We love and listen to Messiaen and the Second Viennese School like Berg, Schoenberg, Webern — even before my daughter was born! Daughter's studying music at university. To guard privacy, I don't want to write more details on her or our family.
But starting 2019, she's been practicing many pieces composed by Pierre Boulez — and this Ultraserialism is maddening my husband and me! It sounds like random notes and/or noise to us! We haven't confronted her, because she knows more about music, and we know Boulez is a world famous composer and conductor. Boulez conducted "Classical" and Romantic tonal music like Beethoven, Berlioz, Haydn, Mahler — so Boulez doesn't look like a sham or phony, and we're taking Boulez's music in good faith.
But how can we learn Ultraserialism? Since 2019, we've watched Boulez's music on YouTube and listened to recordings. But like many others, we still can't GET Ultraserialism. When asked in 1999, why so few major pieces of the 1950s and 1960s had become repertory, Boulez replied
Boulez rebuffs his own Ultra Serialism at theartsdesk Q&A: Composer Pierre Boulez.
Would you rather not have this piece [Referring to Boulez's Piano Sonata no. 2] played any more.
I am not terribly eager to listen to it. But for me it was an experience that was absolutely necessary.
We always listen to, and have no issue with, Messiaen's TONAL Orchestral Pieces — Turangalîla-Symphonie, Oiseaux exotiques, Des Canyons aux étoiles, Éclairs sur l'au-delà — and chamber music — Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Husband and I were flabbergasted by New Contributor's advice that "the missing link" is Messiaen's SERIALIST pieces!