Turning the pages in one’s lifetime

On a necessary volume and the state of completion of a century

Raphaël Brunner
Following the disappearance of Pierre Boulez, Le Monde declares that “a truly full stop” had been set to the “20th century of musical avant-garde”. In a time where the journal dissonance is confronted with the difficult turn of the millenium, and probably sees its very title linked to the musical changes of the past century, a volume, Théories de la composition au XXe siècle (Nicolas Donin and Laurent Feneyrou (eds.), Lyon, Symétrie, 2013, 2 vol., 1827 p.), gives us the opportunity to stop and look back on a whole century. At the boundary between review and theoretical essay, and opening the discussion to other similar works (the Histories of the musical 20th century and its theory at the Cambridge University Press, but also those by Célestin Deliège, Pascal Decroupet, etc.), this text offers a transversal approach, from Schoenberg and Hindemith to Wolgang Rihm, from Julián Carrillo to Harry Partch, including the post-war avant-gardes, on the considerable synthesis that the volume by Donin, Feneyrou and their collaborators represents.

by moxi