Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bacewicz on Dodecaphony

I came across this statement about dodecaphonic music from Grazyna Bacewicz.
For me the work of composing is like sculpting a stone, not like transmitting the sounds of imagination or inspiration. The majority of contemporary composers work as systematically as bureaucrats. If there is no inspiration one does the menial "workshop" jobs, if there is inspiration the creative work continues. Discipline, strict discipline in composition is essential to for me. There is a saying: the house will fall down if it were to be built without principles. However, since dodecaphony does not appeal to me very much I am sitting alone and working out my own system.
[Letter of Gra┼╝yna Bacewicz to her brother, Witold (Vytautas Bacevicius), 23 October 1958].

I also came across this photo on the above website. Bacewicz is sitting on a Jury in Moscow in 1960. I recognize Leonid Kogan, so I imagine that it was a violin competition. Since there are flags from around the world, I imagine it was an international violin competition.

Update: [Here is a link to learn the other members of the jury.]


Lisa Hirsch said...

Elsewhere captioned as the 1962 Tchaikowsky competition

Elaine Fine said...

Thanks, Lisa!

Now we know who is who.

Elaine Fine said...

. . . Or whom!

Lisa Hirsch said...

You're welcome!

Anonymous said...

"...since dodecaphony does not appeal to me very much." When one surveys the whole of modern music to include the popular alongside the so-called classical, docecaphony appeals to fewer and fewer people as the years drag on. Forced to write much in this genre in my composition courses, I and a number of my colleagues in similar manner have destroyed it all, while some of those coercive twelve-tone proponents are already forgotten while still living post-retirement. Ms. Bacewicz had the courage to say this fifty years ago; hurray for courage.

Lisa Hirsch said...

And yet there are people like me who love composers such as Boulez and Babbitt and other postwar serialists, not to mention modernists such as Carter.