Expansion and revision of earlier works is common in Boulez's compositional process; see also Structures. Boulez creates two similarly distinct sonic worlds in the work: the Hebrew enumerations become long static or gliding harmonic tones, and the Latin verses become sections that are contrastingly action-packed and articulated though Boulez says that the piece bears no reference to the content of the verses, and takes as its basis solely the idea of two contrasting sonic language-worlds Goldman , The piece begins with a seven-tone motive, and trill on the note D: these are the fundamental motives used in its composition. It is also in seven sections: a short introduction, followed by six "verses", each "verse" preceded by a harmonic-tone "enumeration". The last section is the longest, culminating in a dialogue between four distinct "characters", and the piece closes with the two "languages" gradually melding into one as the intervals finally center around the note D and close into a trill, and then a single harmonic.
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We work hard to protect your security and privacy. Our payment security system encrypts your information during transmission. Find out more. For information about products sold by international sellers, click here. Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon. Image Unavailable Image not available for Color:. Boulez: Sur Incises, Messagesquisse, Anthemes 2. Format: Audio CD. See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions Amazon Price. Audio CD "". No customer reviews. How does Amazon calculate star ratings?
The machine learned model takes into account factors including: the age of a review, helpfulness votes by customers and whether the reviews are from verified purchases. Review this product Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. Verified Purchase. Yes, Boulez is difficult. But much of what Boulez has written is regardless of his own take on it deeply beautiful, shimmering, coloristic, though superbly proportioned and developed - and I completely agree with those who refuse to let the composer's own rather pretentious explanations get in the way of enjoying the music.
Still, there is no denying the radical departures not only from traditional forms, but also from the way of looking at music, such as the open-ended forms or the idea of labyrinthine structures opening up an almost endless series of new possibilities and strange directions for the music to take. Steve Schwartz has helpfully suggested listening to it as a theme and variations work, though "theme" might be less precise than a group of aural and musical ideas apparently representing two very different sound worlds or languages.
Each "variation" or strophe is capped by what strikes one as an antithesis to the theme, and the work ends in a longer discursive section between characters representing the different sound worlds, gradually melding around a single note. It is, as mentioned, a beautiful, aurally imaginative work but interestingly, despite its complex formal excursions it is not without a wry sense of humor. Messagesquisse is similarly based on a group of ideas; one is a musical take on the name "Sacher", another the device of moto perpetuo.
The result is a busy, quirky work in which Boulez expertly keeps the potentially massive sound of a cello ensemble from clogging; the textures are actually rather airy despite the contrapuntal complexities and the result is an almost buoyant work of refined virtuosity and although it might be difficult to keep track of exactly where it is going and why there are enough incidents to keep the attentive listener absorbed.
Sur Incises is probably the masterpiece here. Scored for three pianos, three harps and percussion three players , it creates a remarkable soundworld that Boulez keeps in check with a masterly hand. Despite the glittering brilliance and contrapuntal intricacies of the work all the lines are kept clean and clear, but with the lines and the resulting soundworld always in kaleidoscopic transformation, even though all of the shapes, motifs and aural effects are ingeniously linked.
The first of two movements opens broodingly, with a series of ideas laid out and carefully investigated, only to be caught up in an almost breathless maelstrom toward the end of the movement in which, if you paid attention, you will see the ideas previously mulled over be hurled around in an exhilarating display of color. The second movement is quick-paced and restless, almost relentless, with a series of cadenzas for the pianos are pitted against each other with cadenzas for percussion and harp adding to the fray - but again Boulez ensure that the textures never get so complex that one lose sight of the individual lines.
To my ears the performances sound spectacular though to be fair I am not sure I would be able to recognize if they skipped a trick or two given that I don't have the scores. The recorded sound is superbly balanced as well. Although I recognize that Boulez's music is a hard sell to many, I suspect this relates in part to the slightly haughty post-modernist theoretical ramblings often surrounding it, and while I don't deny that the music is, indeed, difficult and does require concentration and thought, I would strongly encourage curious listeners to take the chance.
And the disc at hand can be recommended with some enthusiasm. I can't believe how good this CD is, the compositions are just phenomenal.
I can listen over and over and never tire of the music and how it's performed by the Ensemble Intercontemporain. Especially the last piece, Anthemes 2, the way it's recorded, it comes across as if it's in surround sound. Boulez's creativity has always been fascinated with a musical situation where the materials imply themselves, where layers,textures,timbres can reproduce themselves,where the materials generate themselves,and take essentially a life of their own.
And here in these three relatively modest works we find Boulez almost harboring etude-like substances and implications. Sur Incises for instance implies a sensual poetic beauty,a dimension Boulez has engaged his entire creative life. He brings this profound dimension to the modernist repertoire he conducts as well.
Knowing the various harmonics possibilities in strings,or alternate fingering in winds. But here in Sur Incises the opening piano tyrannical cell of an idea makes an entire galaxy of sound,very subtle cohere to it, like an uncompromising polar fixed point, where timbres can fly and emanate,and reproduce themselves. The marimba,its fast quips,especially its lower regions here is simply breathtaking, what it suggests,perhaps an attenuated timbre from a lost island.
The work, the first movement "Moment 1" here is deeply evocative with a high level of shards,fragments,particles of timbres that cohere. The constituted timbres here of three pianos, three harps, and percussion is a fascinating situation in and of itself. The second movement "Moment 2"is more a surface piece with its reiterated tones is not as evocative, more music that simply moves in one-dimension.
The reiterated tones reminded me of the Debussy's piano etude"pour les notes repetees". The title "Messagesquisse",is a portmanteau word a hybrid of "messages" and "esquisse" sketches. It is for 7 violoncellos,where there is soloist,like a spine directing the dimensions,the shape of the work. And this functions quite well, where the leader commences the timbral proceedings,as in the opening ethereal harmonics,and everyone follows. The work has a shape like a modest etude, yet it seems to transcend that,with its multi-movement implications,and resting points.
Yet the work simply traverses its materials fairly within well prescribed boundaries,with easy discernable functions. The work is dedicated to Paul Sacher,long a close supporter of Boulez in the early days when his genius was a well guarded secret. The solo violin as a genre has never been an interesting situation. Sebastian Bach of course has the Sonatas and Partitas, yet the Violoncello Suites seem to climb the heavens by comparison. Bartok's Unaccompanied Solo Sonata is another profound contribution to the literature.
Also modern Violin Concertos are not in great abundance. Within the perspective of a modernist extended musical language even Luigi Nono's work "La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura" where a solo violin is scoured with prerecorded material of it,which is electronically manipulated, as here in Boulez Anthemes is not an interesting piece.
I didn't sense sophisticated manipulation here of the violin timbre. The trill sections,and on-going rush of tones are simply reverberated and smeared,where the rhythm is displaced by a beat, or half-beat.
The electronics as well doesn't retransform the violin timbre in any way interesting,with its simple ascending glissandi. Within the large spectrum of electronic manipulation this is fairly commonplace. The import of the title should have suggested something more interesting, the haunting strophic psalm setting, the Anthemes. Still this is again like an etude,and a good one in the simple transformations. Yet I can see innumerable clones of this piece,if they haven't been written already.
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The Approach to Electro-acoustic Processing in Anthemes II In , Pierre Boulez wrote that "from our education within a traditional culture we have learned and experienced how instrumental models function and what they are capable of. But in the field of electronics and computers - the instrument that would be directly involved [in the preparation for the integration of technology in music] - models do not exist, or only sporadically, largely thanks to our imagination. In Anthemes II live recording is used for two primary purposes: first simple amplification for practical purposes which may include some reverberation , and secondly for processing, where the sounds of the violin undergo treatment of reverberation, spatialisation, pitch shifting, and delay. Although the precise spatial setup is not specified, a setup using at least ten speakers is implied - two in the immediate vicinity of the violinist and always used only for amplification, in addition to at least eight to be placed in a circle around the audience. Figure 1: Demonstrations of two possible setups from the technical manual of Anthemes II.
Boulez: Anthemes 2 - BBC Proms 2012