Tuesday 23 June 2009

Boulez on Mahler

On Universal Music's new Mahler blog (in preparation for the Mahler celebrations in 2010 and 2011), there is an interview with Pierre Boulez concerning Gustav Mahler. Click here... Much of this we have heard before in various guises, but there is some interesting new material. I especially like the diplomatic handling of Leonard Bernstein:

No, we did not have very close contact with Bernstein. I saw him, of course, from time to time, but I mean we did not discuss music, because our tastes were so far from each other that the discussion would not have gone anywhere. And I think there was a kind of agreement for not touching this type of subject.

Adorno is cited as a reason why Boulez decided to explore Mahler's music, first, at least in part, as a source for the music of the Second Viennese School. And then there came, of course, an inspiration from before Mahler, for Boulez's admiration for Wagner seems, if anything to have grown further still. Wagner's orchestration is 'perfect ... you can look at the score as close as you want, you’ll find that’s perfectly balanced and perfectly well-organised.'

Boulez bucks fashionable trends in remaining irreconcilable to Shostakovich... And how could one not sympathise when he says that Mahler needs protecting from Alma?

This follows a similar interview with Daniel Barenboim, amongst much other material on the site.