Wolfgang Rihm: aspects of unity and diversity in his compositional processes

McGregor, Richard ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6685-2589 (2018) Wolfgang Rihm: aspects of unity and diversity in his compositional processes. Contemporary Music Review, 36 (4). pp. 203-206.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/07494467.2017.1399667


The fecundity of Wolfgang Rihm's compositional invention allied to the broad sweep and depth of the intellectual engagement that underpins his work means that any attempt to encapsulate the totality of his ‘style and idea’ is bound to fail. The many facets which interact at all levels in both individual works, and through works that are united within some conceptual framework, are such that analytical exploration will be, at best, partial. Since Rihm's reputation in Germany is now undeniable it is perhaps surprising then that there has been comparatively little English-language analysis of his compositional aesthetic and processes. Whereas in the 1970s it might have been convenient, and easier, to compartmentalise Rihm within the New Simplicity movement, his subsequent development has defied categorisation, despite attempts to label his compositional processes based on a perception that they are automatic and unplanned, the result of a ‘stream of consciousness’. Following on from this perception such analysis as has taken place has, as I have observed elsewhere, largely avoided structural or parameter investigation focussing rather more on the affective, often drawing on the composer's own words as a starting point.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Contemporary Music Review
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
ISSN: 1477-2256
Departments: Academic Departments > Institute of Arts (IOA) > Performing Arts
Additional Information: From 1992 to 1999 Richard McGregor was Head of Performing Arts at St. Martin’s College, Lancaster. He was formerly Director of Research and Graduate Studies at the University of Cumbria and since retiring is Emeritus Professor of Music and currently lectures part time at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2017 11:35
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 19:17
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/3506


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