Universal Edition mourns the death of Pierre Boulez, one of our great composers and a long-time companion.
Our relationship with Pierre Boulez began on 16.4.1954, when we added his first book of Structures for two pianos to our catalogue. The work had already been premièred on 4.5.1952 in Paris and caught the attention of Alfred Schlee, the then director of Universal Edition.
The first work that Boulez composed as a UE composer was Le Marteau sans maître for alto and six instruments, which he finished on the premises of Universal Edition at Karlsplatz, Vienna. On 18.3.1955, exactly three months before its world première in Baden-Baden, Le Marteau sans maître became a part of the UE repertoire.
Today, the UE-catalogue comprises many of Pierre Boulez’ modern classics:
Notations I-IV (1945, 1978/1984) – for orchestra
Notations VII (1945, 1997/2004) – for orchestra
Le Marteau sans maître (1953, 1955) – for alto and 6 instruments
Pli selon pli (1957-1962) – (Portrait de Mallarmé) for soprano and orchestra
Figures – Doubles – Prismes (1963, 1968) – for orchestra
Éclat (1965) – for 15 instruments
Éclat/Multiples (1970) – for orchestra
Rituel (in memoriam Bruno Maderna) (1974-1975, 1987) – for orchestra in 8 groups
Messagesquisse (1976, 1977) – for violoncello solo and 6 violoncellos
Répons (1981, 1985) – for 6 soloists, ensemble and live electronics
Dérive (1984) – for 6 instruments
Dérive 2 (1988, 2006/2009) – for 11 instruments
sur Incises (1996, 1998/2006) – for 3 pianos, 3 harps and 3 percussionists
... explosante-fixe ... (1991, 1993) – for flute with live electronics, 2 flutes and ensemble
Not only did Pierre Boulez greatly influence the music world after 1945, as a conductor he was responsible for numerous showcase performances of the UE-repertoire.
It is indisputable that his commitment to music has helped Mahler, Schönberg, Berg, Webern, Bartók, Janáček and Szymanowski to become an integral part of today’s international music scene.