Start: Jun 10, 1960
End: Jun 19, 1960
Co-organized by WDR Cologne
From a contemporaneous review
“During concert after concert, the festival had been producing a new sort of ‘sound-color’ composition, in which many different mixtures of instruments had purred and gurgled and blasted in novel patterns of sound effect. By now, every festival ear had become so attuned to the possible significance of any kind of tone at all that the accidental shattery clang of a cymbal sounded really like another (very short) piece of modern music.”
— Alexander Fried, “Cymbals Clang–by Accident or Design?” San Francisco Examiner, June 22, 1960, p. 24.
Friday, 10 June 1960 – Grand Opening
Anton Webern (Austria, 1883-1945): Fünf Sätze for string orchestra, op. 5 (1909/1928-29) [12′];
Arnold Schönberg (Austria/United States 1874-1951): Fünf Orchesterstücke, op. 16 (1909) [17′].
Saturday, 11 June 1960, 16:30 at the Funkhaus
+ Luigi Nono (Italy, b. 1924; d. 1990): Cori di Didone [text from La Terra Promessa by Giuseppe Ungaretti] for chorus and 6 percussionists (1958) [12′] performed by the Kölner Rundfunkchor and the percussion section of the Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester conducted by Bernhard Zimmermann;
+ Mauricio Kagel (West Germany, b. 1931 in Argentina; d. 2008): Anagrama for soloists, speech-chorus and chamber ensemble (1957-58) [18′] featuring Gertie Charlent, Marie-Thérèse Cahn, Alfons Holte, Eduard Wollitz, the Kammersprechchor Zürich, and an instrumental ensemble conducted by the composer [world premiere];
+ Karlheinz Stockhausen (West Germany, b. 1928; d. 2007): Kontakte for electronic sounds, piano, and percussion (1958-60) [35′] featuring David Tudor (pf) and Christoph Caskel (perc) [world premiere].*
(* For reasons of acoustic distribution in the room, Kontakte was performed twice (at 17.30 and 18.15) and audience members were assigned to attend just one of the two performances.)
Sunday, 12 June 1960 – SWF-Orchester Baden-Baden conducted by Hans Rosbaud
Milko Kelemen (Yugoslavia [Croatia], b. 1924; d. 2018): Skolion for orchestra (1959) [12′] [world premiere];
Peter Schat (Netherlands, b. 1935; d. 2003): Mozaieken for orchestra, op. 5 (1959) [10′];
Darius Milhaud (France/United States, b. 1892; d. 1974): Symphony No. 8 ‘Rhodanienne’, op. 362 (1957) [22′];
Karel Husa (Czechoslovakia, b. 1921; d. 2016 in the United States): Poem for viola and chamber orchestra (1959) [13′] performed by Ulrich Koch [world premiere];
Gunther Schuller (United States, b. 1925; d. 2015): Spectra (1958) [23′] [European premiere].
Monday, 13 June 1960 – Special concert by the SWF-Orchester Baden-Baden conducted by Hans Rosbaud
Luciano Berio (Italy, b. 1925; d. 2003): Quaderni (I) (Notebooks) for orchestra (1959) [10′] [world premiere, withdrawn?];
Ingvar Lidholm (Sweden, b. 1921; d. 2017): Motus-Colores for orchestra (1960) [16′] [world premiere];
Pierre Boulez (France, b. 1925; d. 2016): Pli selon Pli – Portrait de Mallarmé [text: Stéphane Mallarmé] for soprano and orchestra (1957-60; later revised) [67′] conducted by the composer [world premiere].
Tuesday, 14 June 1960
Argyris Kounadis (Greece, b. 1924 in Turkey; d. 2011 in Germany): Chorikon for orchestra [world premiere];
Roger Sessions (United States, b. 1896; d. 1985): Symphony No. 4 (1958) [24′] [European premiere];
Niccolò Castiglioni (Italy, b. 1932; d. 1996): Apreslude for orchestra (1959) [13′] [world premiere];
Marius Constant (France, b. 1925; d. 2004): Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra (1954-58) [18′] featuring Geneviève Joy;
Włodzimierz Kotoński (Poland, b. 1925; d. 2014): Musique en Relief for six orchestral groups (1959) [10′].
Wednesday, 15 June 1960 at the Funkhaus
Ödön Pártos (Israel, b. 1907 in Hungary; d. 1977): Maqamat for flute and string quartet (1959) performed by Hans-Jürgen Möhring and the Novák Quartet [European premiere];
Finn Mortensen (Norway, b. 1922; d. 1983): Phantasie and Fugue for piano, op. 13 (1958) [10′];
Arthur Berger (United States, b. 1912; d. 2003): String Quartet (1958) [23′] performed by the Novák Qt. [European premiere];
Klaus Huber (Switzerland, b. 1924; d. 2017): Auf die ruhige Nacht-Zeit, cantata for soprano, flute, viola and violoncello (1958) [12′];
+ Isang Yun (South Korea, b. 1917; d. 1995 in Germany): String Quartet No. 3 (1959; revised 1961) [16′] performed by the Novák Qt. [world premiere];
+ Henri Pousseur (Belgium [Wallonia], b. 1929; d. 2009): Mobiles for two pianos (1958) [10′] performed by Aloys and Alfons Kontarsky.
Thursday, 16 June 1960 – Special concert by the SWF
Giselher Klebe (West Germany, b. 1925; d. 2009): Omaggio, op. 33, for orchestra (1960) [11′] [world premiere];
Alban Berg (Austria, 1885-1935): Der Wein, concert aria for soprano and orchestra (1929) [13′];
Wolfgang Fortner (West Germany, b. 1907; d. 1987): Aulodie for oboe and orchestra (1960) [21′] featuring Lothar Faber [world premiere];
Luigi Dallapiccola (Italy, b. 1904; d. 1975): Canti di Liberazione for chorus and orchestra (1951-55) [30′].
Friday, 17 June 1960 – Special concert by the SWF
Karl-Birger Blomdahl (Sweden, b. 1916; d. 1968): Fioriture for orchestra (1960) [20′] [world premiere];
Igor Stravinsky (United States, b. 1882 in Russia; d. 1971): Movements for Piano and Orchestra (1959) [10′] [European premiere];
Boris Blacher (West Germany, b. 1903; d. 1975): Requiem for soprano, Baritone, chorus, and orchestra (1958) [45′].
Saturday, 18 June 1960
Peter Maxwell Davies (United Kingdom [England], b. 1934; d. 2016): Ricercar and Doubles on “To Many a Well” for wind quintet, viola, violoncello, and harpsichord, op. 10 (1959) [12′] [European premiere];
Bengt Hambraeus (Sweden, b. 1928; d. 2000 in Canada): Introduzione-Sequenze-Coda for 2 flutes, 5 percussionists, and 2 amplifiers (1958-59) [14′];
+ Herbert Eimert (West Germany, b. 1897; d. 1972): Selektion I for 4 loudspeaker groups (1960) [19′] [world premiere];
Bernhard Lewkovitch (Denmark, b. 1927): Cantata Sacra for tenor and six instrumentalists (1959) [8′];
Leni Alexander (Chile, b. 1924; d. 2005): De la muerte a la mañana [texts: Dylan Thomas, Thomas Wolfe], cantata for baritone, women’s chorus, 12 instruments, and percussion (1960) [world premiere];
Xavier Benguerel (Spain [Catalonia], b. 1931; d. 2017): Cantata d’Amic i Amat (Cantata of a Friend and Lover) [text: Ramon Llull] for alto, chorus, percussion, and seven wind instruments (1959) [world premiere].
Sunday, 19 June 1960
Matthijs Vermeulen (Netherlands, b. 1888; d. 1967): Symphony No. 6 ‘Les minutes heureuses’ (1958) [25′];
+ Bernd Alois Zimmermann (West Germany, b. 1918; d. 1970): Nobody knows de trouble I see (Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra) (1954) [15′] featuring Adolf Scherbaum;
György Ligeti (Austria, b. 1923 in Romania (then based in Hungary); d. 2006): Apparitions for orchestra (1958-59) [9′] [world premiere];
Karl Amadeus Hartmann (West Germany, b. 1905; d. 1963): Symphony No. 7 (1957-58) [30′].
” Public discussion – “Where is real tradition? A debate about contemporary music”
Speakers: Pierre Boulez, Guillaume Landré, Leo Schrade, Kurt Westphal. Moderator: Hans Curjel.
” City Contemporary Music Theatre Week presented by Cologne Stages
Sergei Prokofiev (Russia, 1891-1953): The Fiery Angel (1927, premiered 1955);
Alban Berg (Austria, 1885-1935): Wozzeck (1914-22, premiered 1925);
? Béla Bartók (Hungary/United States, 1881-1945) and Igor Stravinsky: ballets (?);
Nicolas Nabokov (United States, b. 1903 in Russia; d. 1978): Rasputin’s End [libretto: Stephen Spender] (1958)
Wolfgang Fortner: Bluthochzeit [libretto based on Bodas se sangre (Blood Wedding) by Federico García Lorca in Enrique Beck‘s German translation] (1957)
Igor Stravinsky: Die Nachtigall (1914) / Maurice Ravel (France, 1875-1937): L’enfant et les sortilèges [libretto: Colette] (1917-25)
Other significant interpreters
Vocalists: Eva Maria Rogner, Ilse Hollweg, Gloria Davy, Edith Lang, Herbert Brauer, Eugenia Zareska, Eskild Rask Nielsen, Otto H. Kloose.
Pianists: Stein Andersen, Margrit Weber.
Ensembles: Instrumentalensemble der Königliche Kapelle Kopenhagen, Rhenish Chamber Orchestra.
Orchestra and Chorus: Gürzenich-Orchester der Stadt Köln, NDR Chor, NDR Orchestra, RIAS-Kammerchor Berlin.
Conductors: Günter Wand, Michael Gielen, Alberto Erede, Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, Ernest Bour.
Alexander Fried, “Cymbals Clang–by Accident or Design?” San Francisco Examiner, June 22, 1960, p. 24.
Anton Haefeli, Die Internationale Gesellschaft für Neue Musik (IGNM), Ihre Geschichte von 1922 bis zur Gegenwart (Atlantis Musikbuch-Verlag, 1982), pp. 517-518.
Nicolas Slonimsky, Music Since 1900, Sixth Edition edited by Laura Kuhn (Schirmer Reference, 2001), pp. 531-533.
(annotated by Frank J. Oteri, in progress)