I have written elsewhere that his music was anathema to me. I could neither understand it nor did it appeal to me on any level. I also regretted the contempt he expressed and the derision he poured onto slightly older French composers such as Henri Dutilleux.
However Boulez mellowed as a critic in later life and his invective was largely a characteristic of his younger days. As a conductor he was superb in the music of those composers in whose music he specialised. And as the years went by his repertoire extended in ways I could never have imagined. I would never have believed for one moment that one day I would be able to buy and to admire his recording of the Bruckner 8th with the Berlin PO recorded at the International Bruckner Festival in St. Florian.
I may not have been able to appreciate his compositions but I respected the man both as a fine conductor and as a seminal influence on others who could hear in his music what was denied to me.
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