Photo: Thomas Muus

Modern Monday



Archive: 10/6 2019, 20:00

Blågårds Pl. 6A
2200 København


The two composers of the program at the concert have some similarities: an energetic urge to deal with traditions, an ability to radicalize the personal tone language, and a sense of absurdity and, not least, the ability to take the absurdity seriously. Gunnar Bergs Mouture is – completely unheard of in Danish music history – a work for seven percussion players from 1953. The urge to write the music and the inspiration for it arose after exploring the music by French-American Edgar Varese, which Berg had come across in his studies in Paris from 1948. A 'mouture' is a mill, and in this spectacular percussion work it is the rhythms that are painted in smaller and smaller pieces and are divided into new and finer structures.

Furious (art) craft, L'Artisanat furieux, is one of the titles of the poems by Rene Char used by Boulez in Le Marteau sans maître, which was premiered in 1955. Boulez spreads out the texts so that they are not exclusively placed in the singing voice; he lets instrumental preludes, postludes and comments interfere with the sung sections, and you sense that the sections are tied to the text, even when it is not there. When you listen to the work, you sense an intense connection: Soundwise, from voice over instruments to percussion, and in the rhythms and dynamics, one is also left with a feeling that no remark is superfluous, no tone stands in the way for the others, but it all grows together in a necessary organic tissue. The music is famous for its complexity, but it does not shade the experience of clarity, beauty and, not least, organic context. Boulez's music can be described by the title cited above: It is furious craft. It throws away all traditions, but is built on rock solid compositional craftsmanship. It challenges all artisan habits, but engages in the history of groundbreaking artistic expressions.


Gunnar Berg: Mouture (1953)
Pierre Boulez: Le Marteau sans maître (1955)


The concert is presented in collaboration with Modern Mondays and supported by Kapelmesterforeningen