Author Topic: Edgard Varese  (Read 29714 times)

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Offline lescamil

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ComposerOfAvantGarde

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #102 on: December 25, 2016, 09:59:30 PM »
This page includes a list of all the Varese works that we'll never be able to hear  :'(

The Following:

The One-All-Alone, stage work (1927)
L'astronome, stage work (1928-9)
Metal, soprano and orchesta (1932)
The Great Noon (1932)
Espace (The One All Alone; Le Miracle; L'astonome), chorus and orchestra (1929-c1947)
Trinum, orchestra and electronic sounds (1950-54)
Dans la nuit, chorus, brass, organ, 2 ondes martenot and percussion (1955-61)
Nocturnal II (Nuit), soprano and small ensemble (1961-65)
All of these would be very interesting to hear. The juvenilia I tend not to be interested in no matter who the composer is, though. Do you think other scholars might complete these projects down the track?

Offline ahinton

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #103 on: March 08, 2017, 01:29:18 AM »
This page includes a list of all the Varese works that we'll never be able to hear  :'(

The Following:

The One-All-Alone, stage work (1927)
L'astronome, stage work (1928-9)
Metal, soprano and orchesta (1932)
The Great Noon (1932)
Espace (The One All Alone; Le Miracle; L'astonome), chorus and orchestra (1929-c1947)
Trinum, orchestra and electronic sounds (1950-54)
Dans la nuit, chorus, brass, organ, 2 ondes martenot and percussion (1955-61)
Nocturnal II (Nuit), soprano and small ensemble (1961-65)

Martin Pas, opera,  boys' voices and mandolin (c1895)
Chansons avec orchestra (c1905)
Colloque au bord d'une fontaine (c1905)
Dans le parc (c1905)
Le fils des étoiles, opera (c1905)
Poèmes des brumes (c1905)
3 Pieces, orchestra (Souvenir?) (c1905)
Chanson des jeunes hommes, orchestra (c1905)
Prélude à la fin d'un jour, after L. Deubel, orchestra (c1905)
2 rhythmic prose pieces (Deubel) (c1905)
Rhapsodie romane, orchestra (1905-6; pf version, fp. Paris, 1906)
Apothéose de l'océan, sym. poem, large orchestra (1906)
La délire de Clytemnestre, tradegie symphonique (1907)
Bourgogne, large orchestra (1907-08) - score destroyed by Varese, c1962
Gargantua, sym. poem, large orchestra (1909) - incomplete
Mehr Licht, orchestra (1911; preworked as Les cycles du nord, orchestra, 1912)
Les cycles du nord, orchestra (1912) [see Mehr Licht]
Oedipus und die Sphinx, opera (1908-14)
Danse du robinet froid (1917-19)


http://www.pytheasmusic.org/varese.html
I wonder what happened to the final work on the second list, because this appears to date from after the composer's relocation to US so could not have met its demise in the way that most of the others are said to have done.

Of these missing works, at least Bourgogne received a performance, so I have long hoped that its orchestral parts might turn up somewhere; I am not aware that it is known what became of them but it does not seem as though the composer destroyed them along with the score more than half a century after completing the work.

Offline Mahlerian

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #104 on: April 18, 2017, 05:14:00 PM »
Edgard Varèse: The Most Epic Interview You’ll Ever Hear about the Ultimate Maverick


http://www.wqxr.org/#!/story/edgard-varese-interview-claire-chase-chou-wen-chung/

Great anecdotes and lots of music, too.  Still, I wonder why after announcing that they would be playing a version of Deserts without the electronic parts, they played one that included them.
"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

Offline petrarch

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #105 on: July 10, 2017, 04:51:19 PM »
Same documentary as in Mode 276 DVD:

http://www.ubu.com/film/varese_documentaire.html

//p
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You did it

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #106 on: November 18, 2017, 07:19:10 PM »
Ameriques is beyond words.

ComposerOfAvantGarde

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #107 on: November 18, 2017, 08:20:45 PM »
Ameriques is beyond words.


Ameriques is a composition for large orchestra.

You did it

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #108 on: November 18, 2017, 08:34:40 PM »
Ameriques is a composition for large orchestra.


 :laugh:

You did it

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #109 on: November 19, 2017, 01:22:53 AM »
Not a single note wasted or out-of-place, completely perfect IMO  :-*

ComposerOfAvantGarde

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #110 on: November 19, 2017, 02:12:08 AM »
Not a single note wasted or out-of-place, completely perfect IMO  :-*

Which is then why he edited it for a slightly smaller orchestra in 1927..............  ::)

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #111 on: November 19, 2017, 02:20:51 AM »
Which is then why he edited it for a slightly smaller orchestra in 1927..............  ::)

Why don't you ask him?  :P

I stand by everything I said, that original version  :-*


ComposerOfAvantGarde

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #112 on: November 19, 2017, 02:33:48 AM »
Why don't you ask him?  :P

I stand by everything I said, that original version  :-*



Your infatuation is incredible.

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #113 on: November 19, 2017, 02:02:18 PM »
Your infatuation is incredible.

It's called being a fan, how's it incredible?  :laugh:

Offline Cato

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #114 on: April 23, 2018, 02:54:52 AM »
From 'Traditional' vs. 'Contemporary' Repertoires:Perhaps a False Dichotomy?


It may surprise some, but my discovery of classical music came so many decades ago, that the Schoenberg vs. Stravinsky controversy was still exercising people, and Stockhausen, Penderecki, Boulez, and Ligeti  were 30-something punks!  ;)  I listened to contemporary works on university radio stations in southwestern Ohio which stations e.g. occasionally broadcast the latest Webernesque creations from Professor Al Lee Gretto, who would regale us about his work's unusual permutations of pitch classes, and the intervallic blah-blah-blah my ears are glazed over please stop.

Allow me to add Edgar Varese to that experience: I remember seeing these supersonic album covers offering his works like Ameriques (See below) and was instantly intrigued.  I also recall reading an interview with him (possibly in High Fidelity?) which I found fascinating: the author wrote that Varese was busy with a tape of machine-gun sounds!  It also offered a picture of him in some cluttered hole and looking like a mad scientist!  Varese was no "30-something punk,"  0:)  but was a proverbial "force to be reckoned with."


The Wall Street Journal for April 21.22, 2018 offered this article on Varese and Ameriques by Stuart Isacoff:

Quote
Every artistic era has its towering figures, like Claudio Monteverdi, whose 1607 “L’Orfeo” serves as a landmark in the earliest days of opera, or Igor Stravinsky, the pre-eminent composer of 20th-century music following his riot-inducing “Rite of Spring” in 1913. But many lesser-known talents also made powerful contributions that continue to resonate.

A good example is Edgard Victor Achille Charles Varèse (1883-1965), the innovative French-American composer whose “Amériques,” the first work written in his newly adopted country (he set sail for New York in December 1915), will be performed from April 27-29 at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall by Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The piece employs mammoth orchestral forces: Its instrumentalists—they numbered 142 in the original, but were reduced in a later revision—include not only the standard orchestral complement, but also heckelphone (a low oboe whose invention was initiated by Richard Wagner ); a brass section of eight horns, six trumpets, three tenor trombones, bass trombone, contrabass trombone, tuba and contrabass tuba; two harps; and a huge percussion section utilizing nine players, plus two sets of timpani. There are parts for every conceivable type of percussion, from xylophone and glockenspiel to sleigh bells, rattles, lion’s roar (a drum with strings attached), whip, gong, cymbal, and siren (“deep and powerful,” says the score, “with a brake for instant stopping”).

Early critics assumed that the siren, which became something of a signature device for Varèse, reflected his desire to depict the hustle and bustle of New York, like Gershwin’s use of French car horns in his 1928 “An American in Paris” to create a sonic image of the City of Lights. For Varèse, however, it was simply a way of utilizing microtones—pitches that would lie in the cracks between the piano’s keys. “Amériques” was not place-specific, but rather a reflection of the sense of exploration and discovery he found in the “vastness” of the New World. “I might as well have called ‘Amériques’ ‘The Himalayas,’” he quipped to his student, composer Chou Wen-chung.

He was driven by the idea of newness—unsurprising given his early associations with such artistic leading lights as Guillaume Apollinaire, Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia and Jean Cocteau, and cutting-edge musicians like Claude Debussy (to whom he introduced the music of Arnold Schoenberg ), Richard Strauss, and especially Ferruccio Busoni, who wrote the influential “Sketch of a New Esthetic of Music.” (“The role of the creative artist is to make new laws,” stated Busoni, “not to follow those already made.”) When he revised “Amériques” in 1929 for its Paris performance, Varèse incorporated the very latest electronic instrument of the day, the ondes martenot.

That striving for an original language had its consequences, of course. In 1922 Varèse sent a copy of “Amériques” to Leopold Stokowski, then music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, who expressed interest in looking into the music when he was “less busy.” The composer tried to follow up, but soon reported to a friend, “Stokowski, the swine, hasn’t answered my letter. I don’t think I have a chance with him.” It turned out that the conductor had actually tried to schedule the work but was stymied by his own committee. When Stokowski finally performed “Amériques” in 1926, it was met, reported the Philadelphia papers, with “hisses and catcalls.” He tried it again at Carnegie Hall in New York, where, writing in the New York Post, pianist and revered teacher Olga Samaroff declared that the composer “could scarcely have done anything more detrimental to the cause of modern music than to produce a composition like ‘Amériques.’” Little wonder Varèse spent many years in a state of utter depression.

Today his music is more highly regarded, particularly his forays into the world of recorded sound and electronics. His “Poème électronique” for the Philips Pavilion at the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels, using three channels of taped sound running through 425 loudspeakers, made pioneering use of the spatial element to give three-dimensional shape to his sound masses—a concept he applied again masterfully in his unfinished work for the concert hall, “Étude pour espace,” which was revised by Chou Wen-chung in 2009. Varèse’s total output is small enough to fit into just two concert programs, but each of his works is fascinating.

That includes “Amériques.” Its gentle opening of a solo alto flute stating a recurring theme is reminiscent of the bassoon that begins the “Rite of Spring.” In fact, the ghost of Stravinsky hovers over the entire piece. But soon enough the work is unmistakably Varèse, filled with scurrying figures and raucous outcries. Blocks of sound battle it out through shifting sonorities, punctuated by sharp attacks on drums and cymbals. The siren emerges and fades like a mournful wail. Meters shift constantly, and silences become as weighty as the loudest sounds. Then, after 24 minutes, with a final explosion the musical beast expires.

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PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #115 on: April 23, 2018, 10:25:27 AM »
Varèse was at the premiere of the Rite of Spring, and that opening alto flute solo should be a giveaway that he was influenced by it, for sure!
It is funny the first time i heard the Rite i thought the bassoon solo as written in that register sounds more like a flute than a bassoon...

Offline Cato

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #116 on: April 23, 2018, 11:36:53 AM »
It is funny the first time i heard the Rite i thought the bassoon solo as written in that register sounds more like a flute than a bassoon...

I can understand that!

One of my favorites, speaking of flutes:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/cCFk0f8szes" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/cCFk0f8szes</a>
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Offline steve ridgway

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #117 on: September 02, 2018, 04:12:33 AM »
The link to the 1954 World Premiere of Deserts no longer works but I found it on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ihrJ2-8xao. A very noisy rendition not helped by the audience but it justifies me in using the iTunes volume adjustment to crank up the tape sections on the Chailly CD to a similar level to the orchestral parts. I was sure Varese hadn't gone to all that effort just for it to sound like faint background, as if sitting in a very loud desert recalling the peace of the human world with nostalgia ::). Actually it was the tape sections that attracted me to this after starting with Poeme Electronique and it took me a few listens before becoming accustomed to the orchestral sounds and taking the plunge of buying the CD set, after which I've gradually come to enjoy most of the other compositions, so it's really been my gateway to orchestral music in general 8).

Offline Sydney Nova Scotia

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #118 on: September 09, 2018, 07:21:11 PM »
Nice
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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #119 on: March 24, 2020, 09:02:37 AM »
Anyone listening to Varèse lately?

I have one CD of his music: Kent Nagano conducting the ONF, Vol. 1 of the complete works, on Erato. I got it at a record store in Chicago. It includes Amériques, Offrandes, Hyperprism, Octandre, and Arcana. I return to it every once in a while and, while usually enjoying what I hear, it does not typically end up leaving a big impression for me. I think the problem is that I don't really know what his music is all about, who his influences were, what kind of philosophies (or lack thereof) guided his music. But every so often I will read that a composer I really respect and enjoy—be it Boulez, Feldman, or whoever else—idolized Varèse. Given this I hope to one day understand his music.

Are there any good reading materials (or videos) out there that might help me understand what his music is all about?