Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Harrison Birtwistle




Last night I had the privilege of meeting with Sir Harrison Birtwistle shortly before his Wien Modern concert. We spoke about non- musical matters.

During the evening he answered questions from the audience. The following comments are, as he says, of their time:

   

   What I am doing is in the spirit of the moment. I don't change my music. It changes me. I couldn't write a different music than I write now or at any other time.

   Minimal is now. It is a reaction to something. When they throw their dirty washing in the corner after the event it doesn't interest me.


   The proms is not about music. It's a celebration . . . about nothing.


   It happens that things globally are of their time. You can't be original. 


   You have to be able to feel the draught under the door. 

   
   Boulez' Le marteau is one of the most important things written since the end of the 2nd  World War. 

                                                                         







8 comments:

  1. Back in the mid-60's I was introduced to Igor Stravinsky. I talked to him for about 10 minutes, but NOT about music; I would have sounded like a complete idiot. We spoke in English, then he changed to French, luckily I was able to continue our conversation. Thank goodness he didn't try-out my Russian.

    When I hear the name Birtwistle, I always think of Hockney's portrait engraving.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never met Stravinsky but I've been to his graveside a couple of times. I read somewhere, maybe in Letter to Vernon Watkins that there were plans to work on an opera with Dylan Thomas but unfortunately before a follow-up meeting could take place Dylan drank himself to death in a New York bar.

      Delete
  2. "It's a celebration... about nothing."
    __ The realism of so many years, in so few words. _m

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've added two more quotes. I'm sure you will like the next to last.

      Delete
  3. Music is a wonderful journey It can take us anywhere. I am envious of your evening in his company.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Genius and genial.
      Always a pleasure to be in such company. A wonderful evening I'll never forget.

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. He does. It shines from within.

      Delete