a riot. The audience was quiet for about two minutes then came boos and catcalls and soon neighbors were hitting each other with canes and umbrella as. Objects were thrown at the orchestra. And finally the gendarmes came charging to the
rescue. While Stravinsky himself disappeared through a window backstage. But today of course the work is recognised as one of the world's masterpieces of ballet music. The Rite of Spring deals with the worship of the forces of nature by primitive man. It concerns the prehistoric religious rituals in which Spring and its fertility or venerated leading to the sacrifice of the chosen one. It is in two parts the first titled fertility of the earth and the second part of the sacrifice. In just a moment Mr. Foss will return to the stage to conduct this second half of our concert. Mr Lucas lost now returning to the podium and we hear Stravinsky's The Rites of Spring. Oh.
What. Button. With her.
With her. With her. At her. I'm angry.
Her. Her. Her.
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Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Foss and Stravinsky
Producing Organization
University of Cincinnati
WGUC (Radio station : Cincinnati, Ohio)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program features Lukas Foss speaking, as well as a performance of Igor Stravinsky's "Rites Of Spring."
Series Description
This series presents performances by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra from its 1963 season.
Broadcast Date
Media type
Conductor: Foss, Lukas, 1922-2009
Performing Group: Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
Producing Organization: University of Cincinnati
Producing Organization: WGUC (Radio station : Cincinnati, Ohio)
Speaker: Foss, Lukas, 1922-2009
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 63-6 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:26:10
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Chicago: “Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; Foss and Stravinsky,” 1963-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 29, 2024,
MLA: “Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; Foss and Stravinsky.” 1963-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 29, 2024. <>.
APA: Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; Foss and Stravinsky. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from