Contemporary Music in Evolution; 25; 1955
1955 is the year we are probing at the moment on this series. In that year the French composer revised and orchestrated a work he had started five years earlier. A working title said Khan's sequence works good for soprano and 10 instrumentalists piano harp violin and cello. Tell us the glockenspiel vibraphone xylophone and three percussion players playing of a wide assortment of instruments and the work is based on texts. I need to get a French translation freely adopted by the composer. Now this work along with most of the music of Bach achieved some notoriety a year or two ago when it was hailed as book since the ABC as the greatest musical creation since Beethoven. As a consequence of this rather rash statement an immediate reaction seems to have formed against caves music and the words are full of people who talk about how
horrible biogas music is. But when asked if they have ever heard any of it. The answer is almost always no. I find myself at a complete loss to explain the situation and I can point to no other precedent where practically unknown work has unleashed such controversy and comment. The fact is that the commercial recording of the work is to all intents and purposes unavailable in America. It can only be found in one or two import shops and only then occasionally. And I also notice that the original French recording label that recorded by K. does not even advertise this word on its record jackets although there are other recordings of the European oven God to pull as Stockhausen on Opus etc. are always listed and advertised. This is another inexplicable aspect of the case. But as I pointed out on an earlier broadcast a good deal of evidence points to the
fact that his music is not played and propagated very much because he is a very shy and retiring man. Not at all the police assistant propagandist that so many European composers on the subject also do long bouts of illness. Almost the kind of massive post type and be less who completely dominates Parisian musical life in the contemporary field has very effectively blocked all but a few isolated performances about who is his only potential composer rival and unfortunately rivalry is a very important element in Boulez's career ambitions. About K did not even have a publisher until last year. I might also add parenthetically that I will be conducting the first American performance of say a concert in New York this winter. In fact the first performance of anybody in music in America it is not that I also feel that his
music is the best since Beethoven. I don't agree with that but I do feel that it is excellent music by an extraordinarily gifted and sensitive musician. And that it should at least and at last be heard before there's this gust much longer. As in previously programmed works by about hockey. I have to state again that since no score is as yet generally available it will be however in a about a month or so. One is handicapped in talking in all but generalities about the piece since it is not possible to unravel the works complexities without studying the score especially in view of the obviously insecure recorded performance made from a tape of an actual concert in Paris at the same time I cannot rely on dess lengthy discussion and analysis of say Kos since he is obviously a little too subjective in his feelings towards the hockey and this particular work.
All that I can offer therefore are a few comments based on my own reactions to succumbs as an auditory experience. What attracts me to the work is the extraordinary instrumental and temporal richness of the score. There's a kind of richly varied tapestry of sound achieved with only nine players. That must be it seems to me the result of a keenly sensitive and musical ear. This aspect of the work and all other phases of it seem to seem to me to be marked by one overriding idea or principle and that could be summarized by the word. Contrast contrast operates in sitcoms continually and at all levels. The delineation of the vocal part is informed by contrast not only in the shape of the vocal lines but in the modes of expression indicated by the composer which range from near screams to several kinds of whispers as well of
course as normal singing to place Dima and many of the other devices used by contemporary composers. All of these are used Moreover in close unexpected juxtapositions thus achieving constant surprises and contrasts. And yet it is done with such an ear for the inner continuity of the piece that it never descends to the level of mere effect. Inventing more gimmickry. That's the vocal part becomes almost an instrumental part. Simply one of the ten parts of the instrumental ensemble. The element of contrast is operative in respect to the use of the instruments as well. Contrast not only in the use of disparate registers. Unlike the higher pitch as Marcos or mantle which we heard last week but also maximum contrast in the juxtaposition of camber and instrumental color. This is especially true of the percussion parts which are handled with great sensitivity
and an ear for the lyrical possibilities of the percussion instruments. The question here is never used as a means of noise making. It is treated instead lyrically almost melodically and primarily in a secondary role. Percussion and Cyclone serves more to underline and enrich the texture of the musical fabric and it does so in a manner which reminds me of the extraordinary richness and diversity we admire and then of songs art and sculpture. Then there is the old standby for achieving aural contrast dynamic content about a gay does a great deal with this. He uses it again with such a sure and sensitive hand that one is apt to take it for granted after a few minutes of this music. In this respect his music comes closest too late and I think I might agree with that Baquet is certainly a worthy successor in this particular respect to the
contrast also plays a part in the overall form of the piece because it is neither a country nor a suite it is simply a five part instrumental piece and including the voice now as an instrument. The vocal parts a five part instrumental piece which divides into three Kontos and two inter fellated interludes without the voice and each condo has its own specific character. The first quite lyrical. The second highly charged and intense and the third and elaborate combination of Contos 1 and 2. Another contrast can be heard in the continuity of the musical discourse. Bach loves the alternate static suspended sections with complex symmetrically pulsating moments. This however is done with such a variety of alternations In other words it's not always the same degree alternation that the idea of continuity contrasts never bores
through repetition. This love for contrast and Bach is innate lyricism with a decidedly French touch are the qualities that most distinguishes music. The recorded performance does not live up to the demands of the score and much of what I can hear almost between the lines so to speak and much of what I can restore to the work in my imagination may escape many listeners especially on first hearing the tip of the typically old fashioned dry French studio sound of the recording also presents a problem since it negatively affects the aural contrasts I've been speaking about by blanketing the whole thing in a kind of dull as dishwater sound. But anyone how here for better or for worse is the recording of COs with the soprano Ethel censor the pianist on the radio and a French ensemble conducted someone unimaginatively by who does I
That was the work of a sitcom with soprano and the pianist and a friend ensemble playing in a dome in concert conducted by the band. Shortly after the war in Germany which had experienced a grim period of
artistic isolation and suppression during the Hitler era re-entered the European artistic community and with typical thoroughness and soon regained its pre-war eminence as one of the leading countries in Europe not only in the arts but as we now know holds an income as an industry. The rest of any drum composing talents during the dark Hitler period Germany had to literally rediscover its composers especially in the young generation. And one of these was forthcoming appropriately discovered and hailed as the new leader of German music. His name was Hans hands or if you're born in 1926 This was before Stockhausen by the way I'm speaking of the years 1947 and 48. It is interesting to note that early development reflects exactly the course towards a rediscovery of contemporary music experienced by Germany in general.
At first the link to Hindemith who had lasted in Germany about until 1935 was re-established. Then the Germans rediscovered me and disturbance and by 1950 had adopted Schoenberg as their new ideological influence. Early Development went in an exactly parallel course and by 1955 he had become kind of the rampaging European of unguided movement and the work we are about to hear the concept of petty uniting is one of the works from that period period. I heard it first started at the summer courses for contemporary music. It was written for them in music and hence its title concept of Paddy the madding concerto for the mind. The theatre being the place where those concerts took place. The two Italian words in the title incidentally stem from Hans as you noted in that admiration of
everything Italian. He's a really a telephone to the extent even of exiling himself from Germany and living for nearly a decade in Italy in Capri I believe. Since I stopped short of giving himself an in-town in town United's name as they used to do in the 15th 16th and 17th century. By 1955 and 56. No it's shortly after this that the writing of this country Ethel Henson became disenchanted with his colleagues of the on gun and seceded from their ranks and turned to a more conservative style which has in the last six years vacillated drastically between a kind of expressionism superficial jazz influences occasional forays into tonality and various love affairs with the styles of Britain via ducks Devinsky and a number of other stylistic twists and turns. Still only 36 and it would be foolish to count him out as one of the prominent European
composers. On the other hand the last few years do not give much hope for his future as a leading composer. The truth is that Hans is an extraordinarily talented musician. He has an enormous facility in all aspects of composing but it is this very facility which is also a Kansas downfall. It is a kind of under supply and facility which at times creates moments of great beauty and striking originality and at other times it undercuts and overloads as inspiration with too much technique and too many details and in the sensual. This is also the reason why Hans A has to my mind never created a fully finished a completely through composed work. He tends to rush through parts of his works. It's very often very patchy and often the endings are sort of half finished almost as if he had lost interest in the work and had been in the meantime attracted to something outside. The
concept of the work that reflects these talents and weaknesses it is superficially bad human style with an occasional overlay of serial technique. It is all put together with great uses and I would guess great speed and it all has a certain emptiness and formlessness. It is possible that hands of short lived up with mom with the oven God never really had much meaning for him and the quality of this work would tend to substantiate this in this performance recorded at the domain music concert. We hear once again the ubiquitous pianist even though Leo and seven instrumentalists concept by Hans van the answer. I.
Didn't. Know. They can build for piano and seven instruments in my hands now the hands with her than the performance. Playing the piano even though Leo and seven instrumentalists conducted once again line. They have the last word on this 1955 program will be against clinics on Chantix orchestral piece 11 times fancies a Louisville commission it is a curious coincidence arising out of the chronological format of this program series that handset and Danica should appear on the same program for both compose with its glow some rather remarkable parallel lines
like Hans and Janica possesses the mind and the great facility to go with it. And again like hands on Chantix creative development has been marked by a number of stylistic kinds and deviations genic in the last decade has aligned himself for the most part with the European haven't gone. And unlike Hanzi Yes stuck with them and he has aligned himself with the European Ivan guy though his headquarters are physically in Los Angeles California. Now his connection with the other guy has a curious history. Janick was engaged in the early 50s to teach at the dump that some of courses. So he came there as a sort of elder statesman of 12 tone music and settled down to what I'm sure he thought would be a long period of veiling the mysteries of 12 tone music to the students little could he have guessed that within two or three years not only would critics
main influencer MBRD be as old fashioned but even vagrant would be deposed as the aesthetic leader and Stockhausen and Boulez would be installed in his that coming to the start as a mentor and teacher genic suddenly found himself outflanked and running hard to catch up and he did run hot by the mid fifties panic had written his first electronic piece and was also well on the way to becoming one of the most rigorously inclined serial composers. I magine the genic who among other things of the practical and realist must have realized that a work of totally serialized music was not exactly what the commissioning series had in mind. Also that the Louisville Sluggers there would have its problems with what was at the time a very new and complex style and still is to this day. Be that as it may the 11 transparencies is a pleasant accessible harmless
12 tone composition consisting of 11 short pieces whose title 11 transparency suggests as pranic cryptically put it in his programme notes that quote something is shining through the music unquote. What's shown through the music for chronic He summed up in the 11 subtitles subtitles such as the zine from darkness. Life is light and shade. Volcano of anguish and others but I think Janet was wise in realizing that these problematic titles could probably best be ignored as he implies in his program. I hope to be able to play and discuss some of Gen-X better later and that's more important works in coming weeks. To the extent that they are available on recording for now let us hear the next 11 trance dances played by the Louisville Symphony conducted by Robert Wood.
You just heard the 11 transparencies you know who are against chronic one of
the better believe the commissions. And with that we conclude this particular program. I'm going to bring music and evolution will be back next week with it with my final program of the music of 1955. The program will include the orchestra where you think you know the card. From a baritone to a tenor and became an absolute right show. Who were. Your. From the nation's capital the educational radio network presents a view point Washington. An exploration of current events ideas and personalities as they appear from the
Washington perspective. Host of the series is Lawrence Martin. Professor of diplomacy at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. This evening's program examines hiring policies in industry and government. Joining Mr. Martin in this discussion are Dr. Glenn stall director of the Bureau of programs and standards of the United States Civil Service Commission and Byron personnel director of the laboratory division of the drug Corporation of America. And now here is your host Lawrence Martin. Today we're going to try and discuss some of the practices that are observed both in the government and in private industry in hiring at employees at all levels. Some of the problems that arise in trying to do this properly and some of the contrasts perhaps in the way this is done in industry in a way this is done in government. Most of us I think probably share my fairly deep ignorance of this subject. Mr. style.
And I wonder if to just start as you might make some kind of a general statement on the problem as as as you see it what exactly is the task of a person in charge of hiring. Yes Mr. MARTIN Well in the government since we are speaking of the public service we have to be mindful all the time that we have a general responsibility to the public so that you almost invariably find wherever any governmental jurisdiction and particularly the Federal Service has what is commonly referred to as a merit system of employment. You really have two principles when it you have the idea of merit trying to get the best candidates for jobs that you can find in the labor market. Plus the obligation to the public of providing equal opportunity to be considered for employment. So all of our all of our procedures all of our policies are geared towards serving those two objectives.
Usually the two objectives work handily together occasionally of course you. You may be faced with the problem of letting the interests of one slightly override the other we usually have to try to lean in the direction in the day's labor market of of letting the element of merit be the overriding consideration but we cannot overlook the necessity to provide equal opportunity to applied to be considered and to be accept it or not. I'm not sure that I quite understood that last remark. What is there about today's neighbor market that makes you not at all able to favor equal opportunity because it's a tight labor market. I didn't say we wouldn't favor equal opportunity I say that occasionally if you if you're down at a point where where the the two have to be reconciled that you would probably tip the scales in favor of of merit because you don't have so many people knocking at your door demanding
employment. This is the. This is a seller's market when the unskilled groups you do sure this is where the unemployment is but these aren't the ones that are most outfits like elect the government outfits are hiring. So consequently our main problem is making sure that we get the right cut out of the quality in the labor market. And and we we have plenty of protections. Probably more than the average employer to assure that there is an equal opportunity to all comers who present the proper qualification to Veyron. If I'd put that question to you speaking from private industry would it have been a very.
- Episode Number
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Series Description
- Contemporary Music in Evolution is a radio program hosted by Gunther Schuller, which traces the evolution of Western classical music from 1899 to 1961. Each episode focuses on a specific year and chronicles some of the significant works, schools, and composers of the time. Schuller introduces several performance recordings in each episode, and gives commentary and analysis that also touch on previous episodes.
- Media type
Host: Schuller, Gunther
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 64-36-25 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “Contemporary Music in Evolution; 25; 1955,” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 1, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-q23r0k8n.
- MLA: “Contemporary Music in Evolution; 25; 1955.” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 1, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-q23r0k8n>.
- APA: Contemporary Music in Evolution; 25; 1955. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-q23r0k8n