Death of a Danish pioneer, 91

Death of a Danish pioneer, 91


norman lebrecht

January 19, 2016

Else Marie Pade, imprisoned under the German occupation, became an electronic music pioneer after a 1952 meeting in Darmstadt with the musique concrète inventor, Pierre Schaeffer.

Her 1959 breakthrough work, ‘Symphonie magnetophonique’, is composed entirely of everyday sounds.


Else Marie Pade

More here (in Danish).


  • Furzwängler says:

    Sounds kind of similar to Hoffnung’s Symphony for Three Vacuum Cleaners with Electric Kettle Obligato – – or whatever it was called.

  • Robert says:

    When I was a university music composition student 30 years later the professors were still doing this sort of stuff and imagining they were being very experimental and daring.

  • Cubs Fan says:

    Here’s another candidate for “Who Killed Classical Music”. This is just noise, suitable for a cheesy 1960’s sci-fi thriller.

  • John Borstlap says:

    This poor lady exchanged one prison for another.

    The German theorist / musicologist / composer Wolfgang Andreas Schultz published an interesting study in which he shows that much new music after WW I and after WW II had psychological characteristics, entirely comparable with the emotional state of traumatized people.

  • Paul Smithson says:

    Hello Norman, You must be *so* proud of these informed, articulate comments left by readers. In fact Pade was a composer blessed with sensitive ears and a brilliant imagination. Her work deserves to be celebrated by those for whom listening still matters.

    • John Borstlap says:

      It would be more appropriate to phrase it as follows: ‘… those for whom listening to sonic art still matters’. Musical imagination is something different from sonic imagination.

      • Paul Smithson says:

        I’d say it’s revealing that practically every answer you leave here – and on the Spectator website last week – shuffles around exactly the same handful of well worn cliches and descriptors. A bit like your music – which shows neither musical nor sonic imagination – and only a rudimentary grasp of technique. Your comments are narrow-minded and too often misogynistic. You really are a boring little man, with a deeply trivial mind.