Back

Leading contemporary composer ‘is freshly out as a kinky person’

February 5, 2016 by norman lebrecht

41 comments.


Georg Friedrich Haas: For decades, I tried to suppress and reject my sexual orientation. I thought of it as immoral. Then I decided to embrace it. I was incredibly lucky to find a partner who is willing to embrace it with me. This weight—I’ve carried it for decades, now suddenly it’s gone. That has caused a very fundamental change in me.

Read on here.

georg-friedrich-haas-ausgezeichnet-41-45666934


Comments (41)

  1. John Borstlap says:

    Another signal that there is a relationship between such morbid sonic fantasies and psychological disturbances:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoqvGLdjUhE

    Who would be surprised?

    Emancipation of the sick does not mean it is healthy.

    1. BM says:

      What a hateful comment. Perhaps you can sue the relevant cultural authorities for promoting ‘sick’ (even ‘degenerate’?) music over yours, which is so morally forthright (and yet boring as the missionary position).

      1. Doug says:

        This line of thought is “hateful” towards the preservation of Western civilisation. Enough of the Marxist boilerplate slogans.

        1. BM says:

          Oh yes, love, all the kinds of sex and music that aren’t to your taste are for sure responsible for The End Of Western Civilization. Pray tell: did The End Of Western Civilization begin with Mahler or Schoenberg? Did Berg contribute? What of Shostakovich or Britten? Was it the female orgasm or Das Kapital or the Stonewall riots? Inquiring minds want to know…

          1. John Borstlap says:

            Nonsense. There are standards of civilization, and if the sick and the twisted in psychology are ’emancipated’ to status of normality, there are no longer any means to spot the dangers which result from psychopathy. A psychotic killer should not be emancipated, period. And there are good arguments which support the idea that Schoenberg, Webern and Berg, in some of their music, reflect psychopathological problems. But in art, that is something different from real life.

      2. flipthefrog says:

        Assuming that this is the same Borstlap who wrote this piece: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2YP4AAXzIU – for being such a hateful, angry person, he sure writes surprisingly tame, middle of the road salon music. When comparing it to Haas and his “morbid sonic fantasies and psychological disturbances”, I think it’s quite clear that Mr Borstlap needs to get laid more

        1. Ulex Xane says:

          I’d take the music of Haas, a serious and inventive composer, over the trite ditties of Borstlap any day.

          1. John Borstlap says:

            There are always people preferring the thing with which they can wholeheartedly identify. That is where works like Haas’ are meant for. Enjoy!

          2. Holly Golightly says:

            Why not give us a sample of your own work? That’s only fair.

        2. John Borstlap says:

          That piece is a one-off enterprise, meant for musical people, and obviously you belong to the listeners who enjoy Haas. Good for you! And by the way, irony and critique is not necessarily ‘hateful’ etc. but of course, you are forgiven to not know the difference. No, really, Haas is just the thing for you.

    2. clockwork orange says:

      Such vitriol and self-righteous indignation for something that has nothing to do with him. Haas comes out of this exchange a lot more balanced than Borstlap, who can’t help but convey the image that all he ever does is, in the words of the narrator in A Clockwork Orange, “a little of the old in-out”.

      1. John Borstlap says:

        “…… vitriol and self-righteous indignation”… Gosh, you really got angry there. While it’s merely an observation, and a normal one. We know how classical music is treated in that film, which answers the worst cliché’s in the minds of people suffering from a deep resentment towards this art, feeling excluded by their own ignorance, laziness and inferiority complexes.

    3. jaypee says:

      Do you think there’s a link between this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_J3IXFhxOE8 and such personality traits as pretentious, without an ounce of originality, arch-conservative, trivial and boring?

      Face it: you’ve become a parody of yourself. And you’re not even funny anymore.

      1. John Borstlap says:

        Again, this is music meant for musical people, so it would be better to avoid exposing yourself so blatantly. People like this Mr Haas are to be pitied, and all the more so when their work is such a clear representation of themselves. As for originality: if an apotheosis of cliché-ridden ‘music’ has to be found, Mr Haas’ work certainly comes into serious consideration…. it is not only very dumb, but arch-reactionary: merely repeating the tricks of the sixties. Harking-back to something that has already been done is OK, but then something has to be done with the material, so that it changes its character. Also that is too subtle for ears who think that Haas is a ‘great composer’….

        1. BM says:

          Old Man Yells At Cloud

          1. John Borstlap says:

            It’s difficult, isn’t it?

        2. jaypee says:

          “Again, this is music meant for musical people, so it would be better to avoid exposing yourself so blatantly”

          You see, that’s your problem, right there.
          *You* call yourself musical, *I* call you a troll.
          You know what a troll is?
          “In Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.”
          This describes you to a tee.
          That’s too bad because I believe you have something to say. But instead of writing and discussing like a rational adult, you act like a complete know-it-all, arrogant jerk. Well, guess what, Mr. Troll: I treat you like one since this is obviously what you want.
          Why don’t you thank me?

          1. John Borstlap says:

            Yes, thank you for demonstrating trollicism, you are really good at it. Again: it is not so difficult, or so strange, to object to Mr Haas fantasies, be them in terms of sound or in terms of psychological problems, and objection seems a perfectly sensible thing to do, since neither in art nor in life, acceptance of abnormalities as perfectly normal should go unprotested, and there are good reasons for this. Calling that arrogant, is missing the point. Objecting to obvioulsy absurd things is the stuff that mature adults mostly do… I know, it is difficult to accept that, but maybe on reflection there might be something in it. What is normal, what is acceptable, and for which reason? That is subject to debate and research and especially, empirical observation. It does not seem probable to me that Mr Haas’ activities, neither on the concert platform nor privately, create much happiness or contribute to civilization, in whatever way, and there are good arguments for this conclusion.

    4. Holly Golightly says:

      The piece you’ve included here, and others like it, is not one which interests me. I always think this stuff was created as ideal listening for people when stoned or drunk.

      This piece says it all for me:

      http://www.throwcase.com/2015/11/23/aunt-sally-disappointed-with-contemporary-classical-piece/

      1. John Borstlap says:

        Very amusing.

  2. Erich says:

    And frankly this should be categorised under ‘too much information’. And it doesn’t make his mysic any more interesting.

  3. Michel R.E. says:

    He seems a bit confused as to what “sexual orientation” means.

    1. John Borstlap says:

      …. which is only a small part of the confusion that this poor man is suffering from.

    2. Holly Golightly says:

      There you go; and I thought he was confused about what ‘music’ means!!

  4. boringfileclerk says:

    I only wish composers would tell us more about the most intimate details of their desires. It’s good to encourage creativity, and it it helps the public appreciate the music even more. Haas will be remembered for being one of the giants of music. He’s not quite at the level of Boulez, but given this new information, his work should be considered as such. .

    1. John Borstlap says:

      Great comment, if it is indeed meant as irony.

      Mozart wrote quite tasteless, childish things in his letters; does that in any way throw a new light upon his music? I don’t think so. Mahler had quite some difficulties in his marriage, but does that explain his symphonies? Or was it not rather the other way around? If we finally woud know something about Boulez’ really intimate life (in case he had one), would that help to understand his four pots with the parameters, which were always at hand when composing?

  5. cherrera says:

    So he plays the German Master to his black wife’s Slave, is that kinky or just stereotype?

    Now, if she as a black woman played the Nazi Mistress and he as a German played the black slave, that WOULD be kinky.

    If you want real kink, just imagine what Tchaikovsky is doing to his nephew Bob as you’re listening to the Pathétique Symphony. Chills down my spine.

    1. Gerhard says:

      I’m very sorry to dissappoint you proudly showing off your little cliché: Mr. Haas “as a German” is Austrian. But I know, facts are overrated …

    2. Gerhard says:

      Mr. Haas “as a German” happens to be Austrian. But I know, facts don’t matter if one has enough prejudices.

      (BTW a similar response has been deleted before. Why?)

      1. Gerhard says:

        It gets ever more curious: after posting this second response, the first one which had dissappeared up to that moment pops up again. What is going on on this site?

        1. John Borstlap says:

          It’s probably hacked by the Modernismus Politbüro Berlin, an underground department of the AFD, to check whether German culture is appropriately presented here. (According to the Stürmische Beobachter, the PB is collaborating with the BNRM, subsidized by IRCAM but based in a Bauhaus-style villa in Baden-Baden). (BNRM: Brigade Nationale pour la Restauration du Modernisme.)

  6. Furzwängler says:

    That photo of Haas with his black wife is just horrible. It’s quite put me off my boiled eggs.

    1. John says:

      Absolutely. A disgusting sight.

    2. Holly Golightly says:

      LOL

  7. Craig says:

    These comments fit the ‘graveyard’ bill perhaps more than any others I’ve ever seen on this website. It’s an interesting article, and perhaps shows Haas’ wicked sense of humour above many other things.

    ‘You know, I never liked the music of Hans Werner Henze. It’s cold, elusive, it just never spoke to me. At one point, I read in his autobiography that he only composed when he felt relieved of sexual tension. And what I thought, a little wickedly, was, Yes, you can tell [laughs].’

    Ridiculing that which you do not understand yourself is the height of willful ignorance, by the way.

    P.S. Norman, you should have a NSFW tag on that link, as interesting as the rest of the article is.

  8. Mark says:

    This mentally-disturbed perverted fellow has a black slave ? I didn’t know Confederate-sexual was a thing …

    1. Holly Golightly says:

      Yes, just read about Thomas Jefferson. Oh, wait…wrong side.

  9. thorvaldsson says:

    Haas, why should anyone be informed about your sexual orientation?
    Think that every composer talks about his/her sexual interests. Boring.
    And no, music has nothing to do with the sex. Humans, stop being animals

  10. Urania says:

    Oh my – how poor – great music does uplift and manifest a higher spiritual dimension in the listener. I do know his music, much emotions….a composer who does not create his music in a higher sense of awarness will fade away like snow in the spring sun.

  11. Sean Duncan says:

    His musical style etc. aside (it is just does not aesthetically appeal to me), how does he square indulging this notion of ‘slavery’ and degrading someone on such a profoundly emotional level, with his rejection of Austria’s far right politics and even the insanity of Donald Drumpf running for US President, as well as other moral judgements? He gets intense sexual pleasure, creative energy and a plethora of other psychological and physiological stimuli out of indulging this inequality and degradation, and yet criticises it when manifested in politics?? She wears a collar….a COLLAR, as a constant reminder. This smacks of something far more pervasive than a sexual act….then again, perhaps that is sex for you: a pervasive and elemental part of the human ‘being’?? Perhaps we are repressing?? I am being sarcastic….perhaps?? To return to anchoring my thoughts into a point: if he is prepared to indulge this sort of relationship, I do not believe it to be consistent with his assertion of political morality. There is some dishonesty in one or the other.

    On the issue of her being black (I am myself black), I appreciate the logic of her argument that this is her choosing to indulge her sexuality of being submissive, which should not be denied to her because of the context spawned by the atrocities inflicted upon black people in the past (and present). I agree in principle, though I see this as somewhat idealist. I see a different reality however: she blogged to say that she has to struggle with her own anger at what she (dares to?) evaluate as things that are wrong or right. I’m going to keep the race issue out of the argument: she, as a person, gets angry when she sees that some things around her are ‘wrong’ (can we agree that such a concept exist?)…but she is a slave. So she represses her…well she represses anything that does or says other than submission. Is that natural? Is this anger not natural? IS the departure of opinion not natural? Is it not the natural assertion of will? Oh, but there it is- no will allowed. Or are we to say that she is expressing her will to not exercise her will? I mean, when you go around in so many circles like this, who is to say that Hitler, Drumpf, Austria’s far right, etc. all aren’t….’right’? And that Haas should not criticise or object to them? Or, for that matter, the mountains in Austria that he left because they steal the light… 😀 Let’s all ride this ‘free-fall logic’ into oblivion, shall we?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *