Author Topic: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)  (Read 121542 times)

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1300 on: April 14, 2017, 07:13:19 AM »
I mean, seriously, Modern Music IS, technically, MEANT to sound "bad" Right? To "normal people"

You've got a very strange grasp of the stick.  I should say, instead, that Modern Music cannot remain within the musical technique of the "normal person's" (leaving that stand for the present) Comfort Zone.

To me, Schoebergian technique IS the sound of "mental illness"

Like Mahlerian, I don't hear this at all, all (nor do I believe I heard it at all in that way the very first I listened to it).  Rather than (as was my first impulse) provide 10 counter-examples, would you give us your examples?
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Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1301 on: April 14, 2017, 01:03:02 PM »
Nah, just feeling amused (and much better) today.

To this day, I am still perplexed by the very confrontational attitudes I've come across towards modern music. I've never understood it, I guess I never will.

When I first heard Pli Selon Pli, it was so a thrilling experience and I've come to love it very much, same with the sonatas and Repons etc.

My relationship with modern music, seems to be similar to many older *other people's profound love of Romantic and Classical era music, I don't know.

I JUST DON'T GET IT   :'( :'(


I've just a had a 7 hour car trip and I'm in another city for the week. I'm feeling very inspired right now  ;D

Mind you, I am at least thirty five years older than you, so my ears started off at a different place.  A lot of the music you like was not even in existence yet when I was in college, or produced in the last fifteen years and not heard very often.  Karajan and Bernstein were still on the podium. Rap did not exist, and Led Zeppelin was about the heaviest metal around (although that changing).

So when I heard much of that music, it was to my ears ugly, and your "composed by a cat" remark does apply. It still does, to me. I don't like Maitre sans Marteau, and it put me off Boulez for years, until I got myself to listen to his later works.  Same for Schoenberg (I still don't like anything not from his earlier period) and Ligeti, although eventually I got to terms with him. And I liked Berg from the first note I heard, btw Anything Darmstadtian, so to speak,  grates on my ears. A lot of the middle 20th century is stuff that just does not strike a chord with me.
Trends in the last twenty years or so have produced much more music I like. You remember how I said I liked later Penderecki more than earlier, and that is why. I did find better luck with works for small forces. That's how I worked myself into Ligeti, and trying off and on with Carter.

But I would not call any of this music "mental illness".  And to keep this to the composer to whom this thread is dedicated, I find later Boulez much more easier to connect with than earlier Boulez.

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1302 on: April 14, 2017, 03:49:03 PM »
I tend to feel more of a connection with music written closer to the time I have been alive....late Boulez being one such type of music. Earlier Boulez is brilliant and I love it to bits, but for me, those are museum pieces now rather than anything representative of 'music today.'

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1303 on: April 14, 2017, 03:52:49 PM »

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1304 on: April 15, 2017, 06:52:56 AM »
Nah, just feeling amused (and much better) today.

To this day, I am still perplexed by the very confrontational attitudes I've come across towards modern music. I've never understood it, I guess I never will.

When I first heard Pli Selon Pli, it was so a thrilling experience and I've come to love it very much, same with the sonatas and Repons etc.

My relationship with modern music, seems to be similar to many older *other people's profound love of Romantic and Classical era music, I don't know.

I JUST DON'T GET IT   :'( :'(


I've just a had a 7 hour car trip and I'm in another city for the week. I'm feeling very inspired right now  ;D

I think I’ll reply to this as my buddy Jeffrey Smith already put his personal yet eloquent spin on it. Like Jeffrey, I started off in a completely different place than you did when it came to classical music. First of all, nobody, aside from my grandfather and uncle whom I never spoke to about music much, liked classical music. When I did ask my grandfather for some recommendations, he gave me a pretty standard list: Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, etc. Well, I knew these composers even though I didn’t know their music, I also knew that I was going to have to explore this music on my own and just dive in head-first. Whenever I saw an interview in a magazine of one of my favorite jazz guitarists mention Bartók, I was intrigued. After this encounter, I had heard Copland’s Billy the Kid but in a jazz band arrangement. Ives was also a name I ran across that I kept in the back of my mind. Where I’m getting at is we all start off in a different place and what we’re influenced by or are inspired to explore forms the foundation of our appreciation of this music. I love the late-19th up to mid-20th Centuries the most of any period. Like Jeffrey, I can easily get onboard with The Second Viennese School and I do love more Schoenberg than he does, but I’m also quite versed in post-WWII composers like Ligeti, Scelsi, Takemitsu, Lutoslawski, Schnittke, among others. There’s a lot of music that I just don’t get and does absolutely nothing for me, but I have found that most of it comes from the second half of the 20th Century and well into our current time.

All of this said, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with someone who is only into Baroque or Classical Era music just like there’s nothing wrong with someone who focuses on music of our current era only. You should explore and listen to music that you like and it’s really as simple as that. It would be wrong-headed, and ignorant, of me to point my finger at you and tell you that you’re not listening to music correctly or you should be listening to this or that composer. There is no wrong way to listen and explore music. That’s the beauty of it. No judgement should be passed on anyone for pursuing music that they have an immense interest and passion for.
"Music must be beautiful, or it wouldn’t be worth the effort” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline snyprrr

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1305 on: April 15, 2017, 09:38:41 AM »
Which is strange, because horror movie music sounds nothing like Schoenberg.  It usually sounds more like a bunch of techniques cribbed from early Penderecki thrown together.

I don't know why the "mental illness" image is poo-pooed. Who was it that said that after Wagner, it was a "race to the graveyard" in terms of the emotional states that the new extensions of tonality was creating?

I mean, Schoenberg DOESN'T illuminate more stressed out emotional states than, say, ... uh... Tchaikovsky? And, isn't the music called EXPRESSIONISM? Expressive of what? Extreme emotional states.

Wasn't that the point?



For the most part, I'm ONLY reflecting what I've heard the NORMIES say, and THEY say it "all" sounds like horror movie music- I know it doesn't really, but, of course, we all know what they're saying. It's not Mozart or Haydn.


You've got a very strange grasp of the stick.  I should say, instead, that Modern Music cannot remain within the musical technique of the "normal person's" (leaving that stand for the present) Comfort Zone.

Like Mahlerian, I don't hear this at all, all (nor do I believe I heard it at all in that way the very first I listened to it).  Rather than (as was my first impulse) provide 10 counter-examples, would you give us your examples?

Elliott Carter. Period.

Stockhausen/ Boulez/ Nono. Period.

Sessions. Period.

Lucier/ Young/ uh.... Period.




What was the argument again? It's a nice day outside... can't we all just get along?  :-\

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Offline Mahlerian

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1306 on: April 15, 2017, 10:07:31 AM »
I don't know why the "mental illness" image is poo-pooed. Who was it that said that after Wagner, it was a "race to the graveyard" in terms of the emotional states that the new extensions of tonality was creating?

Whoever it was probably took Adorno far more seriously than he deserves.  Whatever use his writings may be (and I respect him for having been one of the first to write perceptively on Mahler, however much I disagree with his conclusions), he is not a reliable guide to the way Schoenberg thought about his own music.  Schoenberg despised Adorno and felt nearly the opposite on many issues.

I mean, Schoenberg DOESN'T illuminate more stressed out emotional states than, say, ... uh... Tchaikovsky? And, isn't the music called EXPRESSIONISM? Expressive of what? Extreme emotional states.

Wasn't that the point?

Yes and no.

Schoenberg did turn to non-triadic harmony in response to an impulse to express emotions more directly.  Expressionism was not his term, but one that was applied by critics after the fact.  At the time, many critics called his music "impressionist," to connect it with the ultra-modern music of Debussy and those around him, and some used the terms interchangeably.  It is true that, like Schoenberg's music of this period, most impressionist music is not traditionally tonal.

Likewise, the emotional states in the music are heightened and intensified, but they are not by any means wholly negative.  Pierrot lunaire, for example, traverses a whole range of emotions, from the ironic to the wistful, and the first music of this style, the "Rapture" movement of the Second Quartet, is transcendent, not alienated but ethereal.

Music of the serial period (which is not generally called expressionist) has an even wider emotional range.

For the most part, I'm ONLY reflecting what I've heard the NORMIES say, and THEY say it "all" sounds like horror movie music- I know it doesn't really, but, of course, we all know what they're saying. It's not Mozart or Haydn.

Normal people don't listen to any classical music.  And no, I certainly don't know what they're saying, because for one person "dissonant and modern" can be Debussy, for another Schoenberg, for another Mahler, for another Philip Glass, and so on.  I have no clue what an individual's perception is when they use a cliched phrase to express it.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1307 on: April 15, 2017, 10:27:10 AM »
Elliott Carter. Period.

Stockhausen/ Boulez/ Nono. Period.

Sessions. Period.

You add "period" because you know that you haven't answered the question, haven't made an argument.  0:)

Elliott Carter?

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/pZpUfwN67xA" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/pZpUfwN67xA</a>

Boulez?

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/98COFqc7-NE" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/98COFqc7-NE</a>


I do not hear that as the music of mental illness, at all, at all.  Do you?  Why?

Sessions did not employ Schoenbergian technique.  Period  ;)


(Neither did Carter, really.  That brush broad enough for ya?)
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Offline snyprrr

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1308 on: April 16, 2017, 07:32:48 AM »
You add "period" because you know that you haven't answered the question, haven't made an argument.  0:)

Elliott Carter?

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/pZpUfwN67xA" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/pZpUfwN67xA</a>

Boulez?

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/98COFqc7-NE" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/98COFqc7-NE</a>


I do not hear that as the music of mental illness, at all, at all.  Do you?  Why?

Sessions did not employ Schoenbergian technique.  Period  ;)


(Neither did Carter, really.  That brush broad enough for ya?)

Of course not the Cello Sonata, I'm talking Mature Compositions...


Using the "technique" isn't the point, it's the "hard on the noob ears" effect, the rigorous,... the manly...


I mean, sure, I'll just end the conversation with one word: Ives. To me, Ives has enough for grandma to enjoy, but, because he's Da Man, and believes people should take their dissonances as such, ole granny STILL won't have her nursery rhyme music to make he feel safe and good.


I hope you all realize I'm just making granny's argument here- it's not me (riiight??)- and, frankly, again, just to end the confusion- FUCK GRANNY'S EARS!!

But, my point here is is that, generally, granny DOES somehow rule the world, and people who like their music straight up are asked to go into the corner- I mean, this will never be MAINSTREAM- I don't know if anyone here is actually harboring that sentiment (that OUR MUSIC MUST BE HEARD), but, hey, just be grateful you actually have Sessions and Carter and Boulez and whatever...


Still, I'll go as far as 95% of all is shyte... but, as Scripture says, one will seek out buried treasure.... BURIED in a mountain of shyte...


I have this CRI disc by Donald Harris, a typical Modern American Composer, with a String Quartet from 1971(?), and the thing is about as doctrinaire a typical gnarly-ish Serial-ish work as one could ask for. It's pretty well pruned in my estimation, but, ultimately, it resides in a bucket with about a billion other works that sound soooooo much like it I end up just picking one or two for an example. (how this is different than 1793, I don't know)...



Karl, don't you have a granny somewhere? I mean, you've never had a normie look at you funny when you tried to play "this cool new work" for them? Don't you write somewhat gnarly music? Do you have a granddaughter you could play it for?- I'd love to know the out of mouths of babes-

"Oh, I love you uncle Karl, but why don't you write any NICE music?"


You've really never heard this?



I know it's hard trying to make this (lost) point to the converted... here at GMG,... but you all seem to be acting like the world at large doesn't know in its heart of hearts that we are all somewhat "off" for even giving a tritone the light of day...


Yea, trolling the Boulez Thread isn't what I had hoped for. :(
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Offline opaquer

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1309 on: April 19, 2017, 02:51:10 PM »
Which is strange, because horror movie music sounds nothing like Schoenberg.  It usually sounds more like a bunch of techniques cribbed from early Penderecki thrown together.

Horror movies that use those cliche sound effects are really hard to take seriously. As that kind of harsh modernism is like....pop music to my ears, the Pendereckian effects over a scary scene is like....putting a Beyonce track in a scene where a corpse is seen getting up and going to work with twelve skinned bodies in its trunk.


This really doesn't represent horror in anyway:



I find the association (due to lazy film directors) frustrating, at the least  :laugh:

Online jessop

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1310 on: June 21, 2017, 03:43:31 AM »
Just gonna post this here, it is from a performance at the Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music (BIFEM) in 2015.

https://soundcloud.com/bifemsoundarchive/sur-incises-by-pierre-boulez-1996-98

Interested to know what you all think of the performance. There's something I like about the roughness here, which I think is quite nice.........certainly performed with lots of character. It is noticeably slower than EIC/Boulez.


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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1311 on: June 26, 2017, 10:02:41 AM »
Mark Berry on Répons in Vienna last week: http://boulezian.blogspot.com.es/2017/06/klangforum-wienbronnimann-boulez-19.html.



I would agree with Mr. Berry  that any concert of this work is an "occasion", and would add that its greatness can only be fully appreciated in live performance.



« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 01:47:11 PM by ritter »
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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1312 on: June 26, 2017, 01:32:21 PM »
Oh man I wish I had the opportunity to see it live. :(

Why mus it never be performed where I can see it!

Offline ritter

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1313 on: September 06, 2017, 05:06:50 AM »
The following CD release is announced for next week:


Pascal Gallois had already recorded Le Marteau... and Éclat (on a CD that also includes Dialogue de l'ombre double).

What's new on this release it that it includes Boulez specialist Dimitri Vassilakis playing a short piano piece (from 1987) with the (quite revealing) title Fragment d'une ébauche, which was first played in public in 2013 in the composer's presence. I can't imagine these 30" of music being all that special, but well... ;)

Other works ion the disc are Dérive 1, the Third Piano Sonata, plus Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 06:07:19 AM by ritter »
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Offline CRCulver

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1314 on: September 07, 2017, 03:40:17 PM »

Other works on the disc are ... the Third Piano Sonata

Weird. Vassilakis already recorded the Third Piano Sonata and the other sonatas on the "Pierre Boulez und das Klavier" release on Cybele Records. That release was on a SACD with surround sound, so there's really no point of doing this again in Stradivarius’s usually unspectacular sound.

Offline ritter

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1315 on: September 07, 2017, 11:10:49 PM »
Weird. Vassilakis already recorded the Third Piano Sonata and the other sonatas on the "Pierre Boulez und das Klavier" release on Cybele Records. That release was on a SACD with surround sound, so there's really no point of doing this again in Stradivarius’s usually unspectacular sound.


Indeed... perhaps Vassilakis makes other interpretative choices this time around, given the aleatoric elements of the Third Piano Sonata. But still, curious that he commits the work to disc twice in such relatively quick succession, even more so since his Cybele disc already included the (unpublished?) "formant" Sigle.
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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1316 on: September 10, 2017, 06:12:05 PM »
Stradivarius’s usually unspectacular sound.

 ;) :laugh:
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Offline Brewski

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1317 on: September 30, 2017, 04:09:53 AM »
This week, hearing Répons, with Matthias Pintscher and Ensemble intercontemporain, staged at the enormous Park Avenue Armory here -- the size of an airplane hangar. (You can hear the piece with Pintscher and the group on YouTube, in very good audio/video.)

The interesting part: They're doing it twice each night, and the audience will change seats for the second performance, for a "new sonic perspective." I have high expectations.

http://armoryonpark.org/programs_events/detail/repons

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1318 on: September 30, 2017, 04:15:25 AM »
This week, hearing Répons, with Matthias Pintscher and Ensemble intercontemporain, staged at the enormous Park Avenue Armory here -- the size of an airplane hangar. (You can hear the piece with Pintscher and the group on YouTube, in very good audio/video.)

The interesting part: They're doing it twice each night, and the audience will change seats for the second performance, for a "new sonic perspective." I have high expectations.

http://armoryonpark.org/programs_events/detail/repons

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Boulez used to get the audience to change places half way through, he did that in the 1982 London prom performance.
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Offline Cato

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1319 on: September 30, 2017, 05:10:46 AM »
This week, hearing Répons, with Matthias Pintscher and Ensemble intercontemporain, staged at the enormous Park Avenue Armory here -- the size of an airplane hangar. (You can hear the piece with Pintscher and the group on YouTube, in very good audio/video.)

The interesting part: They're doing it twice each night, and the audience will change seats for the second performance, for a "new sonic perspective." I have high expectations.

http://armoryonpark.org/programs_events/detail/repons

--Bruce

In conjunction with that performance, the Wall Street Journal published an article under their Masterpiece section:

Quote
In the early ’90s, ... Pierre Boulez...was giving a Carnegie Hall workshop for young conductors. At one point an apprehensive participant was leading the orchestra through the beginning of a contemporary piece—the kind of rhythmically complex, texturally intricate music that was Mr. Boulez’s stock in trade—and though the student was giving it his all, it just wasn’t working.

The young man’s hands, arms and shoulders meticulously delineated the work’s every musical detail, offering the players a perfect roadmap to follow, yet the sound of the orchestra was stiff and aimless. “You can’t do that to the musicians,” admonished Mr. Boulez, before explaining that by subdividing every difficult rhythm and micromanaging each element in the score, he had succeeded only in creating excessive tension in the performers. Then Mr. Boulez raised his own arm in a single sweeping gesture and the ensemble suddenly came to life, the music opening up like a blossoming flower.

Despite his reputation for mathematical precision and formal rigor, the French master was avowing the primacy of sonic beauty. It shouldn’t have been a great surprise: Much of his original music traffics in such contrasts, reconciling the twin poles of strict organization and spontaneous play, or the impulse to spin logical structures with the visceral pleasure of basking in instrumental color.

No Boulez work demonstrates this philosophical friction more than “Répons” (“Response”), a 1981 composition (later revised) for six pitched-percussion soloists, an ensemble of strings and winds, and live electronics, lasting 45 minutes.

See:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/composing-organized-delirium-1506715586
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