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Forms of Dialogue The Boulez Ensemble Plays Pintscher and Debussy

Thomas May

The complex phenomena associated with a dialogue­ —musical, social, intellectual, emotional—inform the core of Matthias Pintscher’s musical thinking, whether in his guise as composer, conductor, or teacher. In an interview with the immunologist Jacques Banchereau on the topic of creative inspiration, Pintscher remarked that “these musical objects start talking and erasing each other or clashing and transforming, and then you start developing the drama, the narrative, the story.” Today’s program culminates in the first performance of Pintscher’s new commission for the Pierre Boulez Saal, NUR, a piano concerto that he describes as essentially a ­dialogue between the soloist and the ensemble musicians. The late-period trio sonata by Claude Debussy, a composer of central significance to Pintscher since he began writing his own music in his teen years, suggests a dialogue of ­aesthetic values between past and present. And Pintscher ­engages in dialogue with his own musical past in the opening piece, Verzeichnete Spur. Trace and Erasure: Pintscher’s Verzeichnete Spur Still another species of dialogue—between his identities as composer and conductor—has proved to be a spur for ­artistic discovery. “Whenever I come back to something that I already knew years ago, I have to prepare it once again,” Pintscher says. “That’s true even for my own scores. I have 15

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Boulez Ensemble XVII - Matthias Pintscher