Exhibition «Entre Denges et Denezy...»

Documents on Swiss music history, 1900-2000
Paul Sacher Foundation
St. Moritz
3 August to 3 September 2000


In 2000 the Swiss Association of Musicians (Schweizerischer Tonkünstlerverein), which Paul Sacher served for many years as president (1946-55) and honorary president (1955-99), celebrated its hundredth anniversary by putting on a festival of the arts in St. Moritz. This gave the Foundation a welcome opportunity to offer a retrospective view of the past century by exhibiting music manuscripts, letters, photographs, and other documents from its rich holdings on twentieth-century Swiss music. The city of St. Moritz graciously agreed to mount the exhibition in its beautiful, recently renovated community auditorium in the centrally located village schoolhouse.

The exhibition featured the contrasting currents of twentieth-century music, from the late romantic symphony of the fin de siècle through classical modernism and twelve-tone music to the present-day avantgarde. Examples were presented from the music of Hans Huber, Arthur Honegger, Frank Martin, Klaus Huber, Rudolf Kelterborn, and many others. Equally evident was the role played by institutions such as radio and by the country's many outstanding performers (including Ernest Ansermet, Paul Sacher, Hermann Scherchen, and Heinz and Ursula Holliger) in the dissemination and establishment of contemporary music in Switzerland. Another topic was the importance of music in invoking a national identity (e.g. the «intellectual civil defense» movement of the 1930s and 1940s) and the importance of Switzerland as a haven for such composers and performers as Béla Bartók, Adolf Busch, Sándor Veress, Wladimir Vogel, and Bohuslav Martinu. Nearly two-hundred exhibition items vividly recreated a century of Swiss music history, while the working manuscripts offered many a glimpse into the composers' working methods. Another special attraction was the listening booths, where forty-two of the works on display could be heard in excerpt.

Catalogue: «‹Entre Denges et Denezy …› Documents on Swiss music history, 1900-2000», edited by Ulrich Mosch with the assistance of Matthias Kassel, 480 pp.

Italian and French editions:
«‹Entre Denges et Denezy ...› Documenti sulla storia della musica in Svizzera 1900–2000» (Lucca: LIM editrice s.r.l, 2001); «‹Entre Denges et Denezy ...› La musique du XXe siècle en Suisse, manuscrits et documents» (Geneva: Contrechamps, 2001).