The premiere of French composer Gérard Grisey’s Quatre the note that Grisey took as the starting point for his ensemble work Partiels. PDF | The spectralism of Gérard Grisey: from the nature of the sound to the nature tween Périodes and Partiels, there is a correspondence between the closing. Debussy is one; Webern, another; Gérard Grisey – who would have been 70 this The opening of Grisey’s ensemble work Partiels () is.
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In his teens Grisey considered becoming a composer as nothing less than a God-given vocation. Though he is by turns cast as the latest composer in the French coloristic tradition, or as paetiels heir to Boulez in radically rethinking musical composition from the foundations up, perhaps what is most notable about Grisey is the humanness of his art and the seriousness of his vocation.
Grisey found his solution — and partie,s basis of spectral music — quite by accident. Grisey himself spoke of the difference between the sort of super-slow time experienced by whales as opposed to the frenetic time-scale of insects.
The principles of spectralism are easy to describe, and like all good musical cliches, there’s more than a grain of truth in the term. He doesn’t say “sound not metaphor”, incidentally, because his music is not some abstract sonic science lesson, but about how sound affects our ears, about how we grard, about how it makes our brains and bodies vibrate, and what it can make us feel.
A guide to Gérard Grisey’s music | Music | The Guardian
Posthumous London world premiere of Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil. That’s true above all in the ethereal intertwining of the flute melody and the soprano voice in the final Berceuse movement, music which realises the post-cataclysmic serenity of a passage from the Epic of Gilgamesh, with its open-ended final words, “I looked at the sea’s horizon, the world …”.
Skip to main content. But where many of those imitators got caught up in the academic business of composing ever more complicated spectral chords, often lacking is the dramatic sense Grisey possessed. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. As he said, “we are musicians and our model is sound not literature, sound not mathematics, sound not theatre, visual arts, quantum physics, geology, astrology or acupuncture”.
His achievement has often been reduced to yet another of new music’s fetishistic labels, “spectralism” — a category that Grisey had rejected by the end of his life. Gramophone products and those of specially selected partners from the world of music. By clicking on an affiliate link, you accept that Skimlinks cookies will be set. This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. But it’s part of the paradox of Grisey’s music that just as he can slow down time so that you feel you’re inside, say, a stretched-out gong stroke for 20 minutes, he can also speed it up with surreal velocity.
Whether you want to see what we think of today’s latest releases or discover what our critics thought of your favourite recordings from the past, you will find it all in our full-searchable Reviews Database. There are apocalyptic visions listen to the start of the fourth songThe Death of Humanity, to hear the world implode in a black hole of percussion writingreflective resignation and spectral stasis in these songs. How, then, Grisey asked himself, to reintroduce dynamism into this post-tonal material?
The performance, by the London Sinfonietta, conducted by Grisey’s friend George Benjamin, was never supposed to be a memorial for Grisey, but his sudden death at the age of 52 the previous November meant that these death-haunted songs would be his last completed work, music that imaginatively explores the existential inter-zone between life and death.
Few composers could claim to have initiated a whole style. Topics Music A guide to contemporary classical music. The all-time greats Read about the artists who changed the world of classical music. That E, by the way, is exactly the note that Grisey took as the starting point for his ensemble work Partielsthe third piece of his epic, six-part cycle Les Espaces Acoustiques.
If you analyse the complexity of the harmonic series of a single note played on a particular instrument — say a low E on a trombone — you find a teeming world of musical possibility. The links are powered by Skimlinks. Grisey timeline Studies at the Paris Conservatoire. So here’s the opening of Transitoiresthe fifth part, for large orchestra, of the ever-increasing musical forces required for Les Espaces Acoustiques the cycle starts with a solo viola and ends with a huge orchestra and four solo horns in the final part, Epilogue.
Partiels – Wikipedia
For Grisey, every single sound was a living, breathing entity; it was only logical that he should want to explore what happens at the end of the sonic life-cycle as well oartiels the start. Listen to the incantatory power of the love-obsessed voices and electronics of Les Chants de l’Amour for real sonic proof of what I’m on about.
Order by newest oldest recommendations. Gramophone’s expert reviews easier than ever before. The harmonic implications of the overtone series gearrd allowed Grisey to create a hierarchy within his micro-tonally grizey musical world, which gives his music a monumental dynamism. This religious element aside, it is striking, when we read his student journal entries preserved at the Paul Sacher Foundation, where I studied themhow presciently he saw the musical style he would go on to create.
A glittering, shimmering, light-filled chord begins Transitoires ; the music then seems to stop time with its pregnant pauses, and with echoes of sounds — a guttural double-bass growl, grrisey low gong, a mysterious middle-distance drone — that are sustained, seemingly into the infinite.
As with so much of Les Espaces Acoustiques, Transitoires makes sounds that are simultaneously ancient and modern: After studies at the Hohner Academy in Trossingen, he entered the Paris Conservatoire, where he won all the main prizes, followed by a period at the Villa Medici and further studies in acoustics. Yet the composer partieps already given the world visionary, inspirational and complete music. All our journalism is independent and is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative.
Terrible coincidence as it was, the sense of expressive catharsis in that performance of Quatre Chants was only partly to do with Grisey’s own death; much more, it was down to the astonishing musical space that this piece conjured in its unflinching exploration of existence. Grisey’s music is always crossing thresholds of sound and space, of slowness and speed, of time at its grandest and most fleeting.
That music is a bridge to the Epilogue of the whole cycle, with its whooping chords for four solo horns, the sounds of a universe of sound rejoicing in itself. An accordion virtuoso in his teens ranked as one of the best accordionists in the worldhe also excelled at school, and his Marianist education left him with a devout Catholic faith up till his early 20s.
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But in gerars, the “threshold” that the Four Songs crossed wasn’t only the event horizon that separates existence from non-existence, it was the door to a new kind of music that Grisey tragically would not have time to explore. Another long-term project of Grisey’s later years was to write music for solo voice.
For Grisey, the possibilities of this approach were microscopic yet infinite. This latter quality is key: Grisey was the initiator of spectral music a name invented by otherswhich, emerging in Paris in the s, reinserted harmony to post-tonal composition on a new footing. Classical music George Benjamin France blogposts. But more than anything, you’re left with a sense of benign acceptance.