The twentieth century, as it progressed, presented serious challenges for the listener. But not only audiences were tested by this complex ‘new music’; the job of conducting these scores demanded a whole new raft of techniques. There were complicated cross-rhythms:
strange new time signatures:
There were aleatoric scores with their chance elements, graphic scores that sometimes looked more like art than music
and pieces that used an intricate nexus of tempos (rhythmic modulations).
Here’s one of the main movers and shakers in all of this – a typically undemonstrative Pierre Boulez, –conducting his own setting of Mallarmé’s sonnet, Le vierge, le vivace et le bel aujourd’hui:
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