Page 17 of 18 FirstFirst ... 7131415161718 LastLast
Results 241 to 255 of 261

Thread: Pierre Boulez

  1. #241
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    7,541
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gargamel View Post
    Anyways, these earlier pieces are usually modeled on some earlier masters, like Marteau follows suit from Pierrot Lunaire
    Possibly. What do you think of Pli selon Pli?

    (There's a letter he wrote to Stockhausen when he was writing Pli selon Pli where he talks about how impressed he is with Debussy's Jeux, I don't know if in any real sense it's modelled on aspects of Jeux.)
    Last edited by Mandryka; Oct-16-2020 at 16:09.

  2. #242
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    50
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    Possibly. What do you think of Pli selon Pli?
    It's rather tense. But that can be said about most Boulez. Amidst the turbulence, there's nothing soothing about it. I'm able to enjoy the americans very much due to the fact that beneath the agitated surface, there's a sort of coolness, sort of relaxation. This is true even for Ferneyhough; I find there to be an undercurrent in his music which has a very pacifying and relaxing effect.

  3. #243
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    7,541
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gargamel View Post
    It's rather tense. But that can be said about most Boulez. Amidst the turbulence, there's nothing soothing about it..
    I don’t have the same response at all. In fact I don’t hear it as either tense or turbulent. Go figure!
    Last edited by Mandryka; Oct-16-2020 at 21:17.

  4. #244
    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    1,932
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    I don’t have the same response at all.
    And neither do I.

  5. #245
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    50
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Or maybe it's a matter of "swing", my ears being extremely attuned to Babbitt. (Ie. from the beginning of the second piano concerto.)

  6. #246
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    2,251
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Of the two composers, Babbitt or Boulez, Boulez's music sounds alive whereas Babbitt's sounds dead.

    Just my opinion.

  7. Likes Reichstag aus LICHT liked this post
  8. #247
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    50
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    Of the two composers, Babbitt or Boulez, Boulez's music sounds alive whereas Babbitt's sounds dead.

    Just my opinion.
    I can live without Boulez.

  9. #248
    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    the Deep South
    Posts
    6,518
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    I don’t have the same response at all. In fact I don’t hear it as either tense or turbulent. Go figure!
    Nor do I. Pli selon pli is a work of great tranquility, or stasis. The whole thing is a slowly unraveling series of gestures—there's no tension or turbulence to it. I think it's his most beautiful work, and it's the piece (along with Répons) that first convinced me of Boulez's genius.

  10. Likes SanAntone, Knorf liked this post
  11. #249
    Senior Member SeptimalTritone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    1,330
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Even though Boulez infamously called out Schoenberg in his essay for being too traditional, Boulez was the kind of composer who deeply cared about carrying on the western classical tradition before him, as opposed to a composer like Cage who wanted to erase it. For Boulez, tradition meant the composers a generation or two before him - Schoenberg, Debussy, Stravinsky, Bartok, and Webern. Although Boulez once joked that one should burn down all the opera houses to remove ourselves from the shackles of the past, I don’t think he meant that even metaphorically, for he was so concerned about the classical tradition and its lessons for his own music.

    To me, Boulez combines the linear narrative of Schoenberg with the object exploratory space of Stravinsky. Boulez’s music both moves forward and establishes contrasts, and stays put to explore textural possibilities. He can do this because he deeply cares about musical color, harmony, and counterpoint - all the good qualities of the pantheon of composers I mentioned above. Boulez was the kind of guy who wanted to be a historical great, and he was critical of anyone who he felt wasn’t interested in achieving the same kind of thing, like Cage or Feldman.

    Boulez’s music never rests, it always has a goal and direction. And even when a piece of his seemingly is concerned with exploring a given space for a while, he does so with the previous music in mind, and with the goal of eventually producing further variants. Consider Le Marteau, and the similarities and differences (textural, coloristic, contrapuntal, harmonic), between the three groupings of movements: movements 1, 3, and 7; movements 2, 4, 6, and 8; and movements 5 and 9. The even-numbered movements initially seem somewhat static and exploratory, and yet move (on the minute scale) and mutually comment on each other (on the 10 minute scale). Repons also has lots of stretches of relative ceasing of motion - exploratory stretches if you will, and yet there’s always a feeling that the music needs to eventually go somewhere contrasting next. And it does. And there’s a melodic/harmonic/coloristic unity behind it all, gluing it together, even though the surface of the music may superficially seem chaotic.

  12. Likes Knorf, flamencosketches, Gargamel and 3 others liked this post
  13. #250
    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    1,932
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    ^ heck yes! Well said.

  14. #251
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    7,541
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gargamel View Post
    Or maybe it's a matter of "swing", my ears being extremely attuned to Babbitt. (Ie. from the beginning of the second piano concerto.)
    What would be very good is if you would take something by Babbitt and talk us through what you hear in it that makes it so special. I’d like to get to know the music better - at the moment the only pieces which have caught my imagination is some of the quartets.

    I would much prefer to explore a small scale piece than orchestral music.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Oct-17-2020 at 05:18.

  15. #252
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    50
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    What would be very good is if you would take something by Babbitt and talk us through what you hear in it that makes it so special. I’d like to get to know the music better - at the moment the only pieces which have caught my imagination is some of the quartets.

    I would much prefer to explore a small scale piece than orchestral music.
    I never had to make that distinction before. Piano Concerto 1 was what initially made it click. Piano Concerto 2 is alot harder for the ears, at least until you get hooked on the overt jazzyness which you also find in "Tableaux". (At the same time it's a piece that contains "everything"; it has a "Chopin" part (Babbitt's own words), becomes a tear-jerker, every bit as emotional as Schumann's Trio No. 2.). String Quartet 6 is very special, very melodic to me. (I initially hated the others, hated String Quartet 5) And Septet but Equal - so melodic, so full of solitude! Canonical Forms is by far the most accessible piano work. Pick one and I'll give it my spin in the Babbitt thread. Are you by any chance into Elliott Carter or Brian Ferneyhough?

  16. #253
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    7,541
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    What did you make of Ars Combinatoria’s Babbitt quartets? I’m listening to the 6th now and enjoying the performance more than when I first bought it.

    The piano music is a closed book to me, I’ve tried many times to get something out of Canonical Forms and it always seems to outstay it’s welcome.

    Over the years I’ve heard some Carter and some Ferneyhough - I think they both wrote interesting music. Right now I’ve been exploring Ferneyhough’s Umbrations cycle - the whole thing is on YouTube.

    I know it’s silly but being a Brit I try to keep up with British music, not least because pre-COVID the music was more accessible live. At the moment I seem to be more interested in Finnissy and Barrett than Ferneyhough, but that could change, I’m not implying any value judgement.

    I’m a bit prejudice against concertos and symphonies! Concertos especially - I’m a bit anti-virtuoso bravura music.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Oct-17-2020 at 19:23.

  17. #254
    Senior Member Iota's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    276
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    I don’t have the same response at all. In fact I don’t hear it as either tense or turbulent. Go figure!
    Neither do I really, but it does start with a bit of an adrenalised twang. And the various eruptions of colour could perhaps be interpreted as uneasy subconscious rumblings.
    The music teems with pinpoints of colour, energy and light and the effect is entrancing (and highly beautiful), but when so much is happening, the effect could either be seen as gentle ripples on a colourful rock pool say, or perhaps as one of restlessness depending on the mindset of the listener I guess, so I can see that someone might hear it that way.


    Quote Originally Posted by SeptimalTritone View Post
    ..Boulez combines the linear narrative of Schoenberg with the object exploratory space of Stravinsky. Boulez’s music both moves forward and establishes contrasts, and stays put to explore textural possibilities. He can do this because he deeply cares about musical color, harmony, and counterpoint ..
    Well put!


    As far as Babbit goes I used to find it rather dry but, fwiw, one day 2 or 3 years ago I put on the second string quartet and suddenly out of nowhere it seemed a kaleidoscope of shifting colours and intriguing events. Bit of an epiphany. Am currently feeling a bit ambivalent about certain postcodes in the avant garde area (hopefully temporarily), so not sure how I'd hear it now, but nonetheless the experience was a very pleasant one.

  18. Likes Allegro Con Brio liked this post
  19. #255
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    50
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    What did you make of Ars Combinatoria’s Babbitt quartets? I’m listening to the 6th now and enjoying the performance more than when I first bought it.

    The piano music is a closed book to me, I’ve tried many times to get something out of Canonical Forms and it always seems to outstay it’s welcome.

    Over the years I’ve heard some Carter and some Ferneyhough - I think they both wrote interesting music. Right now I’ve been exploring Ferneyhough’s Umbrations cycle - the whole thing is on YouTube.[]

    I know it’s silly but being a Brit I try to keep up with British music, not least because pre-COVID the music was more accessible live. At the moment I seem to be more interested in Finnissy and Barrett than Ferneyhough, but that could change, I’m not implying any value judgement.

    I’m a bit prejudice against concertos and symphonies! Concertos especially - I’m a bit anti-virtuoso bravura music.
    Okay well, there is no need to play Babbitt's no. 6 this fast. The older recording (the one which is on youtube) was perfect; the sections so powerful and lyrical just feel rushed-through here in the Ars quartet version (E.G. around 4:00 and 6:00.) Moreover, there are some very wrong notes, or at least they're not the same pitches as in the other recordings! Simarly no. 3 sounds messy to me. On the other hand No. 5 is strikingly lucid; during the first minute of the recording you get a very clear idea (mainly by the cello) what the piece is about. Motivic ideas are initially presented in their inflected forms (usually meaning faster), and later appear as their own statements. (There's an older recording, also on youtube, which is very muddy in this respect, although it does more nicely bring out the tonal qualities of this piece.) The reason I asked about Carter and Ferneyhough is because I find Boulez very much on the opposite spectrum of these composers. (I don't think Boulez ever wrote anything with the same kind of charm as "Sum fluxae pretium spei".)

Similar Threads

  1. Boulez composing "Godot"?
    By World Violist in forum Opera
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: Jan-06-2016, 17:48
  2. Varèse by Boulez
    By Ukko in forum Recorded Music and Publications
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Apr-30-2012, 16:45
  3. Wagner on DVD: Boulez vs. Levine?
    By GrosseFugue in forum Recorded Music and Publications
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Mar-30-2012, 15:08

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •