Author Topic: The Huber Hub  (Read 1964 times)

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Offline Mandryka

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The Huber Hub
« on: April 09, 2019, 04:39:12 AM »
He was a major influence on Ferneyhough and I like Ferneyhough. I know nothing about him other than that, though I've started to listen to some quartets. Has anyone any insights, ideas, recommendations, experiences etc etc?
« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 11:49:44 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline CRCulver

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Re: Klaus Huber's Hut
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2019, 06:06:42 AM »
Was he a major influence on Ferneyhough? I know that Ferneyhough studied under him and they both taught at Freiburg for a time, but Ferneyhough has not talked about Huber as a model much. (I vaguely remember some critical remarks made by Ferneyhough about Huber). It might be like calling Renee Leibowitz a major influence on Boulez just because the latter studied under the former, even though the few things Boulez has said about Leibowitz are mainly quite negative.

Over the years I have ripped an ample collection of Huber recordings from libraries across Europe, but I have not actually sat down and listened to any of it yet. This thread might give me the needed kick in the arse.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Klaus Huber's Hut
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2019, 06:31:30 AM »
Yes and no, there's this interview from Stephen Harold Riggins, The Pleasures of Time: Two Men, a Life (Insomniac Press 2009)

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Following this is a discussion of Femeyhough's complex relationship with two teachers, Ton de Leeuw and Goffredo Petrassi. Although he is willing to talk about these experiences in detail, this information, is not flattering, particularly for someone who at the time is himself teaching music. With Klaus Huber, Ferneyhough managed to establish a relation-ship that was much more constructive.

 
Ferneyhough: I met Klaus Huber at the Gaudeamus Foundation in '68, the first year I was there. He struck me then in a curious way as a very gentle and very saintly man. At the time we had a misunderstanding. My music, for completely irrelevant reasons, seemed to him to have a great deal in common with his own. This has been the source of fruitful misunderstandings ever since.

Riggins: What did Huber think you had in common?

Ferneyhough: We had a certain very tight structuralism in small movements which were connected together.... I came from Schlinberg-Webern mixtures. I developed the most incredibly one-sided complex technique at this stage of composition. There was a megalomaniac length of pieces and intricate developments. One or two motives, I suppose, would be ultimately derivable from the aesthetics of Boulez, although at that stage I didn't really know much about his compositional techniques. I had seen the scores, looked at them totally unintellectually, and thought this was nice. I tried something similar. Klaus Huber's music has gone in the direction of a sort of aesthetic mysticism. He wants to say things about time, about the human experience in the face of eternity. The personality as it's given in a moment, for instance in relation to the horrors of war in his piece ...inwendig voller Figur..., based on a Durer woodcut which sort of prefigures atomic war. His violin concerto, Tempora, is a piece based upon growth out of nothing. It's a mystic principle of sound. Stones are rubbed and banged together. This is gradually extended into long notes and into Gregorian chant at the end. A great score.

He thought at this time that I had the same spiritual attitudes. But I don't. I am totally irreligious. I am a person who is perhaps obsessed with a certain dry pedanticism which contrasts with the wilder side and the megalomaniac side. It is by juxtaposing these two extremes that for me any form of creative activity is possible.... ...I try to write music which is totally hermetically dosed within its self, a dosed universe within which a person may discard his earlier per-sonality, his earlier preconceptions and absorb these totally illogical sets of presuppositions which I present to him. It's like a labyrinth. It works on so many different levels. One can choose in which direction he moves within this labyrinth of possibilities.

Riggins: From what you say none of your teachers had an influence upon your compositions?

Femeyhough: Yes. Klaus Huber has had an effect upon my composi-tions in that he was the first person who ever encouraged me to keep on composing at a very late date indeed.

Riggins: But did Huber direct your interests in any way or were they already formed?

Ferneyhough: He directed my interests in no way whatsoever. I was a terrible pupil because I always copied out my pages in neat script before I took them to him. So I couldn't possibly alter anything as a consequence of what he said. Every week I would go with some nice new pages. He would say: "Ah. ..yes...well...yes. Yes. Explain me that. Explain me that. How does that go? Yes. Yes." And then we talked about something totally different. It was very stimulating. What could he say? He couldn't say: "Well, that doesn't work. That doesn't work." If he did, I would say: "It's too late. It's there now." (March 26, 1974)
« Last Edit: April 11, 2019, 06:37:11 AM by Mandryka »
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Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Klaus Huber's Hut
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2019, 07:30:18 AM »
I was going to contribute, until it dawned on me that the thread is not about Karel Husa. :(

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Klaus Huber's Hut
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2019, 09:19:05 AM »
Is this Tempora, the violin "concerto" that Ferneyhough says is "a great score?" I'm not hearing " Stones are rubbed and banged together. This is gradually extended into long notes and into Gregorian chant at the end."

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/-3MMkVxJUmY" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/-3MMkVxJUmY</a>

There are three parts, the rest is there, be careful with your speakers -- it goes unexpectedly from very quiet to very loud.

No comments, 18 views in 3 years, three of them by me.


Oh it is Huber. I rather like it, there are Ferneyhough type moments in there even I think (the way one voice interrupts another sometimes)



« Last Edit: April 11, 2019, 09:24:34 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Klaus Huber's Hut
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2019, 09:39:00 AM »
Does anyone have this? If so, could I have an upload please? Or if you see it for around £15 please let me know.

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Offline schnittkease

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Re: Klaus Huber's Hut
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2019, 04:36:15 PM »
Here's an old thread on Huber that contains some interesting thoughts.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Klaus Huber's Hut
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2020, 02:21:31 AM »
A performance of the second quartet by The Berner Quartet hidden away on this recoring


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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Klaus Huber's Hut
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2020, 12:01:20 AM »


Lokking on the web suggests that it’s a requiem for Heinrich Böll, who I’ve never read (suggestions anyone?) and includes settings of words by Hildegard. Musically it bears a striking resemblance to Schoenberg’s Moses und Aaron at times - and I would think that anyone who likes that opera would appreciate this. It is serious, as befits a requiem I suppose, and it exudes importance, in a way which lovers of Wagner and Stockhausen will appreciate.


It requires a good hifi, with lots of sound pressure. My built in radar is saying that this is interesting music.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 12:07:45 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Klaus Huber's Hut
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2020, 12:05:11 AM »
Does anyone have this?


I have it!
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Offline T. D.

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Re: Klaus Huber's Hut
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2020, 01:13:07 PM »

Looking on the web suggests that it’s a requiem for Heinrich Böll, who I’ve never read (suggestions anyone?) ...

I'm no expert, but strongly recommend Murke's Collected Silences, which I read in a collection of Böll's short stories: https://classic.esquire.com/article/1959/11/1/dr-murkes-collection-of-silences

The one novel I read, Billiards at Half-Past Nine, is quite good.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Klaus Huber's Hut
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2020, 11:06:05 PM »
 

Inwendig voller figur is a piece for choir, orchestra and tape. It is based on a pic by Albrecht Durer of a landscape being destroyed by falling water



The text underneath the watercolour is translated as follows

Quote
In 1525, during the night between Wednesday and Thursday after Whitsuntide, I had this vision in my sleep, and saw how many great waters fell from heaven. The first struck the ground about four miles away from me with such a terrible force, enormous noise and splashing that it drowned the entire countryside. I was so greatly shocked at this that I awoke before the cloudburst. And the ensuing downpour was huge. Some of the waters fell some distance away and some close by. And they came from such a height that they seemed to fall at an equally slow pace. But the very first water that hit the ground so suddenly had fallen at such velocity, and was accompanied by wind and roaring so frightening, that when I awoke my whole body trembled and I could not recover for a long time. When I arose in the morning, I painted the above as I had seen it. May the Lord turn all things to the best.'

The Huber piece juxtaposes quiet often quiet vocal music with often loud and cacophonous instrumental music, the instrumental music faintly reminiscent of Lutoslawaski’s Threnody - but that’s not fair, Huber has his own voice. The voices whisper and wail like an authentic recreation of some terrible Ancient Greek chorus in a tragedy. The effect of the whole is unbearably apocalyptic and menacing, there’s something instinctive and beyond reason about this music. It goes deep, like some Scelsi goes deep. It is now my chosen piece for my own personal funeral, I shall change my will forthwith.

For those who dare to try, a lossy but listenable transfer is available here

https://archive.org/details/01KlausHuberTrack01InwendigVollerFigur
« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 11:18:35 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Huber Hub
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2020, 05:21:23 AM »



Klaus's essay for the above music


Quote

My Lamentationes owe their existence to Rachid Safir's, and it is to him and his jeunes solistes that I dedicate them.

When Rachid Safir asked me to compose a new version of the Lamentations sung in the Gregorian manner in the Catholic liturgy of Holy Week, so as to provide a complement to Gesualdo's Responsoria, was somewhat afraid of his request which seemed like an almost insolvable challenge... Gesualdo's monumental late works-the Responsoria, composed and printed in 1611, two years before his death, make up a cycle of 27 pieces (3 x 3 x 3) for the three days of Holy Week-were neglected up until the mid-20th century. It is difficult to ascertain if this amazingly long lack of interest was due to the attitude of the Church-one might unders-tand its difficulty in accepting a musica sacra on the part of a man who had assassinated his wife-or if the reason was the incompatibility of its late chromatic-enharmonic style with beginning monody. It is a ques-tion not easy to settle today. But in any event, Gesualdo's late Mannerism was already outdated in the history of music, at the very time of its genesis.

My first attempt dates back to 1993 when I began working on Lectio prima (de Lamentationes Jeremiae Prophetae), scoring it for the same six voices Gesualdo calls for in his Responsoria: cantus, sextus, altus, tenor, quintus, bassus (soprano, mezzo, countertenor, two tenors and bass).

When I resumed my work on 'counterfeiting' Gesualdo in 1996, in the musical and ethical context of our waning century, I had considerably expanded my knowledge and work bases. Gesualdo's stile cro-matico is based directly on his experiments in the 'enharmonic laboratory' at the Ferrara court, where he spent two years. There, he had access to the arcicem-balo or the cembalo universale, Nicola Vicentino's invention, whose black keys (to which were added a key between E and F, and another between B and C) could produce each semi-tone in a differentiated way: thus there were 19 keys per octave! This instrument underwent something of a rebirth 20 years ago in Northwest Germany, thanks to the organist-musicolo-gist Harald Vogel to whom I owe the possibility of a creative approach to this arcicembalo and its fascina-ting intervallic possibilities. The result was a different way of envisaging the Gesualdo model of the Responsoria: I draw from their spiral enharmonic-even if it is in an indirect way-the intervallic system of Lamentationes. I can therefore say that the work's motifs and intervals (and consequently, the harmony) refer to Gesualdo.

It is totally correct to pretend, as one is wont to do today, that the development of the stile cromatico, that brilliant discovery of musical Mannerism, came to an abrupt end with Gesualdo's late music. While adhering to Gesualdo's fundamental requirements, in these Lamentationes I tried to 'go back to the unpaid debt to the past' (Ernest Bloch), so as to also free my music from the ascendancy of panchromaticism, which became totalitarian in this century. I do not claim to have found a valid solution to one of the most burning historical questions. However, I have opened a way which I now intend to pursue.

My work on the liturgical texts of Holy Week led me to question their traditional forms. Despite the thick layer of historical patina they have gained over time, Jeremiah's archaic Laments have retained their frightening topicality. As a whole, the Holy Week litur-gy, including the Responsoria, is shot through with curses, none of which would be considered out of date today. I thus took pains in my setting not to weaken and to preserve their formal harshness.

I was looking for a 'Jeremiad' by a contemporary writer. Then, one day, I myself wrote a few lines, frag-ments of which have infiltrated the textual layer of the Lamentationes and reinforce the topicality. There are three strata of texts. The base is formed by the Latin. The sentences whose topicality I wanted to emphasi-se are set in their French translation. Therein I inser-ted fragments of texts by Ernesto Cardenal and Mahmud Doulatabadi, as well as my own, which make up the contemporary stratum. I left in Hebrew the letters of Jeremiah's verses that are traditionally used. I thereby directly attach myself to two magnifi-cent lamentations of the 20th century: Ernst Krenek's Lamentationes Jeremiae Prophetae, written during World War II but not performed until the 1950s, and Igor Stravinsky's Threni, which I heard in Zurich short-ly after the first performance, conducted by the com-poser himself. Both these works deeply influenced my initial experiences as a composer. Why should I not admit it at my age?'
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Huber Hub
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2020, 05:37:47 AM »


Klaus's notes for the above performance.

Quote

MARGINAL NOTES TO "CANTIONES DE CIRCULO GYRANTE"

I wrote CANTIONES DE CIRCULO GYRANTE at the request and to the commis-sion of the Cologne Bach Society. It was in many ways a provocative task to furnish an amateur choir with a work that was to commemorate the reconstruction of Co-logne's Romanesque churches - twelve in all - which were destroyed in the Second World War and not fully restored till 1985. Accordingly I took my time over accept-ing the commission I judged it absolute-ly necessary to arouse a consciousness of the hundredfold and thousandfold in-crease in destructive potential which had occurred since the Forties. In awareness of the fact that we can only hope to sur-vive with dignity if literally everything changes. when a basic re-thinking takes place - in awareness of this. there was no way in which I could write anything going under the name of church music"


It was therefore my aim, I would almost say my idee fixe, to incorporate thoughts of destruction and of its cause into the composition.

Another memory, of Cologne's cultural flowering in the High Middle Ages, should be upheld alongside this.


I therefore decided that the design and composition of the work should bring out the opposition of contrasting spiritual and material values separated in time by near-ly a thousand years while merging them in that SIMULTANEITY which in fact only music as a temporal art can create. Hildegard von Bingen's visions. recorded by her in a positively hymnic language in her prophetic book SCI VIAS (Know the Ways'. describe the salutary path of hu-mankind as part of divine creation. They span a great arc commencing before the bringing into being of the earth and of man and woman lin the heart of God). leading by way of greater and lesser apoc-alypses into a final age of resolved crea-tion. Hildegard constantly speaks of the circle of time; for her. the cosmic arc is a circle. I have attempted to capture this in the work's title, which is taken from one of her visions 'DE CIRCULO GYRANTE" can be understood, according to Hilde-gard, in two senses. as the circling of the DIVINE LIGHT, persisting from beginning to new beginning in all eternity. and yet also as irreversible blending and inter-weaving of destruction and hope. - even to our own endangered present time


With Heinrich Boll's poems about the col-lapse of his city into rubble, dust and ash-
es. which he wrote in response to my sug-gestion - possibly his last work before his death in luly 1985 - and generously placed at my disposal "AS A (MARRY-. on the one hand and Hildegard von Bingen's endless-ly varied many-coloureci visions of the salutary nature of Christian hope on the other hand. I was confronted by composi-, t ional challenges the complexity of which humbled me at first.


I then tried not to balance the compo-nents. in other words not to reconcile the contents with one another, but to com-pose them into what one might call an omnipresent SIMULTANEITY.


That meant that I had already abandoned dramaturgical continuity conceived on -uccessive lines. but at the same time could "correspondingly enlarge the mu-sical and acoustic SPACE In a word, there emerged more and more clearly the idea of a SIMULTANEOUS SPATIAL COMPOSITION.

The Hildegard level, kept in its Latin orignal, appears divided between TWO ENSEMBLES which ANTIPHONALLY alter-nate with and complement one another. now and then overlapping. in other words, making music simultaneously:


The CHOIR. proceeding from unison to seven-part harmony (and sparingly backed by an instrumental ensemble consisting of trumpet. bass clarinet, harp. organ and double bass) is in opposition to a SMALL. ENSEMBLE whose female voices (soprano and alto) and three solo instruments (oboe d'arnore or cur anglais, viola and guitar I are orientated towards the female sensitivity and inwardness so characteristic of Hildegard.


These two antiphonal groups are spatial-ly so far separated from one am)t her that they not only give the listener a clear sense of differing DEGREES OF PRES-ENCE.: but also engender a TONAL SPACE AURA of their own.


A SOLO BARITONE mediates between them. He is a kind of narrator or evange-list who leads the way throi.gh the human drama and sings the "announcements" to each of the visions. lie often sings quite alone, however, to emphasize the prophet-ic element of Hildegard's statements.


If my composition took on more and more of the character of a requiem after Boll's sudden death, it is also true that Hilde-gard has made the element of life or con-tinued existence ever more important For instance we constantly find the expression MATERIA or PRIMA MATERIA in her writings, and Hildegard sees this as a dis-tinctly feminine element: MATERIA -MATER - MOTHER'S WOMB The colour green symbolizes life itself for her; she constantly invokes it Mary "shines in her green" Woman stands for life.

 Originally I wanted to make a continuous composition of Heinrich Boll's texts - on the realistic level recalling hubris. destruc-tion and collapse - as male chamber mu-sic" with solo tenor, solo bass. cello and double bass I then meant to cut up this composition and mount it in sections within the Hildegard sphere. I gave up this idea, particularly because I was very con-cerned that the text should be fully un-derstandable. Accordingly I set this layer simply with a through-composed solo double bass and a male speaking voice.


It is not at all the case that a solo voice without microphone or amplification can-not be understood in large Romanesque or Gothic churches. which are marvellous achievements acoustically. On the contra-ry there are positions inside almost every church (the pulpit!) from which a human voice. whether singing or speaking. "conies over" wonderfully. The obsession in all church bodies, whether Catholic or Protestant. with installing loudspeakers
(generally of outstandingly poor quality in every church and chapel, no matter how small, has absolutely catastrophic effects on powers of auditory concentration, de-velopment of meditative listening and deeper awareness of what has been heard This alone was reason enough for me to attempt this spatial composition without resorting to electronics. I was principally concerned with pursuing research into the acoustic potential of large church interi-ors. which is almost unbelievably rich, i.e. ascertaining their "natural" acoustics I made some quite amazing discoveries in the process, which I need not relate here.

I solved the problem of understanding the text partly by shortening the Boll poems. partly by cyclic repetition of the most im-portant elements in the text's message iteration within processes of permuta-tion) Here the solo double bass supports the text's prosody and its fragmentation by taking its entire rhythmic impulse from the speech rhythm of the Boll text.

This text layer incorporates a concretistic level with noises and isolated trombone sounds. (Five INDIVIDUAL PLAYERS at five different positions in the sound chamber, namely two trombonists. who also use noise instruments. and three drummers. All five simply introduce individual strange sound events. scattered across the entire length of the composition in a rel-ativelN,, open time network which has an interesting temporal structure.) This, how-ever is just what gives the B011 level - if I may call it that - a heightened, decidedly strong emphasis, even though it is only thrown like a net across the entire dura-tion of the composition. Through these TIME HOLES one keeps hearing - wheth-er one will or not - the visions of Hilde-gard. And vice versa. the hard message of the Boll poem keeps breaking into the Hildegard sphere unadulterated, often disturbing, stinging sometimes shocking.

 The music of the Hildegard complex is .Jiatially deep-set. it rises from the depths of the church interior and cannot be pre-isely localized. I imagined a sound with-out location, which would take effect like a vision" acoustically. By contrast, the Boll level can be precisely located in space; it presents the text in a readily understand-able way and brings a realistic element into play, emphasized by its sound. But it must not come so far to the fore that it sounds as if it is being backed by distant choirs. That would arouse unfortunate Associations. By breaking up the B011 text more and more - which agrees with its message - and reducing it step by step, it eases to appear as a smooth continuum
in which the listener can relax The urgen-cy of what it has to say is Omnipresent. so to speak. throughout the whole composi-tion. It is also counterpointed and inter-rupted by the noises created by the indi-vidual players large drum, rattling chains. wind machine. hammers on iron. noises of stones, wooden blows, driving in of nails etc. This concretistic level, inter-twined with the Boll texts in a multiple time net is by no means designed or con-ceived as an illustrative background to them. however; it belongs in a symbolic sense just as much to the Hildegard sphere.

Starting from the acoustic conditions in a great Romanesque basilica. I proceeded in an altogether materialistic way - alto-gether in keeping with Hildegard's intent, by the way - in my conception of the sound spaces. I began with the question: how does what sound where? How can I present a particular text in an appropri-ate sound space? - These thoughts were accompanied by symbolic considerations. The various materials producing noises had their place within the MATERIA con-cept of the Hildegard texts. And in addi-tion the linking of the position of the five instrumentalists with the time network assigned to them leads to a constant, re-peatedly superimposed circling of these sounds in their space. from East to North, West and South and back to East A WHEEL OF TIME. in a word. with reference to the work's title and to I lildegard The CIRCULUS GYI-iANS of the DIVINE LICE IT is without end So God's power and work encircle and embrace every creature."

I hope that these scattered observations on THE DESIGN OF A SOUND SPACE COMPOSITION have helped to make it clear that my compositional intent was in no way orientated toward a "pseudo-mor-alistic" distinction between musical "light and darkness . On the contrary. For all the great variety of the sound-producing agents used and despite the difference and distinctness of the compositional methods and processes adopted. my con-centration was directed towards the link-ing of opposites into a level of semantic experience of the greatest vividness Noth-ing is arbitrarily juxtaposed. Whether I have succeeded in my aim is something which each listener must judge for him-self. from his own quite personal back-ground of experiences. musical and oth-erwise.


Panicale. July 1988
Klaus Huber
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Huber Hub
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2020, 08:56:18 AM »
Listening to Nono’s Guai ai gelidi mostri on this CD



it suddenly became clear to me that Huber and late Nono are kindred spirits, something which is probably blindingly obvious to everyone else. Anyway, a brief googling revealed that they were close friends, and I came across what looks like a good article on the two venerable composers on the Ricordi site

 https://www.ricordi.com/en-US/News/2014/10/Klaus-Huber-90-Geburtstag.aspx

« Last Edit: November 25, 2020, 08:58:11 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Huber Hub
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2020, 03:43:35 AM »
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