Conversations with Boulez: Thoughts on Conducting

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9781574670073: Conversations with Boulez: Thoughts on Conducting
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Pierre Boulez has held conducting positions with the BBC Symphony Orchestra as well as the orchestra of Chicago, Cleveland and New York. These interviews give us his views, wit, wisdom and beliefs. Here the theoretician of serial music talks about his career.

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A giant of postwar music and the most powerful figure in the contemporary French music scene, Pierre Boulez is widely known to American and English audiences as both an important composer and as star conductor of the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. These candid interviews give us vintage Boulez - his bold views, enigmatic wit, practical wisdom, and uncompromising beliefs. Here the eminent composer, who has been called both "a wild man of the avant-garde" and "the last true maestro" (New York Times), talks about being one of the world's most controversial conductors and daring programmers of musical taste. Boulez sometimes locks horns with French author Jean Vermeil, who confronts him with his past and prods him to discuss the future of music and orchestras. Boulez tells how and why he chose his battles and lays out his vision of the conductor's mission. He tells what he learned - and didn't learn - from other conductors, and how he feels about the composers who compromise his repertoire, including Webern, Berg, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Messiaen (with whom he studied), and, of course, Boulez himself.

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