Author Topic: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)  (Read 20412 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline snyprrr

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10835
  • SQs, PQs, PQTs, PTs, VSs, Berlioz-Xenakis/Aperghis
  • Currently Listening to:
    Things that are crisp and spritely vs. things that are thick and creamy
Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #40 on: January 09, 2011, 09:37:00 AM »
Since about a week ago I spent some time listening (and relistening) to Grisey's Le noir de l'étoile, Le temps et l'écume and Les chants de l'amour. Each one is quite rewarding in its own (different) way.

Le noir de l'étoile, for 6 percussionists located around the audience and live transmission of astronomical signals lasts a little under one hour. It is the meeting point between a dying star sending out its last signals, a giant radiotelescope picking them up, and six musicians being guided by them. It is a work essentially about rhythm and space. The score is organized according to the rotational speeds and timbres derived from the radio transmissions of a selection taken from the catalogue of known pulsars, distant stellar objects that are known for their very regular bursts of energy. The use of the percussion is quite organic and rather than being savage and wild it allows the ear to follow the ebb and flow of time (think Ionisation rather than Psappha), a recurrent concern of Grisey. On two occasions during the work, the sounds of the stars play unaccompanied through the set of loudspeakers, allowing the audience to experience the cosmic pulses exactly as received.

Le temps et l'écume, for 4 percussionists, 2 digital synthesizers and chamber orchestra lasts around 20 minutes. The piece bridges the "music of whales, that of humankind and that of insects". This is another piece that was inspired by astronomy when an astrophysicist friend of Grisey's explained gravitational waves as the foam of space-time. The piece, like the simile used by his friend, is like an ocean, which when viewed from a distance is perceived as a continuity; when we get closer, we realize that it is made of waves; and then, ever closer, we see that the summits of those waves have absolute discontinuities, giving rise precisely to the foam. The passage of time is fluid in this piece. At one end of the scale, we have the extended quiet opening; at the other lie pulsations, ruptures and durations, resulting in the "foam". The requisite "acoustic synthesis" so typical of spectral music can also be heard throughout.   

Les chants de l'amour, for 12 voices and magnetic tape is a work in 5 sections and lasts around 35 minutes. The material consists of phonetic material derived from words related to love, intoned by the singers in various forms and against the tape, which contains synthesized vocal sounds and speech sounds processed and filtered by computer. Sonically, the obvious reference is Stockhausen's Stimmung, although the similarities are only superficial and careful listening dismisses the comparison. Grisey was inspired by the strict structures found in Ockeghem and Dufay, the polyphonies of the pygmies of the forest of Lituri and, of course, the spectral and formant analysis of human speech--in fact, the form of the whole piece and the formant material are derived from the phrase I love you. The interplay of the real voices and the synthesized voices is very well done and certainly a very engaging aspect of the work.




How would you rate Le noir de l'etoile with other Percussions de Strasbourg 'hits'?:

Grisey- Le noir de l'etoile
Xenakis- Persephassa, Pleaides
Dufourt- Erewhon
Mache- Khoom, Serpent...

I mean, does this Grisey piece hold one's attention? I hear the Dufourt piece (also @1hr.) described as 'tepid', though it boasts how many different percussion instruments? I'm basically looking for long, 4-6 percussionist type music, and the ones above seem to have risen to the top. Are there others? What are the instruments used in the Grisey?
Rat Poison is 99% Good Food, so Follow the Money

Haydn-Sikh

Offline petrarch

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1397
  • Luigi Nono (1924-1990)
  • Location: Boston, MA
Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2011, 05:46:16 AM »
How would you rate Le noir de l'etoile with other Percussions de Strasbourg 'hits'?:

Grisey- Le noir de l'etoile
Xenakis- Persephassa, Pleaides
Dufourt- Erewhon
Mache- Khoom, Serpent...

I mean, does this Grisey piece hold one's attention? I hear the Dufourt piece (also @1hr.) described as 'tepid', though it boasts how many different percussion instruments? I'm basically looking for long, 4-6 percussionist type music, and the ones above seem to have risen to the top. Are there others? What are the instruments used in the Grisey?

It absolutely holds your attention. The Grisey sounds very much like Persephassa, although it feels more natural and less "artificial" and "forced". This is most likely because of the careful tuning of the percussion instruments and the precise spectral, timing and spatial organization the work is structured with, so it sounds more like an unfolding natural phenomenon (hence my reference to Ionisation as opposed to Psappha--though I really meant Persephassa). The liner notes do not mention specific instruments, but in passing it talks about 120 percussion instruments of skin, wood and metal.
//p
The music collection.
The hi-fi system: Esoteric X-03SE -> Pathos Logos -> Analysis Audio Amphitryon.
A view of the whole

Offline Brewski

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 11696
  • "Man With No Shadow" by Makoto Tojiki (2009)
Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #42 on: February 11, 2011, 11:43:53 AM »
Since about a week ago I spent some time listening (and relistening) to Grisey's Le noir de l'étoile, Le temps et l'écume and Les chants de l'amour. Each one is quite rewarding in its own (different) way.

Le noir de l'étoile, for 6 percussionists located around the audience and live transmission of astronomical signals lasts a little under one hour. It is the meeting point between a dying star sending out its last signals, a giant radiotelescope picking them up, and six musicians being guided by them. It is a work essentially about rhythm and space. The score is organized according to the rotational speeds and timbres derived from the radio transmissions of a selection taken from the catalogue of known pulsars, distant stellar objects that are known for their very regular bursts of energy. The use of the percussion is quite organic and rather than being savage and wild it allows the ear to follow the ebb and flow of time (think Ionisation rather than Psappha), a recurrent concern of Grisey. On two occasions during the work, the sounds of the stars play unaccompanied through the set of loudspeakers, allowing the audience to experience the cosmic pulses exactly as received.

Thanks, petrarch, for the detailed comments on those three Grisey pieces. Just a few weeks ago I heard a live performance of Le noir de l'étoile (here), and on March 4, will hear it again, incredibly just a few weeks later, by Les Percussions de Strasbourg.

I must say, a fascinating experience, hearing this work (as virtually all my Grisey experiences have been). After the glow of these performances has ebbed, I will certainly get that recording, as well as the other two works you mentioned.

--Bruce
Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.
     ~ Gustav Mahler

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline snyprrr

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10835
  • SQs, PQs, PQTs, PTs, VSs, Berlioz-Xenakis/Aperghis
  • Currently Listening to:
    Things that are crisp and spritely vs. things that are thick and creamy
Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #43 on: June 17, 2011, 09:09:02 AM »
Thanks, petrarch, for the detailed comments on those three Grisey pieces. Just a few weeks ago I heard a live performance of Le noir de l'étoile (here), and on March 4, will hear it again, incredibly just a few weeks later, by Les Percussions de Strasbourg.

I must say, a fascinating experience, hearing this work (as virtually all my Grisey experiences have been). After the glow of these performances has ebbed, I will certainly get that recording, as well as the other two works you mentioned.

--Bruce

Like I said in the other Thread,... I'd get that percussion cd if I thought my boom-box would play it.

btw- Just ordered Les Espaces..., had to take the plunge, no? And yes, I got the 'right' one. Can't wait!! 8)


So, I've got my 'One' Murail disc: the Desert Island one on "Composers of our Time' series, with Serendib and the other two pieces. I know you like Gondwana, but right now, I'm totally satisfied with this.

I've got what I consider the 'crucial' Dufourt,... anyhow...

I just ordered the Seminal Grisey.

I'm holding off on Aperghis for the moment,... I really want to get that 'Musique d'Chambre' cd on ZigZag Territories, but it's absolutely not available anywhere (can you help here?),... and that Kairos disc looks good, and the 2cd set 'Simulacres' seems like the One(s) to get. Not going for Recitations.

F-B Mache is the last one on the list, and his discography is only available in your dreams. There's yet another Percussion de Strassbourg cd featuring all his percussion music, along with a Naxos release of piano music (with Ohana music), and then some Accord/Adda type cds.

I think that's it, isn't it? Does this bring me up to speed? I left Manoury off because his discography is even more pathetic (though, Pluton would be the piece here, no?).

Also, Jarrell, Cohen, Obst, Lenot, Hurel, Dalbavie, and the 'rest',... well, they'll have to wait.

What do you say?
Rat Poison is 99% Good Food, so Follow the Money

Haydn-Sikh

Offline Brewski

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 11696
  • "Man With No Shadow" by Makoto Tojiki (2009)
Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #44 on: June 17, 2011, 09:16:31 AM »
That Grisey CD - even in the SACD format - should play on your system just fine. You just won't hear all the extra benefits of the other format. And I think Les Espaces is probably his masterpiece - although there are other contenders - enjoy!

Do check out some Hurel and Dalbavie (the only ones on your list I've heard a bit of). Dalbavie has gotten a good bit of time on concerts here in the last few years, e.g., the Cleveland Orchestra brought his Concertate il suono (2000) here in 2004, and in 2008 the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) did a big concert of his music including Palimpseste (2002), Diadèmes (1986) and Fantaisies (2008, world premiere) - all fascinating.

--Bruce
Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.
     ~ Gustav Mahler

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline petrarch

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1397
  • Luigi Nono (1924-1990)
  • Location: Boston, MA
Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #45 on: June 17, 2011, 03:53:07 PM »
btw- Just ordered Les Espaces..., had to take the plunge, no? And yes, I got the 'right' one. Can't wait!! 8)

Which one is the right one? The Kairos or the Accord? You did the right thing. My first exposure to Grisey was the Accord with Prologue (version with resonators), Jour Contre Jour and a few other essentials (at the time there was no recording with the whole of Les Espaces Acoustiques), and I still remember fondly how Prologue, which happened to be the opening track, was immediately captivating. It is as they say in the literature, like a manual, a guide, the WTC of spectral music.

So, I've got my 'One' Murail disc: the Desert Island one on "Composers of our Time' series, with Serendib and the other two pieces. I know you like Gondwana, but right now, I'm totally satisfied with this.

That one is also my favorite Murail disc.

Also, Jarrell, Cohen, Obst, Lenot, Hurel, Dalbavie, and the 'rest',... well, they'll have to wait.

What do you say?

Dalbavie would be my next choice.
//p
The music collection.
The hi-fi system: Esoteric X-03SE -> Pathos Logos -> Analysis Audio Amphitryon.
A view of the whole

Offline snyprrr

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10835
  • SQs, PQs, PQTs, PTs, VSs, Berlioz-Xenakis/Aperghis
  • Currently Listening to:
    Things that are crisp and spritely vs. things that are thick and creamy
Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #46 on: June 23, 2011, 09:18:23 AM »
Which one is the right one? The Kairos or the Accord? You did the right thing. My first exposure to Grisey was the Accord with Prologue (version with resonators), Jour Contre Jour and a few other essentials (at the time there was no recording with the whole of Les Espaces Acoustiques), and I still remember fondly how Prologue, which happened to be the opening track, was immediately captivating. It is as they say in the literature, like a manual, a guide, the WTC of spectral music.

That one is also my favorite Murail disc.

Dalbavie would be my next choice.

I got Les Espaces (Musicdisc France) yesterday, and I haven't opened it yet, which is definitely not my style. I see two intimidating cds worth of listening, and,... I'm scurred :'(. First off, I will need to set aside 2hrs.,... and I don't see how I can listen to this until The Dead of Night, meaning after 2am (this is NOT getting play during the daytime, haha).

The fear I'll have a car wreck before I open it is always threatening, so,...


Seriously, I am going to approach this piece with the utmost respect. I've only heard snippets, but, looking at the timings of these pieces,... an 18min. viola solo?? :o That's going to take some concentration on my part. Looks like I might have to hit the gym before I listen, huh? Whew! ???

Anyhow, hoping I will have some 'Delicious Time' later to do this. Can't wait!! ;) 8)
Rat Poison is 99% Good Food, so Follow the Money

Haydn-Sikh

Coco

  • Guest
Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #47 on: June 23, 2011, 09:23:12 AM »
I listened to the Accord set last night — it's only a little less than 1.5 hours long. Certainly as manageable as a Mahler symphony.

Offline snyprrr

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10835
  • SQs, PQs, PQTs, PTs, VSs, Berlioz-Xenakis/Aperghis
  • Currently Listening to:
    Things that are crisp and spritely vs. things that are thick and creamy
Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #48 on: June 23, 2011, 07:59:26 PM »
I listened to the Accord set last night — it's only a little less than 1.5 hours long. Certainly as manageable as a Mahler symphony.

I'm into the second piece now...

I wasn't quite sure about that viola intro, until the end, when the sound actually started to transform. I heard some Donatoni in the endlessly repeating 'variations', and heard Xenakis in the glisses. Ha, 8mins. into Periodes and it sounds just like Anaktoria.

No, I like this a lot. Very interesting. But it's not totally 'smooth' as one might expect, but 'stuff' actually 'happens',... like disruptions? And EVERYTHING? is centered on 'E'? I don't have the guitar handy, I'll have to check.

Partiels just started. Cool basses...
Rat Poison is 99% Good Food, so Follow the Money

Haydn-Sikh

Offline snyprrr

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10835
  • SQs, PQs, PQTs, PTs, VSs, Berlioz-Xenakis/Aperghis
  • Currently Listening to:
    Things that are crisp and spritely vs. things that are thick and creamy
Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #49 on: June 23, 2011, 09:06:27 PM »
I'm into the second piece now...

I wasn't quite sure about that viola intro, until the end, when the sound actually started to transform. I heard some Donatoni in the endlessly repeating 'variations', and heard Xenakis in the glisses. Ha, 8mins. into Periodes and it sounds just like Anaktoria.

No, I like this a lot. Very interesting. But it's not totally 'smooth' as one might expect, but 'stuff' actually 'happens',... like disruptions? And EVERYTHING? is centered on 'E'? I don't have the guitar handy, I'll have to check.

Partiels just started. Cool basses...

ok, just finished First Listen. Disc2 continues on from Disc1, each piece adding forces. By the time of Epilogue, though, I had read through the notes and was utterly confused. I didn't hear the 'open system' being 'destroyed', or 'disintegrated', or whatever,... I don't know, everything makes interesting sense musically, but Grisey's notes are going to take me some time here:

'...instrumental application of frequency modulation for calculating the inharmonic spectra.'

No, I won't find another example. The whole thing is pretty dense. But then, the 'sense of discovery' permeates everything about this project, no? Yes, this was a refreshing ear cleansing,... this is beautiful Water Music, and Color Music. And yes, everything's in 'E'.
Rat Poison is 99% Good Food, so Follow the Money

Haydn-Sikh

Offline snyprrr

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10835
  • SQs, PQs, PQTs, PTs, VSs, Berlioz-Xenakis/Aperghis
  • Currently Listening to:
    Things that are crisp and spritely vs. things that are thick and creamy
Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #50 on: June 23, 2011, 09:16:51 PM »
In E, haha. 8)
Rat Poison is 99% Good Food, so Follow the Money

Haydn-Sikh

Offline snyprrr

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10835
  • SQs, PQs, PQTs, PTs, VSs, Berlioz-Xenakis/Aperghis
  • Currently Listening to:
    Things that are crisp and spritely vs. things that are thick and creamy
Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #51 on: June 24, 2011, 06:01:40 AM »
I'll be attempting a Second Listen this weekend.
Rat Poison is 99% Good Food, so Follow the Money

Haydn-Sikh

Coco

  • Guest
Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #52 on: June 24, 2011, 06:42:33 AM »
Same. I'll be giving it a listen after work today.

Coco

  • Guest
Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #53 on: June 24, 2011, 07:15:08 AM »
Hey, let's make Les espaces the next Listening Week choice! :D

Offline snyprrr

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10835
  • SQs, PQs, PQTs, PTs, VSs, Berlioz-Xenakis/Aperghis
  • Currently Listening to:
    Things that are crisp and spritely vs. things that are thick and creamy
Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #54 on: July 07, 2011, 06:48:10 AM »
It absolutely holds your attention. The Grisey sounds very much like Persephassa, although it feels more natural and less "artificial" and "forced". This is most likely because of the careful tuning of the percussion instruments and the precise spectral, timing and spatial organization the work is structured with, so it sounds more like an unfolding natural phenomenon (hence my reference to Ionisation as opposed to Psappha--though I really meant Persephassa). The liner notes do not mention specific instruments, but in passing it talks about 120 percussion instruments of skin, wood and metal.

Been listening to l'etoile for about a week.

First off, ANY cd that starts off with 5mins. of French speaking is an instant disappointment, haha. But, as I adjust...

I certainly didn't really get it the first time, but now I'm really starting to get into it. It DOES sound a whooole lot like Xenakis, even down to the rat-a-tat-tat which shows up in X's last work O-Mega. Much else sounds like Pleiades and Persephassa. It's the same arena, but Grisey is a little gentler (ha!), or whatnot. You REALLY do hear the rhythm of the cosmos here. Definitely a great companion to enakis and Dufourt.

Also, I've been plowing through Les espaces, and, I'm really glad there is sooo much of it. It's been keeping me busy.

I'm at kind of a loss as to where to go from here, though. Aperghis and Mache are next on this list, but their discographies are...well...
Rat Poison is 99% Good Food, so Follow the Money

Haydn-Sikh

Offline Rinaldo

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1594
  • Cara sposa, dove sei?
    • aaraaf.net
  • Location: Prague
Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #55 on: September 13, 2012, 05:53:46 AM »
I've stumbled upon Grisey by chance and I'm almost speechless! So far I've listened to Les espaces acoustiques and Vortex temporum and now I'm fighting the urge to buy up every available CD I can find.. (thankfully, the rent is due).

I usually have an on / off relationship with the more adventurous side of contemporary classical music (and it's mostly off when it comes to the Cult of IRCAM) but this stuff is like an amalgam of timbres and patterns and twists & turns that I instantly feel and enjoy.

Offline petrarch

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1397
  • Luigi Nono (1924-1990)
  • Location: Boston, MA
Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #56 on: September 13, 2012, 06:05:53 AM »
I've stumbled upon Grisey by chance and I'm almost speechless! So far I've listened to Les espaces acoustiques and Vortex temporum and now I'm fighting the urge to buy up every available CD I can find.. (thankfully, the rent is due).

I usually have an on / off relationship with the more adventurous side of contemporary classical music (and it's mostly off when it comes to the Cult of IRCAM) but this stuff is like an amalgam of timbres and patterns and twists & turns that I instantly feel and enjoy.

Grisey has that effect indeed! From the spectralists, I prefer Grisey overall, but I think I like one or two works by Murail better. You already have a good start on Grisey, but check Jour Contre Jour and Anubis-Nout (version for saxophone)--those come in an Accord CD that opens with a brilliant version of Prologue (or perhaps I am more attached to that particular recording because it was the first proper and systematically spectral work that I heard).

If you want to dip into Murail, definitely check Les courants de l'espace and Treize couleurs du soleil couchant. These are much less visceral than Grisey and a lot more impressionistic, but excellent nonetheless.

EDIT: Actually, the first proper and systematically spectral work I heard was Jonathan Harvey's Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco, truly a masterpiece of the genre. But Grisey's Prologue was the first one I heard with acoustic instruments.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2012, 07:06:42 AM by petrarch »
//p
The music collection.
The hi-fi system: Esoteric X-03SE -> Pathos Logos -> Analysis Audio Amphitryon.
A view of the whole

Offline snyprrr

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10835
  • SQs, PQs, PQTs, PTs, VSs, Berlioz-Xenakis/Aperghis
  • Currently Listening to:
    Things that are crisp and spritely vs. things that are thick and creamy
Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #57 on: September 13, 2012, 06:09:04 AM »
I've stumbled upon Grisey by chance and I'm almost speechless! So far I've listened to Les espaces acoustiques and Vortex temporum and now I'm fighting the urge to buy up every available CD I can find.. (thankfully, the rent is due).

I usually have an on / off relationship with the more adventurous side of contemporary classical music (and it's mostly off when it comes to the Cult of IRCAM) but this stuff is like an amalgam of timbres and patterns and twists & turns that I instantly feel and enjoy.

I'd try the massive percussion piece Erewhon by Dufourt. Maybe go for that before you go for Grisey's similar piece.

Glad you've discovered Grisey. It sure is good stuff, and it's nice to hear someone's first reactions (same as mine).

Read the reviews, though. Maybe not everything by Grisey will please you. Hit the top works of the different Composers in this realm, they all have something different to say. Try Radulescu and Dumitrescu,... even more spectral than Grisey.
Rat Poison is 99% Good Food, so Follow the Money

Haydn-Sikh

Offline Brewski

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 11696
  • "Man With No Shadow" by Makoto Tojiki (2009)
Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #58 on: September 13, 2012, 06:54:41 AM »
I've stumbled upon Grisey by chance and I'm almost speechless! So far I've listened to Les espaces acoustiques and Vortex temporum and now I'm fighting the urge to buy up every available CD I can find.. (thankfully, the rent is due).

I usually have an on / off relationship with the more adventurous side of contemporary classical music (and it's mostly off when it comes to the Cult of IRCAM) but this stuff is like an amalgam of timbres and patterns and twists & turns that I instantly feel and enjoy.

"Almost speechless" is exactly how I have felt after hearing Grisey - probably most recently when Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic did his last work, Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil, for soprano and fifteen instruments (1997–98). Was so knocked out that I returned for the second performance the next night, knowing I might not hear it again live for a very long time. But Les espaces is probably his "masterpiece among masterpieces."

And just heard Vortex temporum recently by the New York New Music Ensemble, whose pianist is the unflappable Stephen Gosling (who seems to be able to play anything) - what a great piece.

Nice comments by snyprrr, and thanks, petrarch, for those other suggestions - both from Grisey and Murail, whom I also love. Next spring, Pierre-Laurent Aimard (with David Robertson and the New York Philharmonic) is doing Murail's new piano concerto here - the same one Johan (J. Z. Herrenberg) is hearing tomorrow in Amsterdam.

--Bruce
Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.
     ~ Gustav Mahler

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline petrarch

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1397
  • Luigi Nono (1924-1990)
  • Location: Boston, MA
Re: Gérard Grisey (1946-1998)
« Reply #59 on: September 13, 2012, 07:14:31 AM »
I'd try the massive percussion piece Erewhon by Dufourt.

Speaking of Dufourt, I really have to give Erewhon a listen. I tried his works based on Tiepolo's paintings on Africa and Asia a while back and they did nothing to me. Are you familiar with them?
//p
The music collection.
The hi-fi system: Esoteric X-03SE -> Pathos Logos -> Analysis Audio Amphitryon.
A view of the whole

Buying Music From Amazon?
Please consider using these links. A small percentage of every sale using these links is passed on to GMG and helps keep this forum online.
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK