Author Topic: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)  (Read 142390 times)

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Online ritter

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1320 on: October 10, 2017, 12:05:53 AM »
Thanks so much for that excellent account of what clearly was a memorable concert, (poco) Sforzando! I'm glad you enjoyed it. And thanks as well for the link you provided.

Funny you point out the tuba's pedal notes in in section 6. When I last listened (as reported here) to Répons on CD (which obviously is nothing close to experiencing the piece live) I was struck by the wonderful effect those notes provide, as they manage (few and far between as they are) to knit this otherwise very busy section (full of filigrees by both ensemble and soloists) together.

Regards,

« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 12:36:48 AM by ritter »
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Offline Brewski

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1321 on: October 10, 2017, 05:07:48 PM »
Very good comments above from (poco) Sforzando on what was, yes, a memorable evening. (I went on the first night.)  In a perfect world, there would be a DVD of this performance, especially given the dramatic lighting effects, but alas, that's just wishful thinking.

This link has been posted before, but is worth posting again. You can hear (and watch) Pintscher and the EIC do the piece earlier this year on YouTube, from the Philharmonie de Paris. No, not in surround sound, but still, this gives you an excellent idea of the chemistry between the conductor and the ensemble. It was a joy to hear it done by people who obviously know the piece so well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQE5TYnD58k

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Offline Brewski

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1322 on: October 14, 2017, 08:47:58 AM »
Here's my review of the Boulez on MusicalAmerica.com -- free, without the paywall, through 2pm on Sunday.

http://www.musicalamerica.com/news/newsstory.cfm?archived=0&storyID=39119&categoryID=4

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1323 on: October 14, 2017, 08:59:52 AM »
There is a book of Boulez interviews that came out in the sping.  There is a good review on resmusica.  I have not read it.



I have no idea if it is going to be translated.

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1324 on: October 14, 2017, 10:16:07 AM »
There is a book of Boulez interviews that came out in the sping.  There is a good review on resmusica.  I have not read it.



I have no idea if it is going to be translated.
I ordered it from the publishers in March (and their service was excellent--but the wider distribution appears haphazard, and e.g. amazon.fr always says "pas de stock"). It's a collection of "occasional" interviews held over 30 years (one f them I remember reading in the Spanish music magazine Scherzo), and is probably best not read in one go.  I've only leafed through it, but it does seem to provide a good and approachable picture of Boulez's views in the later part of his life.

This has also just appeared:


This line from the publisher's blurb leads me to think that it's much tougher nut to crack (sorry, I wouldn't dare translate it, as I really do not understand half of it  ;D): "De l’écriture à l’écoute, de l’axiomatique à la prolifération, de l’exercice de la structure à la pratique de la coupure, du degré zéro de l’écriture à l’ambiguïté des espaces lisses et des espaces striés".  ??? And names such as Barthes, Deleuze, Foucault, etc. are also mentioned... ::)

Here's my review of the Boulez on MusicalAmerica.com -- free, without the paywall, through 2pm on Sunday.

http://www.musicalamerica.com/news/newsstory.cfm?archived=0&storyID=39119&categoryID=4

--Bruce
Great review, Brewski! Many thanks  :)
« Last Edit: October 14, 2017, 10:27:27 AM by ritter »
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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1325 on: October 14, 2017, 03:56:58 PM »
There is a book of Boulez interviews that came out in the sping.  There is a good review on resmusica.  I have not read it.



I have no idea if it is going to be translated.

My friend David Gable is working on a translation of some Boulez interviews. It may be this one. Haven't heard in some time about his progress, either with the translation or the publication.
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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1326 on: October 14, 2017, 04:08:57 PM »
Here's my review of the Boulez on MusicalAmerica.com -- free, without the paywall, through 2pm on Sunday.

http://www.musicalamerica.com/news/newsstory.cfm?archived=0&storyID=39119&categoryID=4

--Bruce

Excellent review, Bruce...although it makes me realize my CD of Repóns is a poor substitute for a live performance  :(

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1327 on: October 14, 2017, 04:22:59 PM »
Excellent review, Bruce...although it makes me realize my CD of Repóns is a poor substitute for a live performance  :(

Sarge

But, you probably realized that earlier :)
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Offline Peter Power Pop

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1328 on: October 14, 2017, 05:01:52 PM »
Very interesting! Probably worth a listen.....I do like these little musical gifts that Boulez wrote (Solti's 80th birthday fanfare being another one I think is lovely to listen to)

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/9SwwcAkjSbk" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/9SwwcAkjSbk</a>

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1329 on: October 15, 2017, 06:49:37 AM »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/9SwwcAkjSbk" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/9SwwcAkjSbk</a>
Yes, a fun piece. I suppose it's a reworking of the fanfare Initiale, first performed in Houston in 1986 and subsequently published by Universal Edition. Initiale remains unrecorded, but I did get the chance to hear it live once here in Madrid, in a Boulez-a-thon that the BBVA Foundation organized some years ago.

For those interested (beyond YouTube) in the Solti hommage, it's available in this very difficult to find CD (which has some off-the-beaten-track repertoire--for Boulez, that is--, such as him conducting Strauss's Till Eulenspiegel, the Glagolitic Mass and the Bach/Schoenberg St.Anne Prelude and Fugue...).

« Last Edit: October 15, 2017, 09:11:27 AM by ritter »
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Offline Brewski

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1330 on: October 15, 2017, 08:51:23 AM »
Excellent review, Bruce...although it makes me realize my CD of Repóns is a poor substitute for a live performance  :(

Sarge

Thank you, Sarge. It was a joy to write. (But the recordings are pretty good as "Plan B."  :) )

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1331 on: October 15, 2017, 05:41:55 PM »
Yes, a fun piece. I suppose it's a reworking of the fanfare Initiale, first performed in Houston in 1986 and subsequently published by Universal Edition. Initiale remains unrecorded, but I did get the chance to hear it live once here in Madrid, in a Boulez-a-thon that the BBVA Foundation organized some years ago.

For those interested (beyond YouTube) in the Solti hommage, it's available in this very difficult to find CD (which has some off-the-beaten-track repertoire--for Boulez, that is--, such as him conducting Strauss's Till Eulenspiegel, the Glagolitic Mass and the Bach/Schoenberg St.Anne Prelude and Fugue...).


Didn't know about this CD...... would be interested in tracking it down :)

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Why Didn't I Like the Boulez Flute Sonatina this Time Around?
« Reply #1332 on: November 03, 2017, 04:41:52 PM »
again, whole post accidentlly deleted...


ugh
ench F


OK, so, I'm in a French F rench Flute Frenzy... and had to get to the Boulez after Jolivet and Dutilleux. Whilst the othersare still quite ... errr... "Musical", when I reacquainted myself with the Eratorecording, I was shocked that I found much of the piece absolutely "full of it" and even quite clangorous towards the end.I don't know if the flautist wasn't absolutely perfect, but it seemed like I heard clashing.

Either way, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS PARTICULAR PIECE? I again was shocked at how contrived I found some of it, how tediously complex and cerebral. And I thought it could have been a lot shorter, even though it's just 11 mins.


I have a feeling you all will agree with me on this one: is therereally any musical redeeming value in this particular piece, when compared with all other flute sonatas? I can imagine the kind of review the authors of the Penguin Guide might have penned concerning this piece...


You think it's a masterpiece??


I mean, I like sooome of the flutter tonguing, but there seems to be an over reliance on... some kind of technique... a few interesting moments surrounded by what sounds like random clashings (and I don't mean "random" lol)
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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1333 on: November 03, 2017, 06:15:08 PM »
Boulez's Sonatine for flute and piano, you mean?

It's a pretty knotty piece, not nearly as elegant as his later music, and like the First Sonata for piano, it tends towards those long toccata sections.  So, not a favorite of mine among the composer's output, but I don't think of it poorly.  The work takes an interesting approach to form and is consistently compelling.
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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1334 on: November 03, 2017, 06:22:27 PM »
Boulez's Sonatine for flute and piano, you mean?

It's a pretty knotty piece, not nearly as elegant as his later music, and like the First Sonata for piano, it tends towards those long toccata sections.  So, not a favorite of mine among the composer's output, but I don't think of it poorly.  The work takes an interesting approach to form and is consistently compelling.

What performance do you have, or have you heard many? I keep wondering how this Erato performance stacks up.

I mean, ok, "form wise" I noticed a 'streaming' quality of various "guises" and gestures, a 'never repeating' thing even with all the fluttering on single tones. And yes, toccata like "business" that sounded a bit academic, though I guess, Boulez the "angry young man flaying the lion alive."

I'll see if I can't find a different performance
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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1335 on: November 03, 2017, 06:37:39 PM »
What performance do you have, or have you heard many? I keep wondering how this Erato performance stacks up.

I mean, ok, "form wise" I noticed a 'streaming' quality of various "guises" and gestures, a 'never repeating' thing even with all the fluttering on single tones. And yes, toccata like "business" that sounded a bit academic, though I guess, Boulez the "angry young man flaying the lion alive."

I'll see if I can't find a different performance

Boulez said that the form was inspired by Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony in E.  So the point is not simply to have a variety of different moods and textures within a single movement (though both pieces certainly do) but to connect them all together through shared material.

So by Erato, you mean the Aimard/Cherrier performance?  It seems quite accurate to me, but I don't have a score to check, just the outline in Jameux's book on Boulez.

I like this one:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/2-Ro3KivRaw" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/2-Ro3KivRaw</a>
"l do not consider my music as atonal, but rather as non-tonal. I feel the unity of all keys. Atonal music by modern composers admits of no key at all, no feeling of any definite center." - Arnold Schoenberg

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1336 on: November 03, 2017, 06:40:11 PM »
What performance do you have, or have you heard many? I keep wondering how this Erato performance stacks up.

I mean, ok, "form wise" I noticed a 'streaming' quality of various "guises" and gestures, a 'never repeating' thing even with all the fluttering on single tones. And yes, toccata like "business" that sounded a bit academic, though I guess, Boulez the "angry young man flaying the lion alive."

I'll see if I can't find a different performance

actually, the Kalish version, a little longer, and more 'in sync' and poetic, revealed the piece much better than the Cherrier/Aimard, which, in the toccata section, do sound like they're just banging it out, no where near the nuance of the Kalish.

Now listening to a 14.5 min. that isn't any much more nuanced for being so slow. Now a modern live Cherrier...which gets pretty frenzied playing from the pianist in the toccata, still not as subtle as the Kalish...

ok, maybe I like it a little better now, lol :D
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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1337 on: November 03, 2017, 06:43:06 PM »
Boulez said that the form was inspired by Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony in E.  So the point is not simply to have a variety of different moods and textures within a single movement (though both pieces certainly do) but to connect them all together through shared material.

So by Erato, you mean the Aimard/Cherrier performance?  It seems quite accurate to me, but I don't have a score to check, just the outline in Jameux's book on Boulez.

I like this one:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/2-Ro3KivRaw" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/2-Ro3KivRaw</a>

it's funny, though,...watching them at the end makes the piece seem very "Classical"... the big buildup, the crashing chords, the end, bravo,... haha!!
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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1338 on: November 03, 2017, 06:46:41 PM »
but seriously, there is another live performance, and the audience reaction shots are priceless!! :laugh:
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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1339 on: November 03, 2017, 06:55:45 PM »
but seriously, there is another live performance, and the audience reaction shots are priceless!! :laugh:

You mean this?

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/IC6FEXFaZMM" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/IC6FEXFaZMM</a>

Eek, that's painful.  Something sounds horribly out of tune.
"l do not consider my music as atonal, but rather as non-tonal. I feel the unity of all keys. Atonal music by modern composers admits of no key at all, no feeling of any definite center." - Arnold Schoenberg