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Pierre Boulez, 1925-2016

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One of the greatest mavericks of the last century has died at the age of 90. In our first Pearltree of this type, we're collecting tributes and remembrances about Boulez, so you can compare and learn more about this extraordinary musician and mammoth influence.

Please let us know if we're missing something. Remembering Pierre Boulez's Radical Legacy. Image via BBC Pierre Boulez, who died this week at age 90, didn’t start out trying to make friends.

Remembering Pierre Boulez's Radical Legacy

In 1952, the young French classical musician claimed that any composer who didn’t see the value of Arnold Schoenberg’s twelve-tone method—also known as "serial" or "atonal" writing—was "USELESS. " (The use of all-caps fit in with Pierre’s early, rage-stroke polemical style.) When asked, in 1967, about the "problem" of putting on experimental works in mainstream opera houses, the modernist composer and conductor gave what he must have known was an anarchic reply: "The most expensive solution would be to blow the opera houses up. But don't you think that would also be the most elegant? " Plenty of artistic radicals have used this same bad-boy strategy to get some attention for their ideas. Pierre Boulez, Structures I & II (Kontarsky/Kontarsky)

Pierre Boulez, conductor of bracing clarity, dies at 90. Pierre Boulez, who began his career as a radical modernist composer dedicated to overthrowing classical traditions and lived to become one of the most revered and sought-after orchestral conductors in the world, died Jan. 6 in Baden-Baden, Germany.

Pierre Boulez, conductor of bracing clarity, dies at 90

He was 90. His family announced the death to the Philharmonie Paris but did not disclose a cause. Mr. Boulez (pronounced boo-LEZZ) came to public attention as the leading voice of postwar avant-garde music in France, an enfant terrible given to making public suggestions such as “the most elegant way of solving the opera problem would be to blow up the opera houses.” Not only did he outlive that youthful fervor, he went on to conduct Richard Wagner’s “Ring” Cycle at Bayreuth in Germany, that most exalted — and most conservative — of operatic shrines, and enjoyed long and fruitful artistic relationships with many of the world’s great orchestras.

Throughout his life, however, he remained devoted to new and unusual music. Mr. The young Mr. Mr. Mr. Debussy La Mer New York Philharmonic Pierre Boulez. The modernist maverick: Pierre Boulez at 90. The Sensuous Radical: Pierre Boulez at 90 : Deceptive Cadence. French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, photographed in Salzburg in 2011.

The Sensuous Radical: Pierre Boulez at 90 : Deceptive Cadence

Martin Schalk/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Martin Schalk/Getty Images. A guide to Pierre Boulez's music. It's impossible to imagine contemporary music, and in fact the entire musical world, without Pierre Boulez.

A guide to Pierre Boulez's music

As a composer he defined the image of the iconoclastic avant-garde in his music of the 1940s and 1950s; as a polemicist he gave post-war music some of its best aphorisms - "anyone who has not felt… the necessity of the dodecaphonic [12-tone] language is OF NO USE", that the best solution to the problem of opera would be to blow up the opera houses, that some contemporary composition amounted to frenetic arithmetical masturbation", and dozens of others. The first thing to do when thinking about Boulez's music is to prise it apart from the phenomenon of Boulez the man's power, influence, and personality. One misconception of his output is that there really isn't that much of it. admittedly, after two decades of non-stop composing up to when he was in his early 40s, Boulez's actual rate of musical production does seem to have slowed down dramatically.

Reading this on mobile? Répons. Pierre Boulez, a radical titan of contemporary music, dies at 90. Composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, a towering figure in contemporary music, was an enfant terrible who mellowed with age but never flagged from his crusade to push music lovers and the music establishment to let go of the past and embrace new sounds, structures and textures.

Pierre Boulez, a radical titan of contemporary music, dies at 90

As a firebrand music student, he booed Igor Stravinsky in Paris for being too conservative, called his onetime friend John Cage a "performing monkey," said that those who didn't use the 12-tone composing system were "of no use" and called for the burning down of opera houses. Many years later, however, he conducted — to great acclaim from audiences and critics alike — works by Stravinsky and other popular composers dating to the Baroque period. Top Five Pierre Boulez Works.

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Top Five Pierre Boulez Works

For use in iTunes and mobile iPhone devices.MP3For use in Quicktime, Winamp and othersRTSPFor use in mobile Android and BlackBerry devicesWindowsFor use only in Windows Media Player Close On Air: Elliott Forrest Sonatina in G Major, Op. 100, Antonin Dvorak Gil Shaham, violin. Full Player On Air Elliott Forrest 9:00 PM - 1:00 AM Elliott Forrest is the afternoon host on WQXR. Pierre Boulez Picks 10 Great Works of the 20th Century. Pierre Boulez’s Revolutionary Career. In the wake of the Second World War, a phalanx of young composers took hold of European music, determined to discard a compromised past and remake their art.

Pierre Boulez’s Revolutionary Career

Chief among them were Karlheinz Stockhausen, Iannis Xenakis, Luigi Nono, Luciano Berio, György Ligeti, and Pierre Boulez. They were in their late teens or early twenties when the inferno ended, and they bore scars—some physical, some psychological—from what Europe had endured. Pierre Boulez obituary. Pierre Boulez, who has died aged 90, was arguably the single dominant figure of the classical musical world through the second half of the 20th century and beyond.

Pierre Boulez obituary

Without his compositions, his legacy of recordings as a conductor, his writings on music and his administrative skill and drive, the musical scene today would be of a quite different order. To some extent this dominance was achieved by the application of remorseless logic to both organisational and interpersonal problems. But at the same time he was a man of great warmth and charm. Boulez’s determination to forge a musical style in keeping with the post-second world war era can be heard in the Sonatine for flute and piano and in the First Piano Sonata (1946). Already he was using the 12-note series in a personal way, refusing to be bound by Schoenbergian rules. In 1946 he was appointed musical director of Jean-Louis Barrault and Madeleine Renaud’s Paris theatre company, a post he held for nine years.