Author Topic: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)  (Read 234189 times)

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Offline ritter

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1480 on: March 26, 2020, 08:32:26 AM »
Bon anniversaire, M. Boulez!

The recording by Ralph van Raat of the early Prélude, toccata et scherzo is scheduled for release in May. It’ll be fascinating to get to know a pre-Notations work, and one in which presumably (and given the title) Boulez was still under influences other than those that he retained for his first “acknowledged” compositions.

« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 09:51:37 AM by ritter »
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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1481 on: March 26, 2020, 09:22:57 AM »
Bon anniversaire, M. Boulez!

The recording by Ralph van Raat of the early Prélude, toccata et scherzo is scheduled for release in May. It’ll be fascinating to get to know a pre-Notations work, and one in which presumably (and given the title) Boulez was still under influences other than those that he retained for his first “acknowledged” compositions.



Fascinating. Thanks for sharing! I will have to check it out for sure.

Offline Mahlerian

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1482 on: March 26, 2020, 09:35:25 AM »
Bon anniversaire, M. Boulez!

The recording by Ralph van Raat of the early Prélude, toccata et scherzo is scheduled for release in May. It’ll be fascinating to get to know a pre-Notations work, and one in which presumably (and given the title) Boulez was still under influences other than those that he retained for his first “acknowledged” compositions.



I read this book last year, but I can't remember too much of what it showed of the Prélude, toccata et scherzo. I'll have to listen when the disc appears. Why didn't they also include Trois Psalmodies, I wonder?

"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 hvbias

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1483 on: March 27, 2020, 04:02:19 AM »
Bon anniversaire, M. Boulez!

The recording by Ralph van Raat of the early Prélude, toccata et scherzo is scheduled for release in May. It’ll be fascinating to get to know a pre-Notations work, and one in which presumably (and given the title) Boulez was still under influences other than those that he retained for his first “acknowledged” compositions.



Thank you for mentioning this, looks like a very interesting release.

If anyone cares to mention some of their favorite solo piano releases from "lesser known" labels I'd love hear about them. I'm sure a lot of it flew under my radar during a time period when I wasn't keeping up with new releases.

Offline T. D.

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1484 on: March 27, 2020, 09:17:50 AM »
...
If anyone cares to mention some of their favorite solo piano releases from "lesser known" labels I'd love hear about them. I'm sure a lot of it flew under my radar during a time period when I wasn't keeping up with new releases.

[Too lazy to go through the many pages of this thread, sorry if the post is redundant]
I recommend

Not at all recent, probably oop, doubtful about physical availability but it seems to be on Youtube. More Barraqué than Boulez, but Barraqué's Sonata is  IMO a major work and this performance is far superior to Stefan Litwin's on the (otherwise highly recommendable) cpo Complete Barraqué box.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2020, 09:34:06 AM by T. D. »

Offline ritter

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1485 on: May 28, 2020, 06:53:16 AM »
Cross-posted from the WAYLTN thread.

First listen (after much anticipation) to Pierre Boulez's early, withdrawn piano work Prélude, toccata et scherzo, played by Palph van Raat:


This substantial composition (27') is interesting in itself and also to understand where the Boulez we know (and who started to emerge immediately after WW2) came from. The title would indicate a kinship with Honegger (Boulez was studying with the composer's wife, Andrée Vaurabourg), and--as van Raat points out in his concise but illuminating booklet note--, the  Swiss composer is present (along with Jolivet and, most particularly, Messaien) in the first movement. In the toccata, we get closer to the soundworld of the "real" Boulez (we shouldn't forget that the first two pianos sonatas are from just 2 and 4 years later, respectively), not so much in the material, but rather on how it is used and developed (the extremes of dynamics, the sudden "violent" outbursts). The closing scherzo is again IMO remiscent mainly of Messiaen, but somehow one notices a stylistic continuity with the first of the 12 notations (the work that follows on the CD, and which is Boulez's first acknowledged composition).

The playing by Mr. van Raat is beyond reproach, and the whole program of the CD is really enjoyable. None of the other pieces have enjoyed wide circulation, but some of them are really great (e.g., Debussy at his most tender in the late Les soirs illuminés par l'ardeur du charbon, Messaien at his most debussyesque in the 1934 Morceau de lecture à vue, Ravel as usual a goldsmith in the tiny Menuet in C sharp major). The inclusion of the solo piano movements from Messiaen's late Des canyons aux étoiles... perhaps is a little odd, but still fits in the bigger picture. Highly recommended!
ritter
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Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1486 on: September 01, 2020, 11:18:02 AM »
Hurwitz can be too incendiary when he sets his mind to it:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/h3VDGnxq8sk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/h3VDGnxq8sk</a>
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Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1487 on: September 01, 2020, 03:05:28 PM »
I saw that. I even commented on his video that I'll take those CDs and he said I couldn't afford what he'd ask for them  ;D

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1488 on: September 01, 2020, 08:26:27 PM »
Ah, that was you. Very funny.  8)
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1489 on: October 18, 2020, 07:44:05 AM »
Boulez vs Boulez vs Boulez; which Pli selon pli is your favorite? I have not heard the Erato but love the Columbia and the later DG about equally...



Are there any others I don't know about? I would love to hear one sans Boulez...

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1490 on: October 18, 2020, 08:09:51 AM »
Boulez vs Boulez vs Boulez; which Pli selon pli is your favorite? I have not heard the Erato but love the Columbia and the later DG about equally...



Are there any others I don't know about? I would love to hear one sans Boulez...

If you want I’ll send you some lives, including the first performance, Pli selon Pli evolved a bit I think. There’s  a memorable commercial recording of some of it with Maderna conducting,
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Offline CRCulver

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1491 on: October 18, 2020, 10:42:12 AM »
Boulez vs Boulez vs Boulez; which Pli selon pli is your favorite?

The Erato (reissued on Warner Apex) is my favorite, as it features excellent digital sound, while still representing an earlier Boulez whose conducting had not become as weak and effete as on the DG recording. I'm hoping for a new recording eventually by a young and energetic conductor who might put some more fire in the work.

Offline ritter

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1492 on: October 18, 2020, 12:32:35 PM »
Boulez vs Boulez vs Boulez; which Pli selon pli is your favorite? I have not heard the Erato but love the Columbia and the later DG about equally...



Are there any others I don't know about? I would love to hear one sans Boulez...
FWIW, these were my comments from about a year ago regarding this issue:

Well, the three recordings of Pli selon pli made by Boulez have their merits (disregarding the fact that they offer—slightly—different versions of the work, the composer having revised this piece—and many other of his works—over and over). The DG recording probably has the strongest vocal soloists in Christine Schäfer, and gets an ultra-refined treatment from the expert forces of the EIC (who have the music in their blood, so to speak).

The pioneering CBS/Sony with Halina Lukomska has a sense of discovery, of novelty to it, apparent in a rougher approach to the piece (which suits it perfectly well). The Erato falls somewhere in between, and in this occasion sounds to me much more “orchestral” and less chamber music-like than the other two (at least in Don, the first section). Phyllis Bryn-Julson is an adequate vocalist, but does seem to be stretching her resources to the limit in the first movement.

It would be nice to have a new recording of Pli selon pli, anyway. Matthias Pintscher would be great...
...
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Offline ritter

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1493 on: January 08, 2021, 03:37:40 PM »
The Bastille Musique label has issued (release date is today, according to the jpc.de site) this 2-CD set of Boulez’s piano music—2 hands and 2 pianos—, recorded at the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin by Michael Wendeberg and Nicolas Hodges.



What makes this set interesting is that (according to the label’s blurb), it includes first or alternative versions of movements or sections from Sonatas Nr. 1 and Nr. 3, and from Structures II.

Bastille Musique issued one of my 2020 “purchases of the year”, the complete set of Luciano Berio’s Chemins series, with high musical and production standards (albeit with a slightly odd packaging). Unfortunately, their distribution is not widespread; the new PB release does not seem to be listed on Amazon, and even at jpc you get the notice “ deliverable within one week (if available from supplier)”. I’ve ordered it, and let’s see if and when the order is fulfilled.

« Last Edit: January 08, 2021, 03:53:49 PM by ritter »
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Offline hvbias

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1494 on: January 08, 2021, 03:53:54 PM »
The Bastille Musique label has issued (release date is today, according to the jpc.de site) this 2-CD set of Boulez’s piano music—2 hands and 2 pianos—, recorded at the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin by Michael Wendeberg and Nicolas Hodges.



What makes this set interesting is that (according to the label’s blurb), it includes first or alternative versions of movements or sections from Sonatas Nr. 1 and Nr. 3, and from Structures II.

Bastille Musique issued one of my 2020 “purchases of the year”, the complete set of Luciano Berio’s Chemins series, with high musical and production standards (albeit with a slightly odd packaging). Unfortunately, their distribution is not widespread; the new PB release does not seem to be listed on Amazon, and even at jpc you get the notice “ deliverable within one week (if available from supplier)”. I’ve ordered it, and let’s see if and when the order is fulfilled.

Thank you for mentioning this, I'm sure I'll pick it up. I enjoyed the Berio Chemins as well and another release from them that was in my heavy rotation was Schulhoff's complete lieder.

In my experience if JPC has that status "deliverable within one week (if available from supplier)” they are able to get it as long as it isn't out of print.

Offline hvbias

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1495 on: March 25, 2021, 01:48:09 PM »
I came across this fine series of Boulez talking about the Notations, there is no playlist but you'll find all of them on the channel.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/NVjtz16fYqE" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/NVjtz16fYqE</a>




Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1496 on: March 25, 2021, 07:49:20 PM »
I came across this fine series of Boulez talking about the Notations, there is no playlist but you'll find all of them on the channel.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/NVjtz16fYqE" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/NVjtz16fYqE</a>

Very cool, hvbias. 8) Thanks for sharing! I’ll have to check these out. I love to listen to a composer talk about their music, especially when they’re as articulate as Monsieur Boulez.
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Offline Brewski

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1497 on: March 26, 2021, 08:55:30 AM »
Pierre Boulez would have been 96 today! Will likely listen to Répons later, in this 1992 performance from the Salzburg Festival, with the birthday boy conducting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhQ2AZsK7Os

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1498 on: April 19, 2021, 10:36:55 PM »


Enjoying this very much this morning, I guess it’s partly a question of just liking Salome Haller’s voice, though the unnamed flautist is very much my sort of style  too.

Anyway searching for it on Qobuz I was surprised by the plethora of Marteaux there are now!

By the way, anyone like to hazard a guess at what it’s all about? The marteau is what exactly?  The music can hit hard expressively. I suppose Boulez is the master worker, the artisan, who’s relinquished control of his hammer.  Except he hasn't relinquished control . . .
« Last Edit: April 19, 2021, 11:04:26 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline hvbias

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1499 on: November 08, 2021, 06:40:46 PM »
I bought this disc for the Pierrot Lunaire which is quite wonderful. The two Improvisation sur mallarmé also really caught my attention. Would have loved to heard them record the full Pli selon pli

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/FygFpeEaof8" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/FygFpeEaof8</a>

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpATwj8SrZM