"Respected, but unwanted ..." Ernst Křenek today – in the light of two recent organ compositions

  • Marija Bergamo


Ernst Křenek, composer-intellectual, one of the most controversial figures in the 20th century music who has for decades with his stylistic changes embarrased theoreticians of even Adorno's calibre is still providing surprise. With the "keys" of musical structures from Monteverdi to W. Rihm and S. Reich in his hands which he in his musical laboratory tested from the viewpoint of the compositional technique, musical aesthetics, sociology and history, the 80-year old Křenek shows in his most recent works the inquisitiveness of a youth. His Concerto for Organ and Strings, Op. 230, written in 1979, and Opus 231 for Violin and Organ, from the same year, show Křenek's present-day principles of musical organization, characterized by a high degree of complexity and variety. Also in these two works Křenek sets out from the serial technique which permits unity in material and a well-ordered diversity. It is clear, however, that he is not interested in the technique itself and that through it he merely wants to realize certain aesthetic values. In both compositions analysed here the composer is precisely in this sense truly successful; besides, the two works clearly examplify the virtuosity of his technical perfection.


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How to Cite
BergamoM. (1982). "Respected, but unwanted ." Ernst Křenek today – in the light of two recent organ compositions. Musicological Annual, 18(1), 83-93. https://doi.org/10.4312/mz.18.1.83-93