Pierre Boulez wrote two pieces for solo violin, called Anthèmes I and II. This is the first and shorter of the pair and was composed in 1991 for the Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition. Taking inspiration from childhood memories of Catholic church services, Boulez created a piece of two distinct sonic worlds, in seven short parts, ending with a “col legno battuto”, characteristic of Boulez’s witty humour.
This arrangement is a direct transposition for viola of the original violin piece.
Anthèmes 1 for viola by Pierre Boulez
The second arrangement is a direct transposition for cello of the original violin piece. The producer of both editions is unknown but it is known that Boulez heard these versions and approved of them.
Anthèmes 1 for violoncello by Pierre Boulez