Monday, 11 January 2010

Boulez anniversary year and interview

There is an interesting interview with Pierre Boulez in the New York Times from a few days ago. (I am not sure I have ever read an uninteresting interview with him, for there always seems to be some flash of insight.) Notably, Daniel Barenboim contributes, the Barenboim-Boulez musical axis surely having been one of the most enduring and productive of recent - and even not-so-recent - years. Who could disagree with Boulez concerning the lack of adventure, or even interest, in so much programming? A significant segment of typical bourgeois concert and opera audiences, I suspect, and therein lies the problem for anyone with the slightest intellectual and cultural curiosity...

Boulez will turn eighty-five this year. In April, I shall visit Berlin for the Staatsoper's birthday celebrations, which will include Maurizio Pollini performing the second sonata, Boulez himself conducting the Staatskapelle Berlin in works by Boulez, Schoenberg (Barenboim the soloist in the piano concerto), and Berg, and a jointly conducted concert (Boulez and Barenboim) with members of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in Messagesquisse, Anthèmes 2, and Le Marteau sans maître (soloist: Hilary Summers).

Further details of these Berlin Festtage, which will also include Barenboim conducting Tristan und Isolde in a revival of Harry Kupfer's production, and Eugene Onegin in Achim Freyer's bizarre staging, may be found here. Reviews of all performances cited above will follow.