The Fugue for Thought Podcast

Livre pour Quatuor Diotima

August 29, 2016

After an unintentional summer break, the podcast is back with a very exciting episode related to our Darmstadt School Series back in July. One of the featured composers, and perhaps the most famous of them, is Pierre Boulez, who passed away in January. The same week that I posted an article about his Livre pour Quatuor, I discovered that the Diotima Quartet would be coming to Taipei to premiere a new performing version of the work by the composer himself. They had an incredible opportunity to work with Boulez on his only work for string quartet, dating back to half a century ago, and I speak with Zhao Yun Peng, first violinist of the Diotima quartet about modern music and about the quartet specifically. There will be a Part 2 of this conversation as well as a (brief) Chinese version coming out later this week (hopefully), so stay tuned. I quote Mr. Zhao below. I asked him what he would say to audiences coming to hear a work from Boulez (or anything modern) for the first time:

-What we can do and what we can say maybe… is to say to the people, “okay, now we’ve changed a century and maybe just try to give up our habit to listen to the music from the nineteenth century. Maybe we need some references to listen to nineteenth-century music. But when you listen to the twentieth century, maybe just give up this habit, for example, nice melody. For example, some drama… maybe just let [it] go… It’s a little bit like when you appreciate a painting when you go to the modern arts exhibitions, and okay, you’re faced with a painting, but I think everyone will have a different feeling, everyone will have a different understanding, and it’s not necessary to have the same. The most important thing to have is to have a personal satisfaction when you listen to this sort of piece.-
Go listen to the whole episode. It's very good. 

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