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Orientations: Collected Writings Paperback – March 1, 1990


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 542 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; Reprint edition (March 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674643763
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674643765
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #734,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Boulez is one of the most controversial and enigmatic personalities on the contemporary music scene. He is also a wonderfully intelligent writer, as this important collection of essays amply demonstrates. The book is divided into three parts. "The Shaping Imagination" deals with questions of aesthetics and includes cogent analyses of some of Boulez's own music. "Exemplars" contains short sketches on composers and their music that Boulez finds worthwhilefrom Berlioz's Symphony Fantastique to the works of Messiaen. The short third section, "Looking Back," contains tributes and brief essays of a more general nature. Though much of the writing is technical, the lay reader will still derive great pleasure from Boulez's lucid prose and articulate sentiments. Highly recommended. Larry Lipkis, Music Dept., Moravian Coll., Bethlehem, Pa.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Language Notes

Text: English, French (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Fox on August 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
For anyone even remotely interested in the world of contemporary music and the volcanic changes that Pierre Boulez spearheaded in that conservative world from the 50's to the present, this is the essential book--a manifesto outlining the hopes, ideals, problems and successes that we face in the modern musical world. Every subject is covered here; from extensive essays and polemics to recording sleeve notes to interviews and tributes to musical colleagues and friends, Boulez leaves no subject untouched. What may seem at first dry and forbidding turns out to be, upon powerful and deep immersion, an inspiring and even moving text and 'calling' for the modern musician.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By scarecrow VINE VOICE on April 7, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I cannot add much to the other reviews, this is the full weight of Boulez from both worlds as conductor and creator of theory and music. Boulez always found inroads into the theory of his works, like the indeterminate, aleatoric Third Piano Sonata which includes an analysis here, great reading from tis documentary value. Also reflections on Debussy's Jeux, a seminal work for the post-war generation of composers, the epiphanic, the slow introduction of materials and their appraisal. The problem is that Boulez writes quite tersivily, in short bursts, much like the sonic poet he is. Also the work on Wagner's Ring is discussed quite well, the approach to faster tempi, and Wagner's free form almost leitmotiv, where these musical ideas float through. There is also much on administration, on creating IRCAM, and reflections on where Booulez came from, profiles of Desormiere,Hans Rosbaud, Hermann Scherchen. Boulez would frequent their rehearsals, a hands-on non credit education.
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By Tristan on December 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is a brilliant piece of memoirs. From the early days in Paris to the achievements witht the NYP, the CSO and the solidification of contemporary music in Europe. Nothing is left out, encounters with Bartok and Stravinski abound, and Debussy smiles from the back seat. I would love to learn more about the relationship with Alma Mahler who supposedly punctured tonality in one of her digressive moments. As the master said: Colourless green ideas sleep furiously.
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