Monday, August 20, 2012

Pierre Boulez: Le Domaine Musical, Vol. 1

"It's impossible to imagine contemporary music, and in fact the entire musical world, without Pierre Boulez. As a composer he defined the image of the iconoclastic avant-garde in his music of the 1940s and 1950s; as a polemicist he gave post-war music some of its best aphorisms - 'anyone who has not felt… the necessity of the dodecaphonic [12-tone] language is OF NO USE', that the best solution to the problem of opera would be to blow up the opera houses. ... The first thing to do when thinking about Boulez's music is to prise it apart from the phenomenon of Boulez the man's power, influence, and personality. ... Le marteau sans maître incarnates a new way of thinking about vocal music - with the alto line's feverish unpredictability, and new combinations of instrumental colour (there are no real bass instruments in the piece's resonantly exotic lineup ensemble of alto flute, guitar, viola, xylorimba, vibraphone, and percussion), but it's also a piece that couldn't have happened without Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire four decades earlier, or Webern's chamber music, or Debussy's late sonatas. Similarly, the power and ferocity of the Second Piano Sonata comes in part from the way the piece warps, destroys, reforms and rebuilds conventions such as sonata form and fugue" (Tom Service, "A Guide to Pierre Boulez's Music," The Guardian, 7/16/12).

View catalog record here!


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