Tom Service presents 40 years of great BBC archive featuring the French composer, conductor and musical icon, Pierre Boulez, who died on 5th January 2016 at the age of 90. Opinionated and challenging, Boulez transformed the way that musicians and audiences all over the world think about contemporary music. With orchestras including the BBC Symphony, he rehearses and performs Debussy, Stravinsky and Bartok, as well as a selection of his own extraordinary compositions. Boulez's relationship with the BBC began in the 1960s and blossomed during his years as chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra - leaving a vivid legacy in the BBC's TV archive.
Three 20th-century orchestral scores, Bartók’s Two Pictures, Debussy’s Jeux and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, all dating from 1910-13 and all linked (as the detailed CD booklet explains), are brought to life in the hands of two exceptional French pianists. The central interest is the ballet Jeux. One of the world’s outstanding Debussy interpreters, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet has added to his complete Chandos recordings with his own transcription for two pianos. Written late in Debussy’s life for Nijinsky, Jeux involves an emotionally erotic and harmonically daring game of tennis. Bavouzet and his well-matched partner, François-Fréderic Guy, play with nimble grace, capturing the works wit and mystery. This gripping album is dedicated to Pierre Boulez, guru and enabler, for his 90th birthday.
Recorder virtuoso Erik Bosgraaf (b. 1980) was personally granted permission to arrange for recorder Boulez' (1925-2016) Dialogue de l'ombre double, originally for clarinet and electronics. ...The result is a dynamic interplay between Bosgraaf's recorder and the fascinating electronic timbres and colours. The second work on this release is a musical dialogue between Bosgraaf and electronic wizard Jorrit Tamminga (b. 1973), creating unheard-of sounds of the recorder interwoven in electronic sound tapestries.
The years have seen Pierre Boulez record for CBS, Erato, EMI, and Philips, among other labels, but his most consistent and critically praised work has appeared on Deutsche Grammophon, where he has conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, and his own Ensemble InterContemporain in many successful performances. These ensembles are heard on this trimline, six-CD box set of Igor Stravinsky's major works, which brings together Boulez's recordings of L'oiseau de feu, Petrushka, Le Sacre du printemps, L'histoire du Soldat, the symphonies, concertos, and other works, recorded between 1980 and 1996.
Hungarian conductor and composer Peter Eötvös is known for his proficiency in Stravinsky's "primitivist" works; his Hungaraton recording of both 1917 and 1923 versions of Les Noces is viewed in some quarters as a watershed album in Stravinsky studies; university classes have been based around it and the insight the album provides into Stravinsky's working methods. That was made in 1988; since then Eötvös has not had much opportunity to return to Stravinsky, working closely instead with Pierre Boulez, the Ensemble Modern, and promoting his own compositions..
Un spectacle inoubliable autour de trois ballets de Stravinsky, avec notamment Le sacre du printemps dans la version originale de Nijinski.
A Russian folk tale in two scenes. Serge de Diaghilev heard Stravinsky for the first time on 6 February 1909, the day when his Fantastic Scherzo and Fireworks were created. Diaghilev was extremely impressed by this last work. Since his Ballets Russes had already performed for a season in Paris in 1909 and were a great success, he wished to repeat the experience the following year and include a brand new work inspired by the legend of the Firebird.
Half of THE PERFECT STRANGER features works by Frank Zappa conducted by Pierre Boulez utilizing his Ensemble Intercontemporain orchestra and recorded in Paris. The other half is Zappa himself under the moniker of the Barking Pumpkin Digital Gratification Consort. He refers to the album in its entirety as seven dance pieces. Each of these instrumental pieces embodies an accompanying story and occasional sound effects (or simply non-traditional instrumentation). These works are modern in a way which is decidedly not modern today; that is to say, they celebrate notions of atonality, angularity and episodic construction which resonate with the heady experimentation of the first few decades of the twentieth century. Edgar Varese, Charles Ives, and even bits of Stravinsky clearly found a comfortable home in Frank Zappa's heart and mind.