Author Topic: Edgard Varese  (Read 28153 times)

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mahlertitan

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Edgard Varese
« on: June 07, 2007, 08:53:16 PM »
any thoughts?

Offline edward

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2007, 03:33:09 AM »
A very fine, if somewhat circumscribed figure. Everything You Need (tm) is on that Chailly set.
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music

karlhenning

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2007, 03:44:55 AM »
Short catalogue, and quite a specific patch of musical turf.  But within that orbit, how richly lived.

PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2007, 05:12:44 AM »
I like Varese, he is certainly different. He is quite listenable actually, much less harsh on the ears than Penderecki let's say.

greg

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2007, 05:22:47 AM »

karlhenning

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2007, 05:25:58 AM »
I like Varese, he is certainly different. He is quite listenable actually, much less harsh on the ears than Penderecki let's say.

We're veering onto a tangent, but FWIW, I found the Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima much more engaging and ear-friendly when I heard it live and in the space, than when I've heard any recording.

Offline Brewski

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2007, 10:52:35 AM »
The Chailly set is superb, and includes Tuning Up, which may not be the most profound music, but is well worth hearing.  But much of the rest is fantastic: I don't think I've ever heard Arcana, Amériques and others performed so beautifully and with such energy. 

Poème électronique was one of the first 20th-century pieces I ever heard, as part of a contemporary music series presented by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra back in the 1970s. 

And just last weekend, at about 3:00 a.m., I heard Ionisation by red fish blue fish, the new music group based at the University of California, San Diego.  I hadn't heard it live in a very long time, and what a marvelous kaleidoscope of percussion effects it is!

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mahlertitan

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2007, 09:45:30 AM »
varese was a unique and colorful composer...the chailly set is OK, some unnecessary filler on it....i much prefer the Sony Boulez recording, it's got everything needed right there, and so well done...

So, you are saying that more is not good?

greg

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2007, 01:22:31 PM »
The Chailly set is superb, and includes Tuning Up, which may not be the most profound music, but is well worth hearing. 
(that's one of my favorite Varese)  :-X

(i guess not everything has to be profound to be good)

PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2008, 12:08:37 PM »
Anyone seen this video of Boulez conducting Ionisation? I think I can name like one or two instruments at most.

Offline some guy

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2008, 12:20:14 PM »
Mehta's (premiere?) recording of Arcana with the L.A. Phil is still the one to beat, I think.

I don't really disagree with James' opinion about the Boulez, but I must say that I felt a lot better when I had gotten several different recordings of Varèse. (I prefer Lyndon-Gee's performance of Arcana over Boulez's or Chailly's--but that may say more about me than about Varèse!)

pjme

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2008, 01:07:58 PM »
Volume 2 is out and gets very good reviews:

from Naxos:

The works on this recording span Varèse’s entire career, containing his sole surviving early composition, Un grand Sommeil noir, and his last, unfinished work, Nocturnal, brilliantly and seamlessly completed by the composer’s disciple and assistant during the last seventeen years of his life, the composer Chou Wen-Chung. Chiefly, though, the recording features the original version of Amériques, for a massive orchestra of 155 players, recorded immediately following a rare public performance at the Warsaw Philharmonic (only its second since the 1920s) as part of the 2005 Warsaw Autumn Festival.



   Ameriques
 
Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Lyndon-Gee, Christopher, Conductor
 

Ameriques  00:23:55
   Ecuatorial
 
 Thomas Bloch,, ondes Martenot
Camerata Silesia
Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Lyndon-Gee, Christopher, Conductor
 

Ecuatorial  00:10:27
   Nocturnal
 
Watts, Elisabeth, soprano
Camerata Silesia

Nocturnal  00:09:24
   Dance for Burgess
 
Dance for Burgess  00:01:44
   Tuning Up (completed by Chou Wen-chung)
 
Tuning Up (completed by Chou Wen - chung)  00:04:50
   Hyperprism
 

Hyperprism  00:03:48
   Un grand sommeil noir
 
Watts, Elisabeth, soprano
Lyndon-Gee, Christopher, piano
 

Un grand sommeil noir  00:02:59
   Density 21.5
 
Grochowska, Maria, flute
 

Density 21.5  00:04:43
   Ionisation
 
Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra percussion ensemble
Lyndon-Gee, Christopher, Conductor
 

Ionisation  00:05:24

Jean Martinon and the CHicago SO can be heard in a terrific performance of Arcana on RCA ( coupled with Bartok)

Poème électronique was conceived for the Philips pavilion (Le corbusier and Iannis Xenakis architects) at the 1958 Brussels World Fair. Several exhibitions commemorate the "Expo 58" - At Mechlin's new "Lamot exhibition site" a series of new and /or original maquettes of the buildings can be seen -and Poème électronique can be heard.


 
 
 
 
« Last Edit: July 22, 2008, 01:12:21 PM by pjme »

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2008, 02:36:37 PM »
Arcana and Amériques have been firm favourites with me for decades now.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

greg

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2008, 03:12:16 PM »
Anyone seen this video of Boulez conducting Ionisation? I think I can name like one or two instruments at most.
Yep, there's two I know of on youtube and have viewed both several times each, had one on my myspace page for awhile (the other version) and i think i might possibly even like that version better- maybe just because it sounds more powerful.
Anyone else ever think of ruins of a city or something like that at the ending?........ something about the low piano cluster and tubular bell combination......

Kullervo

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2008, 08:50:30 PM »
Am I the only person that wishes they could go back in time and prevent the score of Bourgogne from being consigned to the brenning pit?  :D

pjme

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2008, 12:54:29 AM »
Am I the only person that wishes they could go back in time and prevent the score of Bourgogne from being consigned to the brenning pit?  :D

No of course not!
Do you think that black magic could be of any use? Voodoo? A human sacrifice?
P.

karlhenning

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2009, 10:02:09 AM »
Without the flute, does the title make any sense?  8)

<a href="http://uk.youtube.com/v/hnh_VT6JIZQ" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://uk.youtube.com/v/hnh_VT6JIZQ</a>

Offline MDL

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2009, 12:36:43 PM »
I got to know and love Varese via Boulez's NYPO recordings (on LP, with a fab gatefold sleeve from CBS). His first recordings of Arcana and Ameriques are so etched into my brain that I can't help but judge all subsequent recordings against them. Having said that, I've not heard the CD remasterings.

Boulez's DG Chicago remakes lack a bit of zip, although they're certainly spectacular.

Any takers for Nagano's French recordings? A bit "splashy", a bit sloppy, and I really didn't care for them when they were released over a decade ago, but I dug them out from the bottom of the pile a few months ago and actually quite liked the breezy thrill of the performances.

Library choice for me remains Chailly; stunning sound and performances that are weighty and punchy... But I'm fascinated by the sounds emerging from the two Naxos CDs, and what a bargain they are.

(I must try Mehta's Arcana again. Last time I tried it, two decades ago, I hated it.)

snyprrr

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2009, 12:09:32 AM »
Varese + Stravinsky = Xenakis

karlhenning

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2009, 04:23:38 AM »
Boulez's DG Chicago remakes lack a bit of zip, although they're certainly spectacular.

Not quite the same thing . . . but the Chailly box does have a surprisingly smooth feel to it. (I like the box entirely, do not mistake me.)