‘The blast has arrived at the body’: Wolfgang Rihm’s creative explosion of 1981

McGregor, Richard ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6685-2589 (2018) ‘The blast has arrived at the body’: Wolfgang Rihm’s creative explosion of 1981. Contemporary Music Review, 36 (4). pp. 237-278.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/07494467.2017.1399669


The period from 1979 to 1982 was a key developmental time for Rihm. Starting from his time in Rome as recipient of the German Art Academy Fellowship, he commenced a series of works some of which were not completed until a year or more after his return from Italy. At this point, he began to articulate for himself a relationship with graphic arts and sculpture on the one hand, and poetical texts, often by schizophrenics, on the other. By the beginning of 1981, he was ready to express himself in written words on the relationship between music and painting, or more precisely, his relationship with the other art forms. His continuing association with the painter Kocherscheidt and his ‘discovery’ of Arnulf Rainer and Antonin Artaud gave him an impetus which propelled compositional developments in that year. Some works which had been started, such as the fourth string quartet, were completed but, ultimately dismissed as, in effect, belonging to his compositional past, rather than looking to the future. The works which followed the string quartet, and especially Tutuguri (and Tutuguri VI in particular), were pivotal in his developing compositional processes and aesthetic, but, the path forward was not always straightforward.

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. Note: on this record's full-text PDF the musical examples do not appear in the text, however they are clearly labelled in the text so can be found by anyone with a music score of the work.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2017 15:16
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 19:17
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/3450


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