Dietrich Kämper

"Struttura": un concetto chiave nella discussione estetica del Novecento

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This article focuses on the concept of "structure", a key-word in the compositional context of the early 1950s. Anticipated by the new aesthetics of the objective inaugurated by Schönberg and especially Webern, this concept was recalled for the first time by Boulez in 1951 in the title ("Structures") of one of his pieces connected to experiments in integral seriality in which he consciously refused the responsibility of invention. The progressive separation of music from the subject and psychology influenced also by the materialism of the natural sciences with particular reference to the study of molecular structures in biology was also reflected in the figurative arts, where the term "structure" became the central topic of theoretical debate. This, however, resulted in the notion that the invention upon which all arts are based should not be excluded; rather, it should be subordinated to the ordering principle of the structure. Boulez' self-critique would derive from this: in the 1960s he would distance himself from pure structuralism, a potential threat to composition which cannot exist apart from form (the result of conscious artistic configurations) and the free will of the artist. The 1965 Darmstadt congress would clarify the opposition between "form" and "structure" in composing.

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