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Boulez by Joan Peyser
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Boulez

by Joan Peyser

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An interesting example of what happens when a biographer goes to work on a living subject, this book was written in the mid-'70's, not long after Boulez' tenure at the New York Philharmonic, a tempestuous relationship that left the orchestra, if not the audience, in need of the therapeutic guidance of someone like Zubin Mehta. There is a particularly fascinating sexual dynamic at play in Peyser's treatment of Boulez, who appears to have doggedly rejected development of his own sexuality beyond a purportedly hysterical affair early in his life. This brings to mind a quote by Lukas Foss about Boulez: "It's a pity there is no humanity there. Does he have sex? I think not. When men have no sex, they go after power in this big, obsessive way." So the book is a not-so-transparent power struggle between an author who wants to "capture" her subject, and a subject who wants, perhaps not unreasonably, to dominate his own biography. ( )
  jburlinson | Mar 25, 2013 |
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