Author Topic: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)  (Read 186016 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1460 on: February 17, 2020, 05:12:36 PM »
Heard Sur Incises for the first time, always nice to find a Boulez gem. It was love at first listen  :laugh:

Very cool work, indeed. Give Incises a listen as well (if you haven’t already).
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Offline hvbias

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1461 on: February 19, 2020, 02:00:13 PM »
Very cool work, indeed. Give Incises a listen as well (if you haven’t already).

I did revisit it, for some reason this one still isn't of that much interest to me but I can't really articulate why. I do like all his piano sonatas.

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1462 on: February 19, 2020, 02:03:39 PM »
I did revisit it, for some reason this one still isn't of that much interest to me but I can't really articulate why. I do like all his piano sonatas.

I’m the opposite. I don’t really enjoy the piano sonatas and, if we’re talking about solo piano, then the Notations and Incises definitely tops my list, but I just can’t get into those sonatas. Sur Incises, for me, is, as I’ve described before, like a Gamelan orchestra filtered through the Second Viennese School.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2020, 02:09:25 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline hvbias

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1463 on: February 19, 2020, 02:10:07 PM »
I’m the opposite. I don’t really enjoy the piano sonatas and, if we’re talking about solo piano, then the Notations and Incises definitely tops my list, but I just can’t get into those sonatas. Sur Incises, for me, is, as I’ve described before, like a Gamelan orchestra filtered through the Second Viennese School.

I am not sure why but when I hear Incises I keep wishing for an accompaniment like violin to go with it. This is very hard to describe why... even Piano Sonata 3 which is not that dissimilar stylistically seems to make sense on solo keyboard.

Well we're in agreement on Sur Incises, this will be a heavy rotation piece  :laugh: 
« Last Edit: February 19, 2020, 02:12:17 PM by hvbias »

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1464 on: February 19, 2020, 02:15:12 PM »
I am not sure why but when I hear Incises I keep wishing for an accompaniment like violin to go with it. This is very hard to describe why... even Piano Sonata 3 which is not that dissimilar stylistically seems to make sense on solo keyboard.

Well we're in agreement on Sur Incises, this will be a heavy rotation piece  :laugh:

I need to listen to Incises again. I haven’t really spent a lot of time with Boulez’s music, but quite enjoyed what I’ve heard in the DG box, although, again, I won’t claim to be a great fan of those sonatas. I keep meaning to get around to the orchestral arrangement of Notations, but I keep getting sidetracked and I’ve really been wanting to hear this work since watching Boulez conduct some of in a documentary about the Lucerne Festival Orchestra I watched many nights ago.
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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1465 on: February 19, 2020, 06:44:23 PM »
I finally gave the orchestral Notations a listen and, damn, this was great. It reminded me of a hybrid between the Second Viennese School, Stravinsky, and Bartók (especially in the frantic, but controlled rhythms used at various points). I’ll definitely be revisiting this work soon.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Uhor

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1466 on: February 20, 2020, 03:26:40 PM »
The orchestral notations is the work in which Boulez finally and thoroughly learned how to orchestrate, an exeptional work.

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1467 on: February 20, 2020, 08:46:52 PM »
The orchestral notations is the work in which Boulez finally and thoroughly learned how to orchestrate, an exeptional work.

He didn’t know how to orchestrate prior to the Notations? One of earliest works he composed for orchestra (but not strictly orchestra) was Le Visage nuptial, although I could be wrong about this and have some dates mixed up.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2020, 08:51:12 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline hvbias

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1468 on: February 21, 2020, 04:39:33 AM »
I need to listen to Incises again. I haven’t really spent a lot of time with Boulez’s music, but quite enjoyed what I’ve heard in the DG box, although, again, I won’t claim to be a great fan of those sonatas. I keep meaning to get around to the orchestral arrangement of Notations, but I keep getting sidetracked and I’ve really been wanting to hear this work since watching Boulez conduct some of in a documentary about the Lucerne Festival Orchestra I watched many nights ago.

Have you heard Pollini play the second piano sonata? I found his interpretation so exceptional that I started to appreciate Boulez's sonatas much more after that. There are many recordings from skilled pianists but Pollini seems to really capture the atmosphere magnificently. Maybe by my own advice I haven't heard the right Incises :)

In a sort of weird coincidence I came across the Boulez Conducts Boulez and 20th Century box within a short time for reasonable amounts, so I'll be listening to a bunch of his music and others he has conducted for the first time.

Maybe not so weird, on more than one occasion I've overpaid for some rare item I never see for sale come up shortly afterward for less. A curse  ::)

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1469 on: February 21, 2020, 07:36:38 AM »
Have you heard Pollini play the second piano sonata? I found his interpretation so exceptional that I started to appreciate Boulez's sonatas much more after that. There are many recordings from skilled pianists but Pollini seems to really capture the atmosphere magnificently. Maybe by my own advice I haven't heard the right Incises :)

In a sort of weird coincidence I came across the Boulez Conducts Boulez and 20th Century box within a short time for reasonable amounts, so I'll be listening to a bunch of his music and others he has conducted for the first time.

Maybe not so weird, on more than one occasion I've overpaid for some rare item I never see for sale come up shortly afterward for less. A curse  ::)

Well, I own the Boulez Complete Works DG set and Pollini’s performance of the 2nd Piano Sonata is in this set. Yes, I agree the performance is exceptional, but I can’t get onboard with the music. These piano sonatas are just impenetrable for me. I love solo piano music, but there has to be some kind of access point into the music for me and, unfortunately, I’ve found none in these works, but that’s quite alright as I do like Notations and Incises. One cannot like everything one hears of course. :) Too bad you didn’t buy the Boulez Complete on DG when it was still in-print.

The box set in question:

“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline hvbias

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1470 on: February 22, 2020, 04:24:09 PM »
Well, I own the Boulez Complete Works DG set and Pollini’s performance of the 2nd Piano Sonata is in this set. Yes, I agree the performance is exceptional, but I can’t get onboard with the music. These piano sonatas are just impenetrable for me. I love solo piano music, but there has to be some kind of access point into the music for me and, unfortunately, I’ve found none in these works, but that’s quite alright as I do like Notations and Incises. One cannot like everything one hears of course. :) Too bad you didn’t buy the Boulez Complete on DG when it was still in-print.

The box set in question:



That is the one, not sure why I called it Boulez Conducts Boulez. I haven't cracked it open yet, still working my way through the big Boulez 20th Century box.

Offline Uhor

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1471 on: February 22, 2020, 05:14:56 PM »
He didn’t know how to orchestrate prior to the Notations? One of earliest works he composed for orchestra (but not strictly orchestra) was Le Visage nuptial, although I could be wrong about this and have some dates mixed up.

I mean it in the same way Richard Strauss famously commented at the dress rehearsal for An Alpine Symphony's premiere that at last he had learned to orchestrate.

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1472 on: February 22, 2020, 07:19:58 PM »
That is the one, not sure why I called it Boulez Conducts Boulez. I haven't cracked it open yet, still working my way through the big Boulez 20th Century box.

Very nice. 8)
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1473 on: February 23, 2020, 09:06:41 AM »
I was very surprised to find this hour long interview with Boulez on Proust at the College de France, it's light, and amusing if you're interested in Proust. (In French)

https://www.college-de-france.fr/site/antoine-compagnon/seminar-2013-04-02-17h30.htm
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline ritter

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1474 on: February 23, 2020, 10:46:23 AM »
I was very surprised to find this hour long interview with Boulez on Proust at the College de France, it's light, and amusing if you're interested in Proust. (In French)

https://www.college-de-france.fr/site/antoine-compagnon/seminar-2013-04-02-17h30.htm
Most interesting, thanks for posting. It is strange to see how PB at 88 has some failings with his memory, but has so many interesting things to say, and despite his slower expression, the alertness of his mind shines through. Particularly illuminating his comments on Wagner (which, unsurprisingly, show a deep understanding and love for his work). And (again unsurprisingly) how strong his contempt for Reynaldo Hahn was... :D
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1475 on: February 25, 2020, 02:07:10 PM »
Vulgarity

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

Genius

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/rGH6zKayJcE" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/rGH6zKayJcE</a>

According to Boulez -- I'm inclined to agree.
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Offline ritter

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1476 on: February 26, 2020, 06:16:19 AM »
Perhaps, but TBH neither of the versions you posted does justice to the pieces being performed. The Fauré with a blues singer à la française (more suited for the Bobino than the Salle Pleyel), the Hahn with a shrill soprano, in an atrocious arrangement for harp (and at breakneck speed). The Hahn is of course no masterpiece, but when well performed, is rather charming (with its languorous, habanera-like piano part).

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/o2h-AYcWZaM" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/o2h-AYcWZaM</a>

Sorry to remain off-topic.  :-[
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Offline Mahlerian

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1477 on: March 21, 2020, 03:07:30 PM »
He didn’t know how to orchestrate prior to the Notations? One of earliest works he composed for orchestra (but not strictly orchestra) was Le Visage nuptial, although I could be wrong about this and have some dates mixed up.

I know this is a month late, but you're not wrong, though the final version of Visage dates from after the first round of orchestral Notations and shows the full experience that he had gained as a result.
"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 #1478 on: March 26, 2020, 05:20:04 AM »
Happy birthday to maestro Boulez...



The greatest composer-conductor since Mahler? I say yes...

Who's listening to Boulez today...? So far I've listened to the piano Notations and now Le Marteau sans maître. I hope to hear Répons later in the day as well. And perhaps also the Piano Sonata No.2

Offline hvbias

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Re: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)
« Reply #1479 on: March 26, 2020, 05:46:12 AM »
Happy birthday to maestro Boulez...



The greatest composer-conductor since Mahler? I say yes...

Who's listening to Boulez today...? So far I've listened to the piano Notations and now Le Marteau sans maître. I hope to hear Répons later in the day as well. And perhaps also the Piano Sonata No.2

Lots of Boulez here recently; Sur Incises, Messagesquisse, Images Pour Orchestre, Repons, Le Marteau sans Maitre just off the top of my head and many more. Very easily my favorite composer/conductor.