From contemporaneous reviews
“This year’s I.S.C.M. Festival was held in June in Baden-Baden at the studio of the Südwestfunk, an ultra-modern concert hall situated a little outside the town, surrounded by majestic woods and with a lovely view of soft hills. In such surroundings one’s aesthetic sense tends to expect a fair measure beauty from the music one has come to hear. There was, however, more for the eye than for the ear, and with a few notable exceptions, the standard of works presented was of a deplorably low level.
“On the whole, this year’s Festival, of which sixty per cent of the music performed was dodecaphonic, gave a somewhat one-sided and highly coloured picture of the music that is being written to-day. Novelty of idiom sensationalism can be driven too far.”
— Franz Reizenstein, “The I. S. C. M. Festival at Baden-Baden,”
Tempo, No. 36 (Cambridge University Press, Summer 1955), p. 8.
“The International Society for Contemporary Music has made a remarkable recovery since its crisis three years ago. Each of its recent annual festivals has had a character of its own, even if we concede that only a few of the works actually performed at the festivals have been discoveries. … It is probably still the most important forum for contemporary composers.
“This year’s festival at Baden Baden in southwest Germany was distinguished by its personal and intimate atmosphere. The concerts were open only to invited audiences and took place in the studios of the Suedwestfunk (Southwest German Radio Station), which sponsored the event. Each concert was given twice, each time to an overflow audience
that had booked seats many weeks in advance.”
— Peter Gradenwitz, “I.S.C.M. Meets in Baden Baden,”
New York Times, July 10, 1955, Section D, p. 83.