Louis Andriessen, musical quotation and aesthetic autonomy, circa 1968

Wednesday 15 June 2011, 4.00PM

Speaker(s): Robert Adlington

In 1966, just as Amsterdam’s countercultural scene burst into full swing, Louis Andriessen embarked upon a series of works made up primarily of musical quotations and stylistic allusions. This conjuncture appears to confirm the widely-held view that the 1960s fashion for musical quotation symbolised a puncturing of the impermeable autonomy of post-war avant-gardism and a new embrace of social meaning. Strikingly, though, Andriessen continued to assert through to the end of the decade that his music ‘expresses nothing’.

In his presentation, Robert will share recordings of and commentaries upon these works, in the hope of stimulating a collective exploration of (amongst other things):

  • the varied meanings of quotation works from this period
  • composers’ attitudes to the competing imperatives of aesthetic autonomy and social engagement
  • the strengths and shortcomings of recent histories of post-war music

Location: 107