Today, 6 February, Pierre Boulez will receive the 18th annual Cleveland Orchestra Distinguished Service Award in absentia.
Executive Director Gary Hanson on Boulez: "This award is in recognition of our genuine appreciation for Pierre Boulez"s decades of service to The Cleveland Orchestra. He has given us the gift of great music, new music, and the joy of music-making. We are grateful for what he has taught us and honored by his peerless international legacy."
Read more on the website of the Cleveland Orchestra.
Excerpt from a conversation between Wolfgang
Fink and Pierre Boulez:
Fink: Incises […] is rather short, extremely brilliant and with a sense of perpetual motion. Now sur Incises originates from this piece and goes beyond the scope of pure piano sound.
Boulez: Yes, it is an ensemble for three pianos which in a way represent the main instruments, three harps and three percussions of certain pitch, also timpani, steel drums, glockenspiel etc. I composed the piano piece Incises for the Umberto Micheli Piano Competition which is greatly supported by Maurizio Pollini. First I had in mind to transform this piece into a longer one for Pollini and a group of instrumentalists, a kind of piano concerto although without reference to the traditional form. The literature in concerto form does not appeal to me any more. Therefore I produced a piece for three pianos assuming that there already exists enough interesting literature for two pianos and ensembles, especially in the modern age - take for example Bartok's "Sonata for two pianos and percussion".
Pierre Boulez: sur Incises
for 3 pianos, 3 harps and 3 percussionists | 40'
27.10.2013, Teatro alla Scala, Milano; ensemble intercontemporain, cond. Matthias Pintscher
October is bachtrack’s contemporary music month, and it is great to see that Arvo Pärt is featured in the special on Minimalists, and that Pierre Boulez – together with Stockhausen, Berio, and others – is regarded as one of conemporary music’s “Cutting-Edge Heavyweights”: A generation of composers growing up amongst the carnage of Hitler’s Europe [that] turned their faces away from the traditional language of music, which seemed forever tainted by that world, in search of a new musical grammar.
Boulez on Boulez:
Pli selon pli is definitely one of Pierre's most directly emotional works. The final movement, Tombeau, ends with the word 'mort' ('death') and then there's this huge crescendo in the ensemble. It leaves you completely emotionally torn, asking questions - what condition are we in? How do we go forward? We are so shaken by it, and now it's our turn to move on, or to try to. It's overwhelming.
Tom Service talks to 42-year-old composer and conductor Matthias Pintscher about Pierre Boulez’ Pli selon pli, which will be performed on 5 October at Glasgow’s City Halls. Pintscher conducts the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and soprano Marisol Montalvo.
Read the full article on The Guardian.
Ed Siegel writes on The Artery about Deutsche Grammophon’s recent release of the 13-CD “Pierre Boulez: Complete Works” set and about Boulez’s music in general. There is a nice quote from Bernstein in there (“Curiously enough, the atmosphere he generates is one of great inner-ness and mystery. Perhaps what it really is a new kind of mysticism born of new scientific insights”), but also an interesting take on the warmth of Boulez’s music.
sur Incises, which is mentioned in the article, will be performed in October in Strasbourg by the Ensemble Intercontemporain:
Pierre Boulez: sur Incises
for 3 pianos, 3 harps and 3 percussionists | 40’
3/10/2013, Cité de la musique, Strasbourg; Ensemble Intercontemporain, cond. Pascal Rophé
The 55,000-square-foot Thompson Drill Hall (photo) has been turned into a unique concert space, with the orchestra in three groups surrounding the audience.
Alan Gilbert, Magnus Lindberg and Matthias Pintscher conduct the New York Philharmonic.
Pierre Boulez receives the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement of the Venice Biennale.
The director of the music sector, Ivan Fedele, stated:
“This is a recognition of the absolute value of an artist who has lived through the history of contemporary music, offering the entire world compositions that, in the opinion of musicologists and artists from around the world, are true masterpieces of modernity.
The Maestro’s work has also expressed itself in the theoretical field with exemplary books that have served as a guide and model for generations of young composers. Furthermore, as a conductor, Boulez has offered interpretations of the classical and contemporary repertoire that are now considered milestones.”
Read more on the Biennale website
For the first issue of our new newsletter Musikblätter, Pierre Boulez spoke to Universal Edition about his own music.
“Sometimes you discover yourself”
Happy Birthday Pierre Boulez!
Under the title Vexations, Klangforum presents a rich programme of UE works:
as well as Olga Neuwirth’s ... miramondo multiplo ...
Jean Deroyer conducts, Eva Furrer and Anders Nyqvist are the soloists.
Before we disappear amongst the Christmas wrapping, here are a few tips for your listening pleasure over the holidays.
Pierre Boulez’ Notations are on Radio SWR2 tonight (Friday) at 8pm German time.
David Sawer’s Stramm Gedichte will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 tomorrow (Saturday) at 9:45pm London time.
Arvo Pärt’s Magnificat is sung by the NDR choir tomorrow (Saturday 24th) at 7pm German time on Radio NDR Kultur.
Once the new year kicks off, listen to the Arditti Quartet performing Vykintas Baltakas’ string quartet b(ell tree) on SWR2 on Wednesday 4th January at 11pm German time.
French speakers might like to listen to France Culture’s Villes Mondes Vienne episode, which was first broadcast on 13th November and contains an interview with Friedrich Cerha.
“A sensual musical bath of sonorous reverberation and exotic resonance, music that shimmers and glints with a seductive play of instrumental timbres”
In the same article, Gillian Moore, the Southbank Centre’s head of contemporary culture, asks if Boulez’ Pli selon Pli is “greatest orchestral work of the past 50 years”.
The Southbank Centre’s Exquisite Labyrinth: The Music of Pierre Boulez, takes place from Friday 30 Sept to Sunday 2 Oct.
From the web today, part 1
A slide show of a tennis match between Federer and Djokovic complete with Arnold Schönberg’s tennis notation (from the Zurich Tages-Anzeiger, with thanks to @alexrossmusic for the tip).
From the web today, part 2