MiM quiz – Expert level / Education

Remember, this quiz is not about testing your knowledge about contemporary music. It's all about getting to know the four composers - their music, techniques, but also inspirations and private stories. We invite you to take on this challenge - discover the universe of four personalities and dive in into their music.

Creative periods - Louis Andriessen

Which work by the composer is earlier? Which is later?

The earlier one should be indicated.

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Louis Andriessen’s music is often divided into pre- and post-De Staat (1972):

  1. Ittrospezione III (1965) – music that fits in well with the avant-garde of the 1960s.
  2. Excerpt from De Materie (first part) - its characteristic features include clear pulsation, repetitions, Stravinsky and jazz influences.

Which ones among the four composers wrote music for the youngest performers?

Match each statement with a composer.

He knew how to establish a bond with young listeners, but was not interested in simplifying his musical language to enable the youngest performers to play or sing his works.

Pierre Boulez was once asked to write a piece for an album of modern compositions for piano learners. He did comply with the request and the piece was published on the album, but Une page d’éphéméride is a very demanding composition technically – in any case Boulez himself admitted that he seemed to be unable to write anything simpler.

He wrote a lot of functional music, including instrumental music, like pieces for not very advanced pianists.

Kazimierz Serocki’s The Gnomes, a collection of pieces for young pianists, became very popular and was even arranged in various transcriptions for other instruments.

He wrote pieces featuring children’s choirs, but they are not music for children, as is evidenced, for example, by the texts, which talk about death.

In Louis Andriessen’s Dancing on the Bones, a piece the composer described as a “diabolical scherzo”, a children’s choir sings about what happens to the body after death.

He composed pieces for children’s choir to be performed by children and for children, with titles unequivocally indicating their addressees (for example, “I Am Already Big” or “Saint Nicholas”)

Arvo Pärt’s “children’s” works were issued on the Songs from Childhood album.

Read more about his Music for Children.

With whom did the four composers study?

Veljo Tormis

Arvo Pärt studied composition in Tallinn with e.g. Veljo Tormis, a composer known primarily for his choral compositions.

Luciano Berio

The eminent Italian composer Luciano Berio was young Louis Andriessen’s composition professor in 1962–1964.

Olivier Messiaen

In the same period, also in Paris, Olivier Messiaen conducted his famous analysis class – his broad horizons, unconventional interests and openness attracted many composers, including Pierre Boulez, who several years later became leading figures of the European avant-garde.

Nadia Boulanger

Nadia Boulanger (1887–1979) was a teacher of many outstanding composers, including Kazimierz Serocki, who in 1947–1948 explored the secrets of composing under her guidance thanks to a scholarship he had been granted.

20th- and 21st-century composers would often explain their composition techniques and engage in more general theoretical reflections

Many published books or articles; some conducted lectures at universities or courses, sometimes also commented on their works during encounters with non-expert audiences. But there were also those who did not comment on their oeuvres, assuming that music spoke for itself.

He published many books on music written by himself and other composers (especially 20th-century composers). In addition to educational and theoretical work addressed to specialists (composers, musicians, theorists), he devoted a lot of attention to providing comments on contemporary works for concertgoers, including young people.

He lectured in composition at conservatories and courses for young composers. He wrote one book – but he did not devote it to his own oeuvre but to the music of a composer that was artistically particularly close to him.

He did not give interviews and was reluctant to comment on his own oeuvre. He included his reflections on the foundations of his music in several hitherto unpublished lectures.

He did not write about his own music, but in interviews and numerous contributions on various occasions he said a lot about it.

Creative periods - Arvo Pärt

Which work by the composer is earlier? Which is later?

The earlier one should be indicated.

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Perpetuum mobile (1963) was written before Arvo Pärt’s tintinnabuli period, Adam’s Lament (2010) is one of more recent works by Arvo Pärt.

Creative periods - Pierre Boulez

Which work by the composer is earlier? Which is later?

The earlier one should be indicated.

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Discreet use of live electronics (delay, reverb diversification) points to a later period of Pierre Boulez creations, associated with the IRCAM technology (Dialogue de l'ombre double, 1985). In the case of Le marteau sans maître (1954), the earlier date is indicated, inter alia, by the melody characteristic for the avant-garde of the 50s.

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