LETTER : Webern note

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The Independent Online
MICHAEL White's article on Pierre Boulez's concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra ("In New York, a load of old Boulez", 30 April) - especially his statements that "his Berg and Webern carry clear conviction of their central and essential place in Western music" and "the Webern pieces Op6 can be glamorous" - sent me back to Karl Popper's autobiography Unended Quest, where that great thinker tells of a conversation he once had with Webern: "He told me how he wrote his Orchesterstcke: he just listened to sounds that came to him and wrote them down. This, he said, was the explanation of the extreme brevity of his pieces. Nobody could doubt the purity of his heart. But there was not much music to be found in his modest compositions."

Leonard H Hancock

London, N1