La « Partition » de l’Europe...
Pour une nouvelle géographie de la musique en Europe

La « Partition » de l'Europe







What role for composers in European identity?

It is poignant to be asked this question when my own nation is in the process of cutting ties with the continent to which it has been, and always will be, inextricably linked.

But although most Europeans rarely think about their composers, especially while the brighter lights of sport, media and fashion consume their attention, my suspicion is that the heritage of classical music (for want of a better term) is a source of deep pride.

For Europeans have over the centuries produced, in all its transformations and diversity, a music of astonishing dynamism, expressive depth and sonorous beauty, a truly unique achievement in human history.

The Mayans and Assyrians excelled in architecture, the Nigerians in sculpture, the Chinese in painting, calligraphy and ceramics and the Persians in poetry. And of course the courts of India, Burma and Japan have nurtured extraordinary musics, and yet no other civilization has ever created anything akin to European music.

And this music has now spread across the globe and somehow, despite all its controversies and aesthetic conflicts, the story continues.

Musicians, orchestras and opera houses still perform at an extraordinary level of excellence, and there are probably more composers than ever before. For me, a European citizen, despite the darkening clouds which threaten to advance from many points across the horizon, the mere fact that our civilization nurtured Mozart and Debussy is a source of great wonder, intense gratitude and even pride.

George Benjamin, February 2019




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