MiM quiz – Explorer 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.

 

 

The four composers not only composed songs. To a smaller or bigger extent they also tried to influence the shape of the musical life in their countries and globally. To whom do the following statements refer?

He had a huge impact on the shape of the musical scene by creating new ensembles, institutions, artistic events.

Among Pierre Boulez's most important achievements are not only the artistic ones but also the creation of IRCAM, Ensemble Intercontemporain as a model of a new music ensemble and concert halls adapted to unconventional music performances, which he designed together with the architect Frank Gehry.

There was a period in his work when he wanted to take music out from concert halls and to broaden its social role.

In the 60's and 70's Louis Andriessen, together with other artists, used to attack what he regarded as bourgeois and outdated forms of concert life, which he wanted to replace by the modes much better adapted to the needs of the modern society.

He influenced the musical scene with the power of his music, therefore the term

Hollywood but also indie directors like to use the magical music of Arvo Pärt to soundtrack their films. But he has not made any significant efforts towards influencing music life through creation or being part of institutions

He was the initiator of an important contemporary music festival.

Kazimierz Serocki was one of the founding fathers of the International Festival of Contemporary Music in Warsaw, referred to as “Warsaw Autumn”,

Read more about the "Warsaw Autumn Festival".

 

Vocal music - who composed this musical piece?

Listen to the short excerpt and  recognize the composer.

The example comes from Pierre BoulezPli selon pli.

The example comes from Louis Andriessen La passione.

The example comes from Arvo PärtKanon pokajanen.

The example comes from Kazimierz Serocki Poesies.

The quotations come from other composers and music journalists. Whom they apply to?

xxx in the quotations replace the name of the composer in question.

He considered himself from his earliest days to have an almost Napoleonic mission regarding music and its cultural role. His ambition was not only to compose, but to change the attitude of the public, institutions […] with regard to modernism.

George Benjamin (British composer) on Pierre BoulezThe Guardian, 20 March 2015

Individualist when it came to understand folklore but also the orchestra and new form. Though uncommonly intelligent, there was no indication of the intellectual nature of his actions.

Bogusław Schaeffer (Polish composer) on Kazimierz SerockiKompozytorzy XX wieku tom 2 (Kraków, 1989)

xxx music is the sound of the most fruitful of collisions between political radicalism, minimalist pulsation and European modernism; at its most profound, it's much more than that.

Tom Service (music journalist) on Louis Andriessen The Guardian, 15 October 2012

European music shows the signs of a spiritual crisis, and xxx is there, the lonely humans voice. He writes religious music in a very secular age.

Steve Reich (American composer) on Arvo Pärt  – Die Zeit, 11 September 2015

Orchestral music - who composed this musical piece?

Listen to the short excerpt and  recognize the composer.

Instrumental color scheme also plays a major role in Pli selon pli composed by Pierre Boulez, but this piece sounds quite different from Serocki’s music. Boulez saw the precise pitch as equally important as harmony arrangements.

In Ad libitum the nature of the music resembles that of colour fantasia, like in many of Krzysztof Serocki’s works.

A vivid, though by no means simple rhythm, sound of the orchestra favouring the brass rather than the strings suggest Louis Andriessen – the example is taken from his Mysterien.

Consonant chords, melody and harmony bringing to mind Renaissance music in Arvo Pärt’s 3. Symphony are characteristics of many of his works.

Chamber music - which of the four composers wrote this musical piece?

Listen to the short exceprt and recognise the composer.

The example comes from Louis Andriessen Zilver.

The example comes from Kazimierz Serocki Swinging Music.

The example comes from Arvo PärtEs sang vor langen Jahren.

The example comes from Pierre BoulezLe marteau sans maître.

Which composers visited the International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt?

Since 1946 the International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt has been the most important meeting place for composers interested in new phenomena in music. For two of the Four Composers the Darmstadt course was an important place in their artistic biographies, for the remaining two – not at all. Which composers visited the course?

In 1958 Musica concertante (1958) by Kazimierz Serocki was the first ever piece by a Polish composer to be premiered during the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt. In the 1950s PB, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Luigi Nono were considered to be leading young avant-garde composers, for whom the Summer Course in Darmstadt remained for a while the most important forum for presenting their own music and concepts.

Well done!

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