Author Topic: Henri Pousseur's tugboat.  (Read 280 times)

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Online Mandryka

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Henri Pousseur's tugboat.
« on: January 25, 2020, 09:22:33 AM »
 I was just looking at a paper which identified Pousseur, along with Stockhausen and Boulez, as the most important immediate post war avant garde composers. I know very little about him and would like to know more.

Any ideas about Pousseur, suggestions for things to listen to etc, much appreciated.
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Offline ritter

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Re: Henri Pousseur's tugboat.
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2020, 11:52:58 AM »
I did explore Henri Pousseur’s music some time ago, in the context of my general interest for the Darmstadt school. As I recall it, there’s not that much available by Pousseur from the heyday of Darmstadt serialism, but there’s this:


Bruno Maderna conducting Rimes pour différentes sources sonores (ensemble and electronics). The disc also includes Stockhausen’s Kontra-Punkte (and is indispensable for anyone interested in Darmstadt and that kind of thing IMHO).


Madrigal III for clarinet, violin, cello, percussion and piano, plus the Kontarsky brothers playing Mobile for two pianos.


Répons pour sept musicians.


Trois chants sacrés

Later on, Pousseur drifted away from “orthodox” Darmstadtism (well, they all did), and adopted freer forms. Unfortunately, the only recording of his opera (of sorts) Votre Faust, to a libretto by Michel Butor, has never been transferred to CD. A pity, as that is a work I really would want to know.

Of his later music, I have these discs, which I remember enjoying quite a bit (except perhaps for the last one, which was a bit too wacky):




As opposed to Karel Goeyvaerts (another leading figure from the early days of serialism), whose later music is (for me at least) completely uninteresting—he turned to some really cheap minimalism—, Pousseur’s late oeuvre is attractive (if not as coherent as that of other towering figures of the avant-garde). Still, I should revisit it soon.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2020, 02:23:13 PM by ritter »
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Offline Brewski

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Re: Henri Pousseur's tugboat.
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2020, 12:38:33 PM »
I did explore Henri Pousseur’s music some time ago, in the context of my general interest for the Darmstadt school. As I recall it, there’s not that much available by Pousseur from the heyday of Darmstadt serialism, but there’s this:


Bruno Maderna conducting Rimes pour différentes sources sonores (ensemble and electronics). The disc also includes Stockhausen’s Kontra-Punkte (and is indispensable for anyone interested in Darmstadt and that kind of think IMHO).

It warms my heart to see this recording cited, one of my first exposures to contemporary music. I got it for the Penderecki Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (still a fave), then found the rest of the album fascinating.

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Online Mandryka

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Re: Henri Pousseur's tugboat.
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2020, 10:38:30 PM »
I did explore Henri Pousseur’s music some time ago, in the context of my general interest for the Darmstadt school. As I recall it, there’s not that much available by Pousseur from the heyday of Darmstadt serialism, but there’s this:


Bruno Maderna conducting Rimes pour différentes sources sonores (ensemble and electronics). The disc also includes Stockhausen’s Kontra-Punkte (and is indispensable for anyone interested in Darmstadt and that kind of thing IMHO).


In fact that Maderna CD was the only example of Pousseur’s music I knew when I started this thread. I’ll just mention here one thing here that I found on Qobuz which is intriguing - rather in the style of Luc Ferrari. It probably helps to understand French to enjoy it




Quote
SOLD OUT

Liège à Paris: the soundwork principle
Created in 1977 for the Centre Pompidou foundation on the stage of Paris's Beaubourg, at the instigation of Luciano Berio, "Liège à Paris" is a fifteen-part composition lasting one hour, where Henri Pousseur takes us on a voyage of exploration, mixing the voices of travellers of divere languages and accents, with the sounds of planes, trains, the atmosphere of streets and Iranian restaurants, noises of every sort, cries, ritournellos, nursery rhymes, fragments of former compositions ("Trois visages de Liège ", 1961) - a polyphonic story through with the voice (and texts) of Michel Butor - leaving Paris for a world air tour...

Good to see Michel Butor’s name mentioned, his writing is interesting I think.

The other things I’ve been listening to are Trois chants sacrés, in the Vox CD on the image, and Quintette à la mémoire d’Anton Webern, which I just think are  really accessible, attractive music.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2020, 01:03:57 AM by Mandryka »
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Henri Pousseur's tugboat.
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2020, 11:02:01 PM »
I have on my hard drive a long instrumental piece by Pousseur, I have absolutely no idea how I got it, it’s tagged Les éphémérides d’Icare. Is it a ballet? It’s been hiding on the computer unplayed since 2013. Just googling it, it seems that Icarus is an important idea of Pousseur, there are many pieces with Icare in the title.

Again, just listening to the start, I’m struck by a slight resemblance to Luc Ferrari, this time to  petit symphonie sur un paysage de printemps I have a set of biographical writings by Ferrari somewhere, I’ll check to see how they got on together.

I wonder if Scherchen recorded any Pousseur. If I remember right, Scherchen was a big mover and shaker in this world.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2020, 11:07:30 PM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen