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Pierre Boulez: A Symposium Paperback – Import, January 1, 1986

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Paperback, Import, January 1, 1986
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Pr (1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0903873125
  • ISBN-13: 978-0903873123
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,549,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Culver TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 4, 2006
PIERRE BOULEZ: A Symposium, edited by William Glock, is a mid-1980s collection of seven essays about the great French composer, conductor, and theorist. The work appeared too early to cover many of Boulez's recent exciting works like the two "Derive" pieces and "Sur Incises", and some of the essays were finished years before the 1986 publishing of the book, but for any Boulez fan there is a lot of interesting information here.

The collection opens with Peter Heyworth's "The first fifty years", a 40-page biography of the composer which originally appeared in The New Yorker magazine in 1973. It was updated with a mere two new pages to cover Boulez's controversial appearance at Beyreuth in 1976 and the 1978 opening of IRCAM. While the biography is unobjectionable, it covers no ground that other portrayals of the composer have.

The next several essays are musicological. They abound in quotations from scores, and require some knowledge of music theory to appreciate. Gerald Bennet's "The early works" describes a number of pieces Boulez wrote while still at the conservatory, the great majority long since withdrawn from his catalogue. Here one can track Boulez's growth from a somewhat traditional student of Messiaen, to his discovery of Webern which changed everything, to the confidence of such pieces as "Le visage nuptial" and "Le soleil des eaux". Charles Rosen's following "The piano music" is a short description of the three piano sonatas, with especialy enlightening coverage of the hitherto-published movements of the third sonata. It is, however, a pity that Rosen doesn't write about that notable piano work of Boulez' youth, the 12 Notations.
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