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Pierre Boulez RIP

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-35241250

I was watching him on blu-ray conduct Mahler 7 with the Concertgebouw only yesterday. It was superb.

Might give his VPO Bruckner 8 a spin later - probably my favourite recording of that piece.

I'm not sure about his own music - gorgeous sound but not sure I got it. His conducting was very different from most others - sometimes too objective even for me. But he was a colossus of the contemporary classical music scene. I totally agree with him about burning down all the opera houses!

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- The aim of music is not to express feelings but to express music.

- All art of the past must be destroyed.

Hmm - definitely of the musicbox school of music appreciation in the 1st quote ;-)

And a bit (well, OK, a lot) of a dickhead in the 2nd quote.

Some interesting, if uninvolving, recordings.

RIP

Maybe we would have been better off without him?

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The first quote is odd in the context of his recording of the Symphonie Fantastique/Lelio with the LSO (which is fantastic, especially in Un Bal).

However, his effect on composers like Henze was only ever discouraging and he was part of the disconnect between audiences and new music.

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A giant for me - most of those famous quotes taken completely in the wrong context, usually to inflame a debate or almost tongue in cheek..

Anyway, I shall play this, one of his best scores

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and then some of his best conducting

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I won't say RIP cos i don't think he was a believer, but my musical world in poorer.

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Andrew Neil announced his death on the Daily Politics of all places.

He could certainly be a provocateur, bit like you Jerry :whistle:, but music is all the richer for his challenging music and interpretations.

His music isn't always an easy listen but some of it is definitely gorgeous. I like a lot of his recordings, particularly when he clears works of years of conductors' excesses and reveals the music underneath, rather like cleaning an old painting of discoloured varnish and revealing the original colours underneath. Somewhat contradicting that, I seem to recall him being very critical of Roger Norrington and his alternative, original instrument, approach to playing the masters.

I feel the musical world is that bit poorer without him.

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I feel the musical world is that bit poorer without him.

I would substitute "that" with "a".

I feel the musical world is a bit poorer without him. I'm afraid that I wasn't a great fan.

Requiescat in Pace.

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- The aim of music is not to express feelings but to express music.

Hmm - definitely of the musicbox school of music appreciation in the 1st quote ;-)

I'm sure he was having a dig at those who over-emote. As per his best recordings, its possible to express the emotional intention of the composer without signposting or distorting their music.

The first quote is odd in the context of his recording of the Symphonie Fantastique/Lelio with the LSO (which is fantastic, especially in Un Bal).

However, his effect on composers like Henze was only ever discouraging and he was part of the disconnect between audiences and new music.

Yes - he mellowed as he got older and became more amenable to established classical repertoire. For new music, he was part of the avant-garde that left the audience behind.

His comments about destroying the past were expressions of a desire to throw off the shackles of the past - it should be possible to produce new art music without being in the the shadow of Beethoven, Wagner, Bach etc etc and I strongly agree with this sentiment - unfortunately the results of trying to do so (as espoused by the post-war avant-garde) don't much agree with me!

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Interesting article here from 2000 by Norman Lebrecht which makes interesting reading.

http://www.scena.org/columns/lebrecht/000322-NL-Boulez.htm

Lebrecht is clearly not a Boulez fanboy, but seems to present a fairly rounded and objective picture of him.

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Listening to "Pli Selon Pli" right now. I bought this disc 12 or so years ago and didn't ever manage to listen to it all the way through. The same will be true quite shortly.

Its beautiful, but its not speaking to me.

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I'm one of the (probably) few people who enjoys and regularly listens to the Darmstadt / Domaine Musical music of the 1950s and early 60s, and I discovered Boulez after spending the best part of two years listening to and researching Messiaen. It's his three piano sonatas, pli selon pli and particularly Le marteau sans maître that I listen to regularly - the revolutionary energy, intellectual discipline and sheer beauty of these pieces are extraordinary. His vocal writing, and understanding of the human voice, is exceptional, and I'm still hopeful that his papers will hold at least a draft of the opera that was often mentioned as work in progress. Le marteau sans maître in perfomance is really something, requiring almost telepathic communication between the performers, and always anticipating improvisation despite its strict serial structure - the only similar twentieth century work I know (which may even have influenced it) is Schoenberg's Serenade for septet. I was deeply moved when I heard he had died.

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