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Pierre Boulez: ... explosante-fixe ...

  • for flute with live electronics, 2 flutes and ensemble
  • 2 2 3 2 - 2 2 2 1 - vln(3), vla(2), vc(2), cb(1)
  • Duration: 36’
  • Soloists:
  • Instrumentation details:
    see individual movements "Transitoire vII", "Transitoire v", "Originel"
  • Composer: Pierre Boulez
  • Table of contents:
    Transitoire VII
    Transitoire V
  • Remarks: All works from "... explosante-fixe ..." may be performed separately. For a performance it has to be contributed additional equipment from IRCAM, Paris.

Work introduction

explosante-fixe… is not a message, I think, which reflects Stravinsky’s influence on me. Stravinsky himself gave a comparable example when he wrote the Symphonies of Wind Instruments in memory of Debussy, since these wind symphonies truly are extremely different from Debussy in their tone colour, form and musical ideas. It is the same with …explosante-fixe… .

I made an initial first written-out version in 1972. At first, the material was rather primitive; I worked it out some more in the next step. I assigned a very precise register to each instrument, in which each one moves independently of the others. That, so to speak, is the fixed dimension of …explosante-fixe… . At the same time, the instruments were to mutually influence one another, thus undermining the register boundaries.

I again expanded Mémoriale in the 1990s by aligning its instrumentation of the two other sections, which meanwhile exist in …explosante-fixe…. However, since I did not alter the substance, it can also be performed in this version without electronics … it is a very quiet, restrained work … it now forms the final section of … explosante-fixe .

Pierre Boulez


World première

Torino (IT)
Ensemble Intercontemporain
David Robertson
Main soloists:
Pierre-André Valade, Midi-Flöte; Sophie Cherrier, Emmanuelle Ophèle, Flöten; Andrew Gerzso, IRCAM-Elektronik

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