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Thread: Pierre Boulez

  1. #271
    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calvinpv View Post
    I don't know enough about Carter to make a comparison, but FWIW, Derive 2 was dedicated to Carter on his 80th birthday.

    However, I do hear in his late music some very faint influences from the live electronic composers (Murail, Saariaho, Manoury, Harvey) hanging around IRCAM in the 80s-90s, in the way he pairs instruments, in the way he uses echo-like effects and suspensions, or in the way he "interpolates" new material in between old material (interpolation is a common technique in live electronic music, where a synthesizer will store two sounds and later reproduce them with an algorithmically generated transition connecting them; I hear an analog to this in Boulez's instrumental writing).

    Also, this may sound weird to say, but I hear some Mahler in the late works as well. It could be that I heard Boulez's fantastic Mahler set for the first time this year and so those recordings are fresh on my mind, but I remember listening to sur Incises and Mahler 7 back-to-back and thinking "These could've been written by the same composer had that composer lived well over 100 years." It's in the way instruments transfer their energy from one to another and finish each other's thoughts that Boulez sounds a little Mahlerian. It's hard to explain. It should also be said that Boulez recorded Mahler in the late 90s/early 00s, precisely when he was composing Derive 2 and sur Incises, the two works I hear the most influence in.
    Completely agreed

  2. #272
    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calvinpv View Post
    However, I do hear in his late music some very faint influences from the live electronic composers (Murail, Saariaho, Manoury, Harvey) hanging around IRCAM in the 80s-90s, in the way he pairs instruments, in the way he uses echo-like effects and suspensions, or in the way he "interpolates" new material in between old material (interpolation is a common technique in live electronic music, where a synthesizer will store two sounds and later reproduce them with an algorithmically generated transition connecting them; I hear an analog to this in Boulez's instrumental writing).
    I think you're inverting who influenced whom, here. The earliest versions of the IRCAM spacialization, interpolation, and resonating software that they all used were commissioned first by Boulez. In some cases, recordings of his pieces appeared later, but that's because of his endless fussing and tinkering with scores. You can hear the the effects Boulez was looking for in his scores from the 1970s, like the Notations for orchestra, wherein he orchestrated some of these kinds of effects, but he expressed interest in electronic solutions as far back as the 1950s. It took the development of computer music for him to find the tools he was looking for.

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  4. #273
    Senior Member Torkelburger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gargamel View Post
    Been listening to Le Marteau sans maître (a work I heard for the first time 15 years ago.), and I'm actually enjoying it more than I thought I would. Particularly the parts with voice which is having quite an intriguing conversation with the flute. What they're "saying" to each others, I can't tell. (All I'm catching up therein is counterpoint, and almost nothing else.) It appears to me that the music of Boulez is highly conversational, as opposed to someone like Babbitt's, a trained orator delivering monologues.

    I didn't enjoy Samuel Andreyev's video on Boulez' Piano Sonata 2, it didn't explain anything!
    Huh? Are you sure you watched it? It clearly explained the following:

    It explained the piece is an organized, methodical destruction of an old order (referring to sonata form and he explains in detail how this was done)
    It explained who the musical and literary influences of the piece were.
    It explained that the work's goal was to give an impression of disorder and irrationality (it was avant-garde at the time).
    It explained that the first movement is sonata allegro and how "classical elements become agents of their own destruction".
    It explained that the second movement is a theme and variations.
    It explained that the third movement is a scherzo with trios.
    It explained that the fourth movement is episodic form with fugue.
    It explained that the series heard at the beginning does not govern the whole piece.
    It explained that the series is used as a reservoir from which cells are extracted.
    It explained that the order of pitches within cells were permutated.
    It explained that pitch cells and rhythmic figures develop independently in the piece.
    It explained that texture and rhythm are the most important elements.

    It went into further detail that in the first movement, the different forms of textures replaced the traditional theme groups on the sonata form. The first theme is contrapuntal and consists of short cells and figures. While the second theme group is harmonic (3-part chorales), homorythmic, with extremely wide chord spacing. Each texture type has an associated tempo with it. First theme is quarter note=132. Second theme is half note=84.

    It went into even further detail and analyzed the first theme with widely-spaced intervals, short, constantly changing rhythmic cells, no foreground/background distinction, anabasis – catabasis phrase construction (and he explained what this means), and how the dynamics reflect phrase shapes.

    This was complete with audio and visual examples of the score.

    So I have no idea what you are talking about.
    Last edited by Torkelburger; Yesterday at 21:12.

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