Pierre Boulez (1925 – 2016)

Reading time: 2 min. Pierre Boulez

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.

Universal Edition

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