We love the Second Viennese School, but daughter's practice of Boulez's music is wearying us. How can we appreciate Boulez?
Unfortunately, this questions seems extremely opinion-based; asking how to learn how to appreciate a specific artist doesn't seem like the kind of thing that can be objectively answered - music taste is a very personal thing.
But Mithical appears mistaken. First, I am asking about UltraSerialism in general. Second, UltraSerialism is factually esoteric and unfathomable. This is NOT an opinion.
Herbert Pendergast - 'Do you think that the music of composers like Boulez and Webern will be easily understood by the musical public of the next generation?'
Herbert von Karajan - 'I am quite certain that the next generation will have no problem in understanding most of the music of today. Think of the Bartók Concerto for Orchestra. Twenty years ago it was considered inacccessible; today it is a classic. Think of the Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta. When we perform it today, it sounds like a concerto grosso of Handel. With the decline of melodic inspiration in music, the serial techniques of today are a necessary self-imposed discipline for the composer...'
For example, Mark Morris, in his superb Guide to 20th Century Composers, explains that the young Boulez took the 12-tone system and applied it to all aspects of music — rhythm, dynamics and instrumentation. This ‘total serialism’ may sound inaccessible, but it needn’t be, particularly if you ignore the composer’s intentions and only listen to short bursts at a time.
So first off, bravo to him for committing this music to disc. It is not performed that widely, programme planners and promoters regarding it as “too difficult” or “inaccessible” to sell to audiences (my view is that if this music is excluded from concert programmes, how on earth can audiences decide if it is too difficult or not…..?).
Stephen E. Rubin asseverated on March 25 1973
Determined to “bring order to music,” Boulez wrote and writes incredibly complex works, but they are ordered to a mathematical precision. He has been called a musical aristocrat, and his pieces generally are inaccessible to average audiences.