Saturday, 15 August 2015

Modernist youth trauma

While, most probably, Karl-Heinz Stockhausen arrived at his sonic aesthetics as a result of his traumatic war experiences as a teenager - allied bombing of Cologne, his job as a nurse in a field hospital, general exposure to apocalyptic catastrophe - the other arch father of modernism, Pierre Boulez, had other traumas to overcome.

From an interview with the conductor Diego Masson, friend of PB, in the Haretz magazine, we learn the following:

"Pierre Boulez, for example - do you know how he earned a living in his youth? He played at the Folies Bergere club and, together with his giant white piano, he would break through the stage straight into the crowd of nude women prancing around him, playing the 'Warsaw Concerto,' engulfed in kitsch and lit by a pinkish light - and that was while he was writing his second sonata."

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