Pierre Boulez (1925-): Pierre Boulez: Piano Sonata No. 1
Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992): Olivier Messiaen: Regard de L’Esprit de Joie
Rene Koering (1940-): Rene Koering: Piano Sonata
Michael Levinas, Piano
Recorded at the studios of Radio Breme on April 1985 and in Paris (salle Adyar) on July 1985 following a recital given by Levinas on October 13, 1984
My battered, scratched and skipping 30-year-old recording actually enhances the craziness of these rarely played disjointed and dissonant pieces.
ORIGINAL LINER NOTES FROM 1985 – A LOT HAS CHANGED SINCE THEN (in French – translated by Google Translate):
Pierre Boulez was born in Montbrison (Loire) in 1925.
He moved to Paris in 1942 to devote himself to music. In 1945 he studied composition with Olivier Messiaen and Rene Leibowitz (twelve-tone technique) . A year later, he became director of music at the Scene de Renaud-Barrault Company.
In 1954, he founded the Concerts du Petit Marigny, then the Domaine Musical. Between 1955 and 1960, he lectured in Darmstadt analysis, and until 1966 taught analysis, composition and conducting at the Musik Akademie Basel . He was also a visiting professor at Harvard University.
From 1965 his activity as a conductor takes a preponderant place and he directed in 1976 Wagner’s Ring Cycle at the centenary of Bayreuth.
Pierre Boulez is also the President of IRCAM, director of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, and professor at the College de France.
Boulez: Piano Sonata No. 1
This work was written in 1946 and performed by Yvette Grimaud the same year.
For fundamental analysis of the Sonata, which includes two movements, it is necessary to refer to the now classic book Cominique Jameux.
Olivier Messiaen was born in 1908 in Avignon.
In 1919, he entered the Paris Conservatory. M. Emmanuel, M. Dupre and P. Dukas are its main masters.
In 1931, he becomes the main organ player in the Church of the Trinity in Paris.
In 1936, he founded the group Jeune France with A. Jolivet, Daniel Lesur and Y. Baudrier.
In 1942, he was appointed to the Paris Conservatory, where he successively taught harmony and analysis, aesthetics and rhythm.
Starting in 1966, he taught composition – P. Boulez, P. Henry, G. Amy, K. Stockhausen and L. Xenakis among his students.
Olivier Messiaen is interested in rhythm, studying the rhythmic systems of India and Greece , and to the singing birds he patiently noted during his many trips: two sources of inspiration often presented in his work, which also testifies of a Christian faith constantly underlying .
Regard de L’esprit de Joie (Regard the Spirit of Joy)
Les Vingt regards sur l’Enfant Jesus are inspired by the contemplation of the Child God of the crib and looks that land on him from the unspeakable gaze of God the Father.
Rene Koering was born in Andlau (Alsace ) in 1940. He studied music in Darmstadt until 1960.
In 1961, he became director of the Musiktage de Donaueschingen
His works (symphonic music, concertos, electroacoustic works, chamber music and operas) were performed at various festivals .
Since 1971, he taught at the Beaux-Arts. He was also Vice President of the International Society for Contemporary Music, and also has important functions at Radio France.
- 1-2: Pierre Boulez: Piano Sonata No. 1 [9:42]
- 3: Olivier Messiaen: Regard de L’Esprit de Joie” [10:07]
- 4: Rene Koering: Piano Sonata [23:26]
There really is not much to add – other than Google Translate is pretty spotty – either that or the original French notes are written by a second grader. No matter, hopefully you get the gist of it.
This is a French-produced disc (Ades Records) of pretty poor quality – thus the low rating below.