Dr Mark Berry, a devout Boulezian, has published a swift tribute to the greatest influence on his musical and intellectual life, the French composer Pierre, Boulez, who died today.
He was, quite simply, the conscience of what some of us are stubbornly old-fashioned enough still to call New Music. That does not mean that he was always right, although he was far more right than wrong, but he knew and he incessantly urged a fearsomely moral, fearsomely humane doctrine – in the very best, Catholic sense – that nothing could be further from the truth than the ‘anything goes’ post-modern morass. Yes, it did matter, as performer, as composer, as listener, as human being, what one did; no, it was not good enough to pander, to ‘make allowances’, and so on. Above all, it mattered to educate; in that sense, he stood in the greatest Western tradition.
Read the full tribute here.
Boulez by Betty Freeman (c) Lebrecht Music&Arts