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.

 

 

Scandals are part of the history of 20th-century music (in the 21st century scandals are not so easy to come by). Three of our four composers became protagonists of scandals for reasons listed below. Which composer is concerned in each case?

He was the main instigator of the charivari organized for one of the greatest 20-century composers to protest against what he believed were symptoms of regression and “false modernity” in his music.

In 1945, in Paris Pierre Boulez with a group of young composer’s from Olivier Messiaen’s class organized a “charivari” during a performance of a neoclassical piece by Igor Stravinsky. For the young followers of dodecaphony the Russian composer was at that time an embodiment of regressive tendencies in music.

Together with colleagues sharing his beliefs the composer disrupted a concert of a famous orchestra led by an eminent conductor, protesting in this way against the fossilized and bourgeois, in his view, forms and contents of concert life.

In 1969, in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw young composers, with Louis Andriessen among them, sought to prevent Bernard Haitink from beginning a concert, protesting against the “undemocratic structure of the Concertgebouw Orchestra” and the lack of innovative contemporary works in its programmes

The religious content of the works outraged the state authorities.

In 1968 Arvo Pärt’s Credo was performed in Tallinn – the piece featured the words “Credo in Jesum Christum” (I believe in Jesus Christ). The religious content of the piece outraged the Soviet authorities, as a result of which Pärt’s works were subsequently eliminated from the official concert repertoire and from the radio.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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".

 

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