Drei Fragen an 65 Komponisten
ConBrio Verlag, Regensburg, Germany
Hungarian publicist Bálint András Varga already began his interview project Three Questions to 65 Composers back in the 1970s. Over a period of three decades he asked major composers the same three questions:
1. Have you had an experience similar to that of Witold Lutowsławski’s when he heard John Cage’s Piano Concerto on the radio? This encounter changed his musical thought and ushered in a new creative period for him, initially resulting in the Jeux vénitiens (1960–61).
2. A composer is surrounded by tones, sounds, the raw material of his profession. Are they of significance for you, are you indifferent to them or do they disturb you? Would you prefer to be cut off from them?
3. How far can one speak of a personal style and when does self-repetition begin?
Various generations of composers were interviewed – from Ernst Krenek, Michael Tippett, John Cage, Henri Dutilleux, Pierre Boulez, György Ligeti, Klaus Huber, György Kurtág and Friedrich Cerha to Sofia Gubaidulina, Mauricio Kagel, Peter Maxwell Davies, Helmut Lachenmann and Georg Katzer through to Peter Eötvös, Tristan Murail, Wolfgang Rihm, Georg Friedrich Haas and Johannes Maria Staud.
Their answers shed light on the developments in the music of the 20th and 21st centuries in a wide variety of ways. The answers already appeared from the 1980s in several sub-publications and are now also to be made accessible for the German-speaking area in an extended issue of ConBrio – supplemented by 15 new interviews.