What was it about Messiaen that made Boulez ‘want to vomit’?main
Michael Johnson has sent us an iconoclastic piece he has written for Open Letters Monthly, deconstructing the complex relationship between former teacher and pupil, as reflected in their different styles.
At what point did Pierre Boulez say his teacher’s music made him want to vomit? The teacher, of course, was the great French composer Olivier Messiaen, and Boulez was his ex-student. Scholars have been trying to track down that unkind cut for decades but details remain clouded. Boulez has denied that he ever used the word.
Read on here.
And here’s Messiaen’s take on the subject.