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Thread: Pierre Boulez

  1. #256
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    I have that older recording of Babbitt 6 and I’ve always loved it, and when I first listened to Ars Combinatoria doing it I reacted very negatively, it seemed so fast that there was no time to be expressive, the Composers Quartet (I think it’s them) one is very poetic by comparison. It’s just that yesterday when I played it I really enjoyed it! I only download the one quartet, by the way, so I haven’t heard their 3.


    Sum fluxae pretium spei is a symphony - they’re not allowed in the house normally. But just this once I’ll make an exception.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Oct-18-2020 at 08:25.

  2. #257
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    Sum fluxae pretium spei is a symphony - they’re not allowed in the house normally. But just this once I’ll make an exception.
    Pli selon Pli, being an orchestral work, is normally allowed?

  3. #258
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    I hope you’re not expecting me to be consistent.

  4. #259
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    Well since Babbitt's string quartet no. 6 (the Ars quartet) caught your interest, I shall briefly vent about it. What catches my attention is the instrumental handling; you have violins screaming at you like an orchestra. But the cello is the instrument that really sings the most. What I enjoy about Babbitt is the muchness in a way that doesn't overwhelm me, and if at one time I feel lost, the next moment something might come up where one knows the joy of discovery and reconnects with the music. The musical sentence which launches at 3:48 is so exhilirating and crammed with stuff, it's like you almost don't need the rest of the quartet to enjoy just this one part! The theme of this sentence is the motif which you first hear, note-by-note, in the developmental section of the very first sentence of the piece (0:23). This fact that it is first found inside a developmental section of an earlier theme indicates that we haven't still moved on from section I of the piece. A new section in the piece would be introduced by some motif, which has been left hitherto unused since the very first bar of the piece where it was first heard, and now (in the new section) must appear as a theme, note-by-note unchanged. Each section contains a 'head' and a 'tail'. The head is one single sentence ie. the first sentence of a section, and the tail is the remainder of all the sentences within that section. Each of the themes of the 'tail' come out the developmental phrases of the 'head', while the theme of a an entirely new section comes straight out of the introduction of the 'head'. There probably is a lot more to his architectural schemes, although I'm imposing this linear fashion unto you.

    The takeaway from this intellectual pursuit, I hope, is that you don't need to be able to snap up retrogrades/inversions or retrograde inversions anymore than you should need to keep up with a Beethoven piece.

    I like how one finds a vastly different character in various pieces of Babbitt. Many pieces are jazzy, others not at all, and there's a great freedom to play around with tonality, e. g. so that themes which appear as non-tonal in antecent phrases, are somehow repeated tonally in a consequent phrase. And everything seem to spring from the "Brahmsian" idea of atomisation, which I'm more into than Boulezian or perhaps Mahlerian thought.
    Last edited by Gargamel; Oct-19-2020 at 20:14.

  5. #260
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    Thanks, I’m short of time at the moment but I’ll read it properly later. Have you ever heard this? - It may be hard to get now, but I can always let you have it. (I think it’s quite challenging actually.)

    34C4F16F-A055-4A6A-9A09-18EBCDE4C65E.jpeg
    Last edited by Mandryka; Oct-19-2020 at 18:43.

  6. #261
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    Thanks, I’m short of time at the moment but I’ll read it properly later. Have you ever heard this? - It may be hard to get now, but I can always let you have it. (I think it’s quite challenging actually.)
    Maybe I'll check out the one on youtube. I don't know if yours is significantly better in quality than that one. (I listen at a low volume, because neighbours, so sound quality is not everything to me.)

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