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Ionisation / Ameriques


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Audio CD, January 14, 1991
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Ionisation / Ameriques + Boulez conducts Varèse
Price for both: $30.27

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 14, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000009IME
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,667 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Ionisation
2. Ameriques
3. Density 21.5 For Solo Flute
4. Offrandes For Soprano: A) Chanson de La-haut
5. Offrandes For Soprano: B) La Croix du Sud
6. Arcana For Full Orchestra
7. Octandre For Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon, Trumpet, Trombone, Double-bass: I. Assez lent
8. Octandre For Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon, Trumpet, Trombone, Double-bass: II. Tres vif et nerveux
9. Octandre For Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon, Trumpet, Trombone, Double-bass: III. Grave
10. Integrales For Small Orchestra

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
So, for anyone interested in 20th-century (serious) music, buy this CD right now!!
"uaxuctum"
Now, my impression could be the result of the extremely high quality of the sound engineering for this CD.
S. M Marson
This album (CD) made it into my collection the same way as a few others who've commented here.
booboo bear

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Autonomeus on March 1, 2002
This disc doesn't contain all of Varese's music, but it comes close at 77 minutes. Varese was not nearly as prolific as he was creative! The first recorded Varese I heard was on the VoxBox set called "Ionisation", and five of the pieces found here are also on that disk, conducted by Cerha. What a contrast! Cerha presents Varese delicately, transparently, without passion. The advantage is that the instruments are clearly delineated. But you are left wondering what the fuss is about -- it doesn't sound very radical.

Boulez emphatically captures the chaos, the energy, the alien-ness of Varese! Of course the overall impact is heightened by the inclusion of "Ameriques" and "Arcana," two 20-minute pieces for full orchestra that are bigger and louder than anything included on the VoxBox. The production value is superb -- sharp and clear -- and the packaging is faultless as well.

In short, if you only had one recording by Varese, this would be an excellent choice. If you like this, by all means look for Xenakis' "Orchestral Works and Chamber Music" on Col Legno. Varese is a key influence, especially the composition "Arcana"!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "uaxuctum" on August 15, 2001
This is THE recording of Varèse's music. Boulez is by far the only conductor who truly understood his music. Even the renderings of Varèse's pupil, Chailly, are fairly disappointing in the light of these. I consider Chailly's 2-CD intégrale to be useful only for its transfer of the unique Poème électronique (and for it contains also some rare works, but these are something that maybe only scholars will be interested in). Finally, I must mention that there's also another referential CD in this wonderful mid-priced Boulez series which contains his renderings of Varèse's Déserts and Hyperprism altogether with Carter's Symphony for Three Orchestras. So, for anyone interested in 20th-century (serious) music, buy this CD right now!! and check out for the latter, too.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Doug - Haydn Fan VINE VOICE on November 11, 2009
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Reading the other Amazon reviewers left me wondering - has anyone here any idea at all what's involved in Varèse? Back in the 1920's, when most of these works were created, Varèse's compositions stepped quite decisively out of the the world of classical music - indeed, music of any form - and into a new found artistic universe, where abstract rules of construction would dominate. Calling Varèse a musician is fair only to the extent he works with musical instruments and retains musical notations - in fact he's much better described as a painter or sculpture working in sound! This is not to suggest Varèse was not a genuine musician to his fingertips - he had exceptional talent in what might be described as 'regular music', choral works, accentuation, etc. But once this fundamental distinction about the totality of his vision is grasped the breadth of Varèse's accomplishments can begin to be understood. The normal apparatus of music criticism, especially as it existed in Varèse's time - when the compositions on recorded on this Cd were being put together - simply did not function when confronted by these striking creations.

Thus, what we have is a radically new sensibility, something Varèse's namesake Edgar Poe might have admired - a world where the lines between the visual and the aural begin to merge, twist, and conflict in all together newly discovered combinations. We do not so much hear a work by Varese as we experience it physically - the powerful and sudden fortes and climaxes in many of his works are meant to act not just architecturally, but also directly on the senses, quite independently of any role they might have in the composition.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By David Lee on May 25, 2004
This is one of the finest set of recording of the Varese repetoire ever made. The french performances are particularly well done with right degree of ensemble and tone required of this difficult music.
The Octandre is especially good with super attacks from all players...not for the faint of heart.
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I've loved the weird, wild world of Edgard Varese since I was a teenager over thirty years ago when I first purchased many of these recordings on vinyl. Pierre Boulez is a master conductor of avant-garde classical music. While Varese is not the kind of classical music that will leave you humming and singing pretty little melodies, Varese's use of sound, rhythms, volumes and textures is always interesting. While the music may be classified as "ultra-modern", "serial" or "avant-garde"; it's my opinion that given an even chance, this music may appeal to a certain kind of listener who is imaginative and open to challenging himself or herself to a composer who organizes sound in ways that may seem bizarre at first, but makes more sense with repeated listening.

My only complaint is that my favorite Varese piece (also recorded by Boulez), "Deserts", was not included on this CD, and was coupled instead with a piece by Elliot Carter on a different CD.

I had to buy both CDs to get everything I once had on the original LP.
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