Tag Archives: Pierre Boulez

Boulez goes electroacoustic

Répons

Répons (1981–84), the first major work to arise from Pierre Boulez’s involvement with IRCAM, is underpinned by a collection of five chords. Surface details interact with the compositional scheme but achieve a certain independence and spontaneity.

Nevertheless, the density of the music, which is sometimes enhanced by computer-facilitated transformation, at times veers towards a phantasmagoric, seamless web that threatens to undermine the articulation of space generated by the configurations of blocks and individual moments. Boulez’s spatial dialogue of system and idea is illuminated by Adorno’s theoretical attempts to turn systematic thought towards the particular.

This according to “Répons: Phantasmagoria or the articulation of space?” by Alastair Williams, an essay included in Theory, analysis and meaning in music (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994, pp. 195–210).

Today is Boulez’s 90th birthday! Above, part of the score of Répons; below, the composer conducts a performance of the work in a film by Robert Cahen.

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RILM’s 750,000th record!

Boulez Mahler 2nd

An assistant editor at RILM just accessed our 750,000th record, bringing our database to (and now beyond) three-quarters of a million bibliographic entries!

The milestone record is “Pierre Boulez: ‘One cannot refer to the biography to explain the music’”, an interview included in Gustav Mahler: The conductors’ interviews (Wien: Universal Edition, 2013, pp. 38–47).

Above and below, Boulez conducts Mahler’s second symphony.

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