Author Topic: Edgard Varese  (Read 29690 times)

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Sid

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #40 on: July 13, 2010, 08:55:31 PM »
I once read a scholar who suggested that Varese was not necessarily great for the music he wrote, but more for the way he challenged listener's (& of course other composers) idea of what music should be like.

He is one of my favourite composers, but I hardly listen to him, because of the high octane intensity. I have both of the Naxos recordings. I hope that they release his Poeme Electronique at some stage.

My favourite work by him, of those that I know, is his Deserts. I really like how he develops a dialogue between the acoustic instruments and electronic recordings. It is at times a very inhospitable and bleak landscape, but also a psychological portrait of a person's thoughts (that's scary?). I also read that Stockhausen was the guy who operated the tape at the Paris premiere of the work. This was a seminal work of the C20th, no doubt.

I would like to see something by him done live (people in the UK, Europe and USA are fortunate in this regard). Not much of his music gets played here down under, not only because it often requires large forces, but also because I think that relatively few people here are aware of him. In any case, it's good to hear his music occassionally on recordings, and I even heard his Nocturnal played on radio recently, though the announcer (with his comments) obviously thought it was wierd - at the end he said "I did warn you!"

Offline listener

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #41 on: July 13, 2010, 10:00:34 PM »
VARESE AT LINCOLN CENTER
This month Lincoln Center Festival pays tribute to Edgard Varèse, one of the 20th century’s boldest musical groundbreakers. Over the course of two evenings, two eminent New York ensembles are presenting the entire catalog of his works.
**
On July 19 in Alice Tully Hall the International Contemporary Ensemble, conducted by Steven Schick, will perform a program that includes Poème Électronique, consisting of recorded materials, transformed piano chords and bells, and filtered recordings of choruses and soloists. On July 20, in Avery Fisher Hall, the New York Philharmonic under its Music Director Alan Gilbert will offer Varèse’s orchestral works. An accomplished roster of guest artists will feature soprano Anu Komsi, bass baritone Alan Held, So Percussion, Musica Sacra, and the Oratorio Society Chorus under Kent Tritle
complete story at http://www.playbillarts.com/features/article/8427.html
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Offline petrarch

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #42 on: July 14, 2010, 12:40:12 PM »
My favourite work by him, of those that I know, is his Deserts. I really like how he develops a dialogue between the acoustic instruments and electronic recordings. It is at times a very inhospitable and bleak landscape, but also a psychological portrait of a person's thoughts (that's scary?). I also read that Stockhausen was the guy who operated the tape at the Paris premiere of the work.

It was Pierre Henry, not Stockhausen. And Xenakis was at the hotel recording the broadcast. The premiere didn't go smoothly; like Stravinsky's Le Sacre 40 years before at the exact same venue, Déserts caused a scandal. There are interesting accounts by Odile Vivier and others about that night.

//p
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Offline mjwal

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #43 on: July 15, 2010, 05:13:14 AM »
I don't know the Mehta, but my favourite performance of Arcana is the Martinon recording. And I do like the recording of Offrandes with Jan De Gaetani and the CCE cond. Weisberg on Nonesuch.
Anent the Zappa article - I love his Weasels Ripped My Flesh album, which definitely shows signs of infestation by Varèse, New Orleans jazz & Eric Dolphy, teenage lavatory humour  & jazz-rock, as well as Debussy and Tchaikovsky in "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Sexually Aroused Gasmask". I realise I have herewith imperilled my GMG High Street cred  8)
The Violin's Obstinacy

It needs to return to this one note,
not a tune and not a key
but the sound of self it must depart from,
a journey lengthily to go
in a vein it knows will cripple it.
...
Peter Porter

snyprrr

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Re: Edgard Varese: Ameriques & Arcana recordings
« Reply #44 on: July 15, 2010, 07:49:34 AM »
Which of

Abravanel for Equatorial, for sure.



hmmm, what about that weisberg? w/de gaetani....nonesuch??

snyprrr

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Re: Edgard Varese: Hyperprism....
« Reply #45 on: July 15, 2010, 07:57:49 AM »
Hyperprism seems to be the rarest on record. Any thoughts?

Also, Intergrales and octandre,...any particularly "fruity' brass performances?

Hey, keep the favs coming, this is fun!!



I just listened to the Ameriques?Mode,....ok, it's not so bad, but i can see where a "back in the day" performance might capture the armageddon better.

Imagine if Mercury Living Presence had recorded these big pieces!!! :o :P :P

greg

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #46 on: July 15, 2010, 05:40:06 PM »
It was Pierre Henry, not Stockhausen. And Xenakis was at the hotel recording the broadcast. The premiere didn't go smoothly; like Stravinsky's Le Sacre 40 years before at the exact same venue, Déserts caused a scandal. There are interesting accounts by Odile Vivier and others about that night.
Someone actually uploaded the premiere of it here (I still have it).

And yes, I agree with Boulez/Sony being great. How could possibly pull off a better performance of Ameriques?  8)

karlhenning

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #47 on: July 16, 2010, 03:40:02 AM »
Someone actually uploaded the premiere of it here (I still have it).

And yes, I agree with Boulez/Sony being great. How could possibly pull off a better performance of Ameriques?  8)

Not directly an answer to your question, but you want to hear the eight-hands piano reduction of Amériques, truly you do!

Offline jowcol

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #48 on: July 16, 2010, 08:19:37 AM »
I don't know the Mehta, but my favourite performance of Arcana is the Martinon recording. And I do like the recording of Offrandes with Jan De Gaetani and the CCE cond. Weisberg on Nonesuch.
Anent the Zappa article - I love his Weasels Ripped My Flesh album, which definitely shows signs of infestation by Varèse, New Orleans jazz & Eric Dolphy, teenage lavatory humour  & jazz-rock, as well as Debussy and Tchaikovsky in "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Sexually Aroused Gasmask". I realise I have herewith imperilled my GMG High Street cred  8)

Let's not forget "My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama" and Don Sugarcane Harris's electric Violin on "Directly from My Heart to You".  It's a great album, and I'm sure you've pumped up your cred with some of us here.
"If it sounds good, it is good."
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karlhenning

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #49 on: July 16, 2010, 08:21:01 AM »
Hear, hear.  How's about some "Orange County Lumber Truck"?

snyprrr

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Re: Edgard Varese: Nagano/Erato??
« Reply #50 on: July 16, 2010, 09:08:55 AM »
just back from a youtube varese marathon.

i think i'm liking Ecuatorial and Noctural and Deserts the best, along with Hyperprism and Octandre and Integrales.

Funny, i liked Arcana the least.

Varese certainly has the mayan/aztec-ancient rites sound down, though, for the balls-to-the-wall stuff, i think i prefer Ruggles. who else cultivated the "ancient" sounds (besides, say, Chavez)?



btw- no one's mentioned Nagano/Erato yet, and i feel my curiosity getting the better of me. someone please help!!! yea or nay?

Offline Kaiser

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #51 on: July 17, 2010, 08:46:55 AM »
I am just about ready to make the commitment to going down to Lincoln Center next week to catch the 2nd day's performance of the Varese material. Trying to get a friend to go with me, but if it comes down to it - I may just go it alone. I don't want to miss this opportunity. Anyone else planning on going?
-------- Chris
"Music is organized sound" - Edgard Varese

Offline mjwal

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #52 on: July 19, 2010, 04:51:34 AM »
I think that is the same article I referred to, James, already linked to by Kaiser.
I only saw Zappa live once - he was conducting/fronting the Ensemble Modern in Yellow Shark at the Frankfurt Alte Oper, and although he was already mortally sick he was cavorting about, firing off wisecracks etc like the grand old trouper he was.
The Violin's Obstinacy

It needs to return to this one note,
not a tune and not a key
but the sound of self it must depart from,
a journey lengthily to go
in a vein it knows will cripple it.
...
Peter Porter

Offline Kaiser

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #53 on: July 23, 2010, 07:04:03 AM »
So I managed to catch the second night of Varese at Lincoln Center last Tuesday. Stunning to hear this great music played live! So - was I the only one here to go? This was only the second time I've ever been to Avery Fisher Hall and I was thrilled. Hoping to go more often - if only they'd put more Varese on the schedule! Hearing Arcana and Ameriques in the same night was (almost) too much!
--------- Chris
"Music is organized sound" - Edgard Varese

karlhenning

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #54 on: July 23, 2010, 07:07:36 AM »
Wonderful, Chris!

Offline Brewski

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #55 on: July 23, 2010, 07:12:38 AM »
Great, wasn't it!  I still grin thinking about the 14 percussionists in Ionisation

Alan Gilbert did a fantastic job, and it was so much fun to see the Avery Fisher stage extended so far (looked to be close to an extra 20 feet), to accommodate all those musicians.  I'd heard Amériques live twice before--with Dohnányi/Cleveland in 2000 at Carnegie, and with Maazel/NY Phil in 2003--but don't recall ever hearing Arcana, anywhere.  In any case, Gilbert's reading held its own with both of those other two.

My hope is, now that the group has played these scores, that Gilbert will put some of them individually on programs in the next few years.  I mean, one Varèse score per season wouldn't be too much to ask!

--Bruce
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #56 on: July 23, 2010, 11:12:08 AM »
Great, wasn't it!  I still grin thinking about the 14 percussionists in Ionisation

Alan Gilbert did a fantastic job, and it was so much fun to see the Avery Fisher stage extended so far (looked to be close to an extra 20 feet), to accommodate all those musicians.  I'd heard Amériques live twice before--with Dohnányi/Cleveland in 2000 at Carnegie, and with Maazel/NY Phil in 2003--but don't recall ever hearing Arcana, anywhere.  In any case, Gilbert's reading held its own with both of those other two.

My hope is, now that the group has played these scores, that Gilbert will put some of them individually on programs in the next few years.  I mean, one Varèse score per season wouldn't be too much to ask!

--Bruce

Hey Bruce! Glad I wasn't the only one from the forum who saw this concert! It sure was great. I would hope from the reception the performance got (extremely enthusiastic audience!) that more Varese gets put on the regular program. I wasn't familiar with Ameriques before the conert, but I was pretty familiar with Arcana so that was really thrilling for me. I only wish I'd had the foresight to try to get down the night before to hear Deserts performed (alas - sold out by the time I got serious about going). I certainly would jump at the chance to hear this music live again. Even with the pieces I was familiar with - it was a LOT to take in all at once. Yeah - the percussion section was awesome! That siren sure got a workout in Ameriques! What a night!
---------- Chris
"Music is organized sound" - Edgard Varese

Offline jurajjak

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #57 on: July 23, 2010, 12:03:07 PM »
Hello,

I attended the second night of the Varese concert--a wonderful experience. The brass and especially percussion seemed extremely well-rehearsed. Though I noticed one or two people walk out during the last 10 minutes of Ameriques, I was happy to see an audience response that was, in general, hugely positive.


andrew

Offline Brewski

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #58 on: July 25, 2010, 07:43:33 AM »
Chris, yeah, the ICE concert on Monday was kind of remarkable, in that tickets were so scarce.  Capacity of Alice Tully Hall is listed as 1,096--great and perhaps a little surprising, that all those people wanted to hear so much Varèse.  (I saw several in the audience, including the gent next to me, with scores to Déserts.)

Andrew, I noticed the walk-outs, too, and was wondering if that piece was the "last straw," volume-wise.   ;D  But never mind: those of us who stayed were rewarded with a thrilling experience.  I think Alan Gilbert is showing that there *is* an audience for unusual repertoire.  (I was going to say "modern music," but let's face it, most of these big orchestral works are from the 1920s, almost 90 years old.)

--Bruce
« Last Edit: July 25, 2010, 07:46:05 AM by bhodges »
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Offline just Jeff

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Re: Edgard Varese
« Reply #59 on: August 03, 2010, 04:20:41 PM »
Jean Martinon and the Chicago SO can be heard in a terrific performance of Arcana on RCA ( coupled with Bartok)

Another vote for this wonderful recording!  Amazing!!!
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