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French Music [CD]

$17.65 (You save $5.88)
SKU: CCS11798
0.12 KGS

    Pierre Boulez, born in Montbrison (Loire) in 19.0025, also studied mathematics at the university. In Paris he was a pupil of Olivier Messiaen, and he studied twelve-tone music with Ren Leibowitz. He was closely involved with the theatre group Renaud-Barrault, was a leading force in the Domaine Musical, lectured in Darmstadt, Baden-Baden and Basle in the fifties and sixties, and at the same time created a furore as conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. In Paris he established the Ircam, an institute for research into and propagation of contemporary music, and furthermore, in the seventies, the Ensemble InterContemporain. Most notable among his compositions are the piano sonatas (also for two pianos) and the works for soloists with ensemble, as well as the classics Pli selon pli, Le Marteau sans matre and Domaines. Rpons for computer, soloist and orchestra dates from the eighties. Anthmes 2, for violin and electronics was recently given its premiere at the Ircam. Messagesquisse, composed in 19.0076, is one of the twelve works requested by Mstislav Rostropovich from famous composers on the occasion of the 70th birthday of the conductor and arts patron Paul Sacher. Rostropovich himself played the solo part at the works first performance in La Rochelle. 

    Christophe Looten, born in Bergues in 19.0058, is of Dutch descent; his forefathers settled in northern France in the 17th century. Among his counsellors were Messiaen and Dutilleux. A large proportion of his works is religious in character. Since the composition of his San Girolamo leggente for piano (based on Regina coeli), he has often used Gregorian motives either in a particular context or as an independent musical element. Among his most significant works are Book of Angels, a double concerto for violin, cello and orchestra dating from 19.0094, In lumine Lumen, a concertante symphony for violin and orchestra composed in 19.0095, his four string quartets and Trois pomes de Stphane Mallarm for soprano and ensemble, written in 19.0097. He is presently composing an opera about Puccini. Nocturnal, also composed in 19.0097, is dedicated to Elias Arizcuren and the Cello Octet Conjunto Ibrico. 

    Arthur Thomassin, born in Bucharest in 19.0058, began studying composition in Paris in 19.0075. He teaches musical analysis, gives lectures and has written an important dissertation on the work of the Italian composer Franco Donatoni. He has received various awards, including the Lavoisier and Leonardo da Vinci prizes. Thomassin has lived for two years in the Casa Velazquez in Madrid, where he has established the computer department for the Education Nationale. Apart from chamber music (including duos, a piano trio, a string quartet, a saxophone quartet and a string sextet), he also writes for solo instruments with ensemble. At the beginning of the nineteen nineties he was commissioned to compose electro-acoustic works and a concert luminographique for the eight-hundredth anniversary of the Chartres cathedral. Analecta III, composed in 19.0097, is dedicated to Elias Arizcuren and to the Cello Octet Conjunto Ibrico. 

    Antoine Tisn, born in Lourdes in 19.0032, was a pupil of Darius Milhaud and Andr Jolivet. He is a prolific composer and has written for every genre. The most important distinctions he has received have been the Prix de Rome, the Prix Koussevitsky in New York and the Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris. Groves Dictionary comments that ...his works are carefully constructed and that he has a powerful dramatic sense...and richly coloured ideas. His work embraces compositions for chamber ensembles (a piano trio, a string sextet, pieces for wind instruments etc.) as well as symphonic and lyrical music (to texts by Daumasle, Rilke and Niemann). Worthy of mention are Bocphal, Cosmogonie, Clbration, Arborescences and Chant des yeux. Edenics Events, composed in 19.0094, is dedicated to the Cello Octet Conjunto Ibrico and conductor Elias Arizcuren, who, together with the composer, radically altered an earlier version and added a speaking voice.

    Iannis Xenakis, born in 19.0022 of Greek parents in Brala on the banks of the Danube in Rumania, received a rigorous scientific training at the Technical University in Athens. During the Second World War he joined the resistance, received serious wounds to the face, and was sentenced to death in 19.0045. He managed to escape, eventually arriving in Paris, where Oliver Messiaen helped him. He subsequently met Le Corbusier, with whom he joined forces. After several difficult years he received international recognition with the success of orchestral works such as Metastasis, Pithoprakta, Duel, Stratgie and the impressive Terretektorh. Since the nineteen sixties he has used computers in order to simplify his calculations. A significant proportion of his work is for chamber combinations, for example Atres, ST/4, ST/10, Morsima-Amorsima, Nomos Alpha, Anaktoria and Persephassa. Also worthy of mention is his theatre music: Les Suppliantes dEchyle (19.0064), Orestea (19.0065), Medea (19.0067) and the ballet Kraanerg (19.0069). Significant works among his voluminous production in recent years are the string quartets Tetras (19.0083), Tetora (19.0090), the orchestral works Alax (19.0085), Ata (19.0087), Krinodi (19.0091), Ioolkos (19.0095) and Sea-Change (19.0097), as well as innumerable pieces for instrumental ensemble with soloist. Windungen (19.0076), a commission for the Beethoven Festival in Bonn, was originally written for twelve celli. The version for the Octet is by Elias Arizcuren, for which Xenakis gave his full permission. translation: Ian Gaukroger

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