The End of the Mannerist Century 

by William Bolcom 

In March of 1996 the composer Donald Martino came under attack from the musicologist-critic Richard Taruskin, who in a New York Times article on twelve-tone composition excoriated Martino as one of its more perniciously academic practitioners.(1)  All this only occasioned by the reissue, mind you, of a Nonesuch record of around twenty years before; it's as if someone, now, decided to ambush a prizefighter walking by for winning a controversial match in 1965.

The attack seemed certainly out of proportion for the occasion, and I rose to Martino's defense in print.(2)  This eventually brought about a re-acquaintance between Martino and me; I'd known him in seminar in Tanglewood in 1966, and we'd seen each other at odd times, but this public crisis occasioned a pleasant correspondence between us. Don very kindly sent some of his own music, and listening to it confirmed what I had remembered — that here is not only one of the most tonal of "atonalists" but also a composer extremely musical and natural of utterance. The intellectual rigor involved with serial technique never exposes itself for its own sake in his work. But it is always there. 

To summarize Taruskin's argument would take up more space than this essay can spare, but one can note his two main (though unrelated) points: that 1. Modernism's stranglehold on music has lessened, as it has in the visual arts and good riddance too; and 2. there is a lack of connection between Martino's super-controlled language and what Taruskin calls its "primitive and simplistic" expressive gestures. (One could easily attack especially the late Schoenberg for the same thing; Boulez's early-1950s essay "Schoenberg est mort" jumps on him for using Viennese periodicity and gestures - the very things that make a good performance of his music coherent if recognized and nonsense if ignored.(3) 

Taruskin's screed against what is now anything but a current musical style — so many years after its hegemony — must come from a long-pent-up anger at what was, in its time, an almost fascistic doctrine of historical inevitability adopted by some serialists. One would think that a composer like me, a Stanford graduate student in the early 1960s who quickly became interested in ragtime, popular music, and simple tonal gestures, would also rejoice at the death of the dodecaphonic witch. It is wonderful now not to have to worry about two hundred composers looking over your shoulder disapprovingly if you dare to write a triad. (I remember dinner in 1965 in West Berlin with Louis Andreissen at the apartment of Luciano Berio, who was directing Boulez's Domaine Musical that summer — I was one of the group’s pianists. Afterward, Luciano summoned up the courage — with quite a bit of shared cognac — to sit down and play what would later become Wasserklavier, a rather sweet piano piece clearly in F minor. No wonder we needed so much cognac in that musical climate! This was heresy.) 

We are now distant from those times, however, and the issues are too complex and far-reaching to imagine that we can simply reject twelve-tone, or any type of musical rigor. Whatever Donald Martino has had as a composer to interact with a discipline — whatever discipline — is essentially the same as any one of us needs in some form. Forty years ago the serialists held the greatest intimidating force in the small world of modern composition; then there was a terrific rebellion against many of its assumptions — I was certainly part of that rebellion — and now it is OK to attack all serialists, indeed all the new music of the period roughly between 1950 and 1975. And it is true that much ugly music of that time, written with the help of complex pseudo-mathematical processes, really doesn't need rehearing. Why is then Martino, for an example, worth separating from the crowd of so much shrill musical logical positivism? Because it sounds good, and not necessarily because of the tonal implications, but because there is a truly sensitive ear at work here, strongly imprinted with Renaissance chordal spacing and conterpoint and married to a Classical proportional sense; there is an epic power in some of his music, Paradiso for example, that draws me immediately to the world of my most beloved Italian so-called primitive painters. (The art-history "primitive" classification has always puzzled me, particularly when one remembers that painters under its rubric like Castagno and Della Francesca were fascinated with newly explored science in their art, something one easily forgets while reeling openmouthed from the emotional power of, say, Piero's Arezzo frescoes.) What made Bach's fugues "truly poetic creations" to Schumann was only incidentally their intellectual brilliance; yet the structure of fugue cannot be discounted in the whole impact of the piece, and this is also true in the very best serial music of our time. 

The twentieth century has been obsessed with language — the invention, the destruction, the arbitrary building, of language — and this may be the easiest way to grasp whatever modernism means. We have become enormously dependent on the word, the explicated concept, the published manifesto. For example, it took Frank Stella years of writing a large amount of obfuscatory prose to herald his stylistic change from minimalism to an exuberant maximalist style; I love the result as much as I did his earlier art, and I regret that he needed to confuse Artforum so totally in order to avoid being hooted down for his new work, but that's the world of today. 

It seems, however, that schools of painters, composers, or writers in the more distant past were much more defined by geography than by precept. The landlocked J.S. Bach's excursions into French and Italian style, seen from the perspective of a pig-knuckle-eating Leipziger, can be understood as his — perhaps slightly desperate — attempts to break out of locale. And although many twentieth-century schools have defined themselves nationally (Jeune France of the thirties, De Stijl in current Dutch music), one senses an effort of will as each movement labels itself in the pursuit of a discrete identity, which reinforces their spiritual oppositeness to Bach's attempt at internationalism. 

What we have called modernism in this century has usually been an art divorced from locale — although we recognize different aspects of modernism as being rooted in particular cities and countries — and whatever can be called pre-modernism had hit several crests and valleys throughout these hundred years. Periods after our major wars often have been the times when artists wanted to start over from scratch. Perhaps the major reason for Arnold Schoenberg's relative silence betweenPierrot lunaire and the dodecaphonic works of the twenties was the First World War, and the twelve-tone system, like the post-Webern efflorescence of imposed musical procedure after the Second, may have been a source of needed comfort after those ordeals. (Bach's fascination with order has been thought to stem from the Pietistic hunger for control after the horrors of the Thirty Years' War, even though that had been a considerable time before - changes were slower in that era, one supposes.) 

I think the major difference in art movements today from those of the past is in our overwhelming need to publicize; it is ever so much greater because there are so many artists, schools, factions around us now that it is impossible to keep track, and whoever shouts the loudest is the only heard - until someone else shouts even louder. This has escalated our need for polemic, for self-advertisement, for marketing, to unprecedented levels, and our own horn-tooting abilities grow every day as Web pages sprout all over cyberspace. The danger in sprouting rhetoric about art is that one day one might come to believe one's own words, and that is the beginning of the end of that artist's vitality. Any artist has a modus operandi. We understand our own way of working well enough to be able to continue, but we can't understand the whole picture; thus our attempts to explain ourselves to ourselves and to others are hobbled by our final inability to know what's really going on in us, and that’s probably what saves whatever is valuable in our work from dying out totally. 

1. Manner vs. Substance 

I am often saying nowadays that ours has been a Mannerist century. Mannerist periods are known and recognized throughout art history more often than in music; they are moments when the how of art overwhelms the what, and they are often rich times, full of promise, new ideas, and invention sometimes seemingly for its own sake. Although the usual notion is that Mannerist periods in art come as transitions between the great stylistic epochs, I don't find that Mannerism in music necessarily coincides with our music-history notion of period. We consider Nenna and Gesualdo Renaissance composers, and Monteverdi an early Baroque one; yet these three and their common or contingent decades share the instability of musical upheaval in certain ways not shared with those preceding or following. (I've always wondered how one can lump Monteverdi and Bach together in the same bin, as music history texts insist.) One could rightly term the turn of the seventeenth century Mannerists (bridging our usual Renaissance and Baroque classifications), one reason being that their music still shares the power to shock - a quality shared with the best Mannerist art (from Piero di Cosimo to Fuseli) and architecture. 

What is the distinction between moderism and Mannerism? Modernism is really a subset of Mannerism, involving principally the shredding of past references, but usually we are talking of the renunciation of terribly recent references when we look at the great expanse of history. (Remember that the isms of our time are mostly the children of concepts less than two centuries old.) The Mannerist impulse in architecture is stronger in Antonio Gaudi than say, Philip Johnson (no matter how many stylistic hats the latter has worn in his long career), partly because their assumptions are different, but much more because by the time Johnson appeared, so much ground had been broken by Gaudi, the Secessionists, and the Bauhaus that the newness of it all had diminished somewhat. What fun it must have been in 1900, for example, to be the first to try out things with film, to know that no one could possibly have done it before! Film today can do anything — the technological breakthroughsof Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, so stunning a few years ago, elicit yawns today — and this is symptomatic of the end of Mannerist periods. 

What was once new and frightening is old very suddenly. Having spent so much energy on how we're doing something, we become aware of the fact that what we're doing feels meaningless. This mood is intensified by our recalling the sound of our own shrill voices hawking our wares, hawking ourselves, trying to be noticed - what was it all for? Why did we have to ally ourselves with Serialism, Minimalism, Neo-this and Neo-that, now that our self-labeling in the pursuit of identity seems so hollow in retrospect? Our disgust with our recent past has led to a wholesale rejection of music of that past. Add to this the sense of glut - book publishers and record companies are finally cutting down on numbers of releases because there is so much stuff around that consumers are tuning out-and it is no wonder that, with our boredom with what is now shouted as new, we are not necessarily wild either about what was new a few decades ago. We are getting tired of Manner; what we crave is Substance. 

Reception & Politics 

But Substance needs manner to express itself. We depend on the pathfinders of the past who found disciplines that would become our vocabulary. And this is the whole history of music, from technique to technique, from organum and Ars Antiqua to the New Complexity. The point is that time and usage have eventually always transformed the found disciplines, by a natural process of wearing away of inessentials and the gradual disappearance of underlying dogmas, into language that we could use something to say something. To throw out what is useful in our century's exploration is to cripple our future. We are not, I expect, going to be as obsessed with process as eastern U.S. and California university composers of forty years ago were, and thank God. But what I hope for fervently is that, in future, musicians will absorb a portion of our twentieth-century disciplines in the same way as we study sixteenth-century counterpoint and eighteenth-century harmony today. We do not, for instance, configure isometric harmony from the tenor in the same way Zarlino did, but we use the chord-forms he describes in much the same manner, and we have felt the meaning in sequences of these chords. Is this meaning imposed, evolved, or what? Our musical structure could all have been otherwise - there have been so many historical accidents down the long road to our time - but for some reason we have agreed on musical meanings in our culture to a surprising extent. What is also amazing is that music we have produced - at least that of the past-often carries significance to cultures other than our own, and we are finding that music from elsewhere means something to us in musical language (and musicians from elsewhere) hadn't anticipated. 

All this seems to indicate that, having conquered vast new territories in musical language, we must now reconquer them using intuitive means. What this involves is paying attention to how a musical effect affects us as compsosers, and then deciding whether it will become part of our musical vocabulary. This is wildly different from the cult of originality that has been a tenet of much of the twentieth-century Mannerism. The best artist has often been perceived as the most separate stylistic from all others, and this notion usually is an indication of our blindness to how much that artist really did owe to what was around. (The so-named post-Webern era was largely predicated on our misapprehension of Anton Webern; far from being as divorced from history as many postwar composers had wished, his music turns out to be deeply rooted in both late Romanticism and the Renaissance. There is a famous description by pianist Peter Stadlen of hearing Webern play his new Piano Variations for the first time; Webern pedaled through the huge silences and employed wildly romantic rubato throughout, a far cry from the white-coat-and-stethscope Webern performances by Robert Craft we grew up with in the sixties.(4)   (SEE APPENDIX BELOW) 

In the end we may be alone as artists, but we can't avoid our time, either by eschewing the ephemeral in the interest of eternality or by trying to elevate the ephemeral to something it's not. What we can revel in is the enormous breadth of musical vocabulary open to us, now that we are in touch with so much of the surrounding world. I do feel however that our mistake in how we perceive multiculturalism had been to accept distinctions between styles as they are presented to us, by either the artist or the hype surrounding the art or both. (Distinctions are surely there, however, and not recognizing or invoking them flattens out the rhetoric of any art.) In every one of the musics around us are elements that can find commonality with other musics, and their collision and merging are the stuff of musical meaning, because they expand communications (just as Bach's espousal of French and Italian elements reduces his own musical parochialism). This marriage of musics eventually leads to a broader understanding of ourselves and love of others — I truly believe this — but I also note that enforced juxtaposition of style and elements, in order just to make a big bang, doesn't seem to have much power any more; a deeper link needs to be found. 

There are thoughtful critics who bemoan the recent lack of innovation in music:   Where are the Stravinskys, the Messiaens, the Xenakises, the Nancarrows? It must be admitted that at the moment many younger composers are churning out a lot of neo-Romanic treacle, much of which it seems very tired to me, even though it is succeeding a little better with audiences than the stuff from twenty years ago. But there must be a deep emotional reason for such apparent regressiveness, as more and more composers have turned to past styles in an effort to communicate emotionally and spiritually — a pursuit that is common to John Tavener's embrace of Eastern Orthodox church music and George Rochberg's evocation of Beethoven and Mozart. In my own case as a composer, I've explored past styles of American popular music. “Why are we doing this?” should be the question, more than “Should we do this or not?” It's very easy to take the position some critics have, that composers are doing this purely to win audiences in some sort of sellout. The fact is, however, that for many composers today the music we of my generation once felt impelled to write out of peer pressure doesn't mean as much to us now. (Some of us are ashamed of our earlier formalist effusions; now that was academic music, Professor Taruskin, not the juicy sensualism found in Martino.) As far as winning audiences to new music is concerned, I haven't noticed an enormous groundswell of public interest in it now that so-called argument goes, as the painter George Grosz once answered to someone accusing him of it (in his later, lyrical, less angry period, after he had given up images of scarfaced World War I veterans decapitating whores), "I've been trying to sell my soul to the devil for 30 years, and he hasn't even come around to make me a price!" 

2. What Will Survive? 

Will the future eschew whole sections of the past, in a sort of artistic holocaust? It isn't impossible — who could blame the young for feeling crowded out in our time? — and the impulse to destroy the past is one of the oldest in human society. (To see this, visit the Edfu temple on the Nile and see with what violence someone has brutally hammered out any bas-relief representation of the bird-god Horus.) We've been such packrats in our Mannerist century, with one hand pushing for newness at any cost, and the other hand just as avidly preserving and unearthing our history to be saved for ever and ever that I wouldn't blame some twenty-first-century artistic terrorists for setting fire to all those dead rivals to their own hegemony. I would have put the recent 100-best movies list issued by the American Film Institute and Taruskin's violent attacks on Prokofiev and Martino in the same bracket, that of an arrogant, militaristic need to weed out what is considered extraneous material for our supposed future benefit. Perhaps we can circumvent such arbitrary apocalypses by doing some weeding ourselves as artists. Of course we do this every day: as a composer I use various elements of music around me and ignore others, and even if this selectivity is a purely personal (and, alas, generational) process, it turns out probably to be my principal means of communicating to others and is perhaps what makes my music mine. But I can't say I hold out for much hope for avoiding something more violent in our future artistic history in a world-wide level, as conglomerate mass-market venues trample out human individuality increasingly each day, state and private support for non-commercial art dries up in country after country, and the artists of all stripes and persuasions censor themselves into a universal grayness. 

We forget that the serious music of the recent past, zealous as it often was in declaring the death of tonality, of continuity, of whatever else it decided was dead, still depended for the most part on traditional instruments, conservatory-trained executants, and the concert hall ethic. That is possibly the reason, more than any stylistic rebarbativeness, that the Martinos, Wuorinens, Stockhausens, and Boulezes may mean little to succeeding generations: all of these composers took for granted some semblance of the traditional performer-listener axis, their attempts to violate it actually confirming an unconscious belief in it, so that now - when the whole equation seems to be changing because of electronic advances in world communication - their music may well be swept away with the global electronic tide. (That goes for my music too, yours, and most music in any time, despite our greater ability to preserve things.) 

What will survive is what nourishes us emotionally and spiritually, probably to the detriment of what is merely interesting. What distinguishes Bach fugues from, say, the vast majority of ricercars and canzonas of the previous century is the emotional and spiritual meaning Bach carries to us through a form clearly derived from, and respectful of, its musical ancestors. One may regard the workings of his music as secondary to its spiritual impact on us. But Bach didn't; he clearly lived and needed the disciplines of the past to make his designs that our Mannerist century has happened upon will be of use to our own musical future, and this will be only if we find some music in our vast catalogue that we truly love, that we really need in order to go on living. "Art is what is irresistible," the writer William Saroyan once said to me, and I have yet to find a better definition of it. Only time will tell whether we have made irresistible music during our Mannerist century. I think some of it is, of any genres and provenances, and what we select will have a commonality and signification that will be the basis for the music of the world's future. 


1. Richard Taruskin: "How Talented Composers Become Useless," New York Times, 10 March 1996, section H, p. 31. 
2. Bolcom, Letter to the Editor: "In Defense of Dodecaphonism," New York Times, 7 April 1996, section 2, p.7. 
3. Reprinted in translation as "Schoenberg is Dead" in Boulez, Notes of an Apprenticeship, trans. Herbert Weinstock (New York: Knopf, 1968), 268-76. 
4. Peter Stadlen, "Serialism Recoinsidered," The Score 22 (February 1958): 12; cited in Hans Moldenhauer, in collaboration with Rosaleen Moldenhauer, Anton von Webern: A Chronicle of His Life and Works (NewYork: Knopf, 1979), 484. 



Correspondence between Anthony Stadlen (nephew of Peter Stadlen) and William Bolcom, February 2012 

Feb 12, 2012 
Dear Mr Bolcom, 

Could you kindly correct or retract the false statement in "The End of the Mannerist Century" that Peter Stadlen witnessed Webern pedalling in his Piano Variations? Stadlen explicitly stated in his accounts of being coached by Webern that, while Webern shouted, sang, waved his arms, stamped his feet, explained, wrote in the score, and conducted, amazing Stadlen by treating "those few scrappy notes as if they were cascades of melody", in his efforts to convey "what he called the meaning" of the music, he NEVER played. It was Stadlen's own pedalling that Webern either called for or "silently tolerated". 

Yours faithfully, 
Anthony Stadlen (nephew of Peter Stadlen) 


Feb 13, 2012 
Dear Mr. Stadlen: 

My understanding is that it was Egon Wellesz, not Stadlen who heard Webern playing the Variations with lots of Brahmsian pedal through the rests (compare the E minor Intermezzo), described in an article in I think Journal of Music Theory or some similar periodical.  I don't remember mentioning Stadlen in my original and it may have been "corrected" by an editor when the essay was published.  I'm sorry for the error, whoever generated it. 

William Bolcom 


Feb 13, 2012 
Dear Mr Bolcom, 

Thank you for your apology. 

To clarify: 

Peter Stadlen's account of Webern's preparing him for countless hours to give the first performance in 1937 was published in his article "Serialism Reconsidered" in The Score (No. 22, February 1958, pp. 12-27). Stadlen did not explicitly say there that Webern did not himself play, but in his "Essay on the Work's Interpretation" in his 1979 published score of the Variations, with Webern's markings in facsimile, Stadlen writes: 

"...he never tired conveying to me the poetics of the work down to the minutest, most delicate detail (he never played)" [my emphasis]. 

As for the pedalling, Stadlen wrote ("Serialism reconsidered", p. 13): 

"He attached great importance to a conscious use of the sustaining pedal (although there are no pedal marks) not only as a means of varying the tone colour but also to make up for the angular thinness of the texture and to increase the sheer volume of sound in climaxes like [the one] in the last movement." 

Roberto Gerhard published a sceptical response in The Score, questioning whether Webern really would have insisted on pedalling which appeared to contradict the staccato marks and rests in the climax of the third movement, but Peter Stadlen assured me personally (in the early 1960s) that his memory was correct. He repeated his account of Webern's pedalling requirements in various other articles, lectures and radio talks. And there is the evidence of his performance of theVariations at Darmstadt in 1948, of which a recording exists. There is further confirmation of Webern's desire for considerable pedal from a recording by Jeanne Manchon-Theis, who also studied the work with Webern. 

Stadlen clearly re-stated his recollection of Webern's desire for pedalling in the 1979 "Essay on the Work's Interpretation", by referring to "the three passages in III, bars 53-55 where I distinctly remember my astonishment that he should have been prepared to sacrifice the explicitly indicated pungency of the quavers or, again, to allow the so meaningfully devised sequences of crotchet intervals to add up to climactic six notes chords." 

In your essay "The End of the Mannerist Century", published on your website, you write: 

"There is a famous description by pianist Peter Stadlen of hearing Webern play his new Piano Variations for the first time; Webern pedaled through the huge silences and employed wildly romantic rubato throughout... (4)" 

Stadlen's famous description was, as I have pointed out, of what Webern required him to play. The "wildly romantic rubato" you claim Stadlen claimed Webern played appears to be a distant distortion of Stadlen's account in his Score article: "As he sang and shouted, waved his arms and stamped his feet in an attempt to bring out what he called the meaning of the music I was amazed to see him treat those few scrappy notes as if they were cascades of sound. He kept on referring to the melody which, he said, must be as telling as a spoken sentence. This melody would sometimes reside in the top notes of the right hand and then for some bars be divided between both right and left, It was shaped by an enormous amount of constant rubato and by a most unpredictable distribution of accents. But there were also definite changes of tempo every few bars to mark the beginning of 'a new sentence'." 

It is clear that the playing, including the pedalling and the rubato, were all done by Stadlen, on Webern's instructions; and that Webern did not play. 

Your "(4)" gives a reference not to Peter Stadlen's article, but to Moldenhauer's citation of it. From the evidence I have given above, it is clear that your statement is seriously misleading, and I would ask you to publish a correction. 

I am copying this email to my cousins, Peter Stadlen's sons. 

Yours sincerely, 
Anthony Stadlen 


Feb 13, 2012 
Dear Mr. Stadlen: 

My memory has been jogged.  I was told by the editor of the collection this essay was printed in about Peter Stadlen, whom I had never heard of.  My mistake was to incorporate the editor's version of the story without verifying it.  Or I might simply have misunderstood; my apologies. 

I think the central point of the episode was that Webern has been touted as the avatar of music non-dependent on the musical past -- which was of course the emotional need after World War II, when the desire was to circumvent questions about that embarrassing past, such as: was Wagner's music directly responsible for the Holocaust?   This brought about a bloodless, clinical, aseptic style of Webern performance (cf. the Robert Craft complete recording) which was how everyone was sure it was to be played. 

I'll never forget Milhaud's conducting the Webern orchestration of the Bach ricercar from The Musical Offering; he showed me the score, full of sighing ritardandos, super-romantic expression indications and the like.  Hardly the clinical Webern we were all schooled in during the so-called post-Webern era. 

Sincerely, WB 
William Bolcom 


Feb 14, 2012 
Dear Mr Bolcom, 

Many thanks for correcting your website. 

You are, of course, right that Peter Stadlen's insistence on the truth of how Webern had wanted his Piano Variations (and other music) played was that Webern's Variations were being routinely played in a way that, as Stadlen said of Leonard Stein's playing of them in Craft's complete recording (in a 1959 review on BBC radio of that complete recording), "I know Webern would have regarded as a mere spelling out of the notes." He said Stein "could not be expected to divine" the nuances which could only be learned from "direct, detailed tradition". But Stadlen found some of the performances on Craft's recording admirable; for example, he said that Marni Nixon and Leonard Stein gave a "most sensitive performance" of the Opus 12 songs. (Here I am relying on memory. There does not seem to be a recording of Stadlen's crucial review of the Craft recording, but I know that I am remembering correctly what he said.) 

Peter Stadlen also respected Boulez's efforts to do justice to Webern in performance, but he thought the post-war "total serialism" supposedly derived from Webern was based on a misunderstanding (he called it the "pointillist" misunderstanding). He was delighted when Boulez, on reading Stadlen's annotated edition of the Piano Variations, acknowledged (in an interview in The Gramophone) that he had always felt there was something he had been missing which he would now try to include in his own second complete Webern recording. Peter Stadlen said to me that Charles Rosen's performance of theVariations in Boulez's first complete recording was a "travesty". Boulez chose Krystian Zimmerman, who gave a more sensitive performance, for Boulez's second complete recording. (Although Peter did once use Rosen's performance of the second movement in a radio talk. He obviously thought that was all right. It was the more lyrical and passionate sections that were being unwittingly betrayed. 

In that radio review of the Craft edition, Peter Stadlen made the important point that he remembered how moved he was when he heard Jeanne Manchon Theis play theVariations, because he knew immediately that she must have studied them with Webern. This is a crucial bit of evidence, because her performance and his stand out as totally different from all the other performances. Incidentally, a young composer, Jeffrey Trevino, did a detailed scientific analysis of the variations of tempo in the forty or so recordings of the Variations. Peter Stadlen's showed by far the most variety. 

The composer Walter Zimmermann was at first not convinced by hearing a recording of a radio talk by Peter Stadlen of what Webern wanted. (I played it to a seminar in Berlin where Trevino was reporting his investigations of the recordings of the Variations.) Zimmermann had been taught the "detached" way of playing them by one of the Kontarsky brothers. But when I mentioned what Peter Stadlen had said about Jeanne Manchon Theis, and Trevino played her recording, Zimmermann completely capitulated. This was a crucial bit of corroborating evidence. 

However, Zimmermann still argued that, nevertheless, we would "lose something" if we gave up the "detached" way of playing, that had become, he thought, a valuable tradition of its own, even if it was not what Webern would have wanted. 

I disagreed. I said that Boulez and Stockhausen were passionate composers, whose music was full of feeling. The usual way of playing Webern was simply well-meaning but ignorant. Boulez's way was very sensitive, exquisite in fact. He had been putting all the feeling he knew how into his performances of Webern, from the beginning, and seemed only too pleased to learn from Peter Stadlen how to give still more. 

With best wishes, 
Anthony Stadlen