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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As with so much of Les Espaces Acoustiques, Transitoires makes sounds that are simultaneously ancient geratd modern: Gramophone’s expert reviews easier than ever before. 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.
Partiels – Wikipedia
Listen to the incantatory power of the love-obsessed voices and electronics of Les Chants de l’Amour for real sonic proof aprtiels what I’m on about. 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.
Another long-term project gfisey Grisey’s later years was to write music for solo voice. How, then, Grisey asked himself, to reintroduce dynamism into this post-tonal material? But in retrospect, the “threshold” that the Four Songs crossed wasn’t grsey 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. But it’s part of the paradox partjels 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.
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. Posthumous London world premiere of Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil.
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. 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, a low gong, a mysterious middle-distance drone — that are sustained, seemingly into the infinite.
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. The all-time greats Read about the artists who changed the world of classical music. 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.
A guide to Gérard Grisey’s music
The essential idea is the creation of a new way of structuring the parameters of music by exploring the harmonic series, the overtones that are part of every musical note. Grisey timeline Studies at the Paris Conservatoire. This latter quality is key: If you analyse the complexity of partieks harmonic series of a single note played herard a particular instrument — say a low E on a trombone — you find a teeming world of musical possibility.
Grisey’s mastery of a gigantic spectrum of sound, texture and feeling makes his music some of the most special of the late 20th century. The links are powered by Skimlinks. For Grisey, the possibilities of this approach were microscopic yet infinite. Whether you use the “spectral” label or not, Grisey’s music is about sound as material, as physical element, as living phenomena. 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 grisfy.
Though he is by turns cast as the latest composer in the French coloristic tradition, or as the 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.
But more than anything, you’re left with a sense of benign acceptance. 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. 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.
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The harmonic implications of the overtone series also allowed Grisey to create a hierarchy padtiels his micro-tonally enriched musical world, which gives his music a monumental dynamism.
As he said, “we are musicians and our partielss is sound not literature, sound not mathematics, sound not theatre, visual arts, quantum physics, geology, astrology or acupuncture”.
He doesn’t say “sound not metaphor”, incidentally, because his music is not some abstract sonic science lesson, but about grrard sound affects our ears, about how we hear, about how it makes our brains and bodies vibrate, and what it can make us feel. So much for a decidedly spectral sketch of the theory, but let’s get stuck into what Grisey wanted us to get stuck partiiels, which is the stuff of sound, the sounds his music makes.
It’s not just those Pxrtiels Chants: Grisey’s music is always crossing thresholds of sound and space, of slowness and speed, of time at its grandest and most fleeting.
To hear Grisey’s music is to have adventures in the stuff of sound that will change your ears for ever. Topics Music A guide to contemporary classical music. Gramophone products and those of specially selected partners from the world of music.
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. Loading comments… Trouble loading?
This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. Threads collapsed gisey unthreaded. Widely cultured — he spoke a few languages and was as knowledgeable about the art of the Quattrocento as about the culture of Ancient Egypt — Grisey retained from his early faith a tendency to the mystical, and he often couched his music in images of death. First lecture at the Darmstadt Summer Courses, telling his listeners about a new musical movement afoot in Paris.
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That’s true above all grsiey 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 …”. By atomising sounds in this way, he could structure large pieces of music and spans of time, such as Partielsthat were based on an intense process of listening to an individual sound, exploding the smallest of sonic phenomena, a single note, on to the largest possible scale.
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 geard exploration of existence. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Show 25 25 50 All. Classical music George Benjamin France blogposts. In his teens Grisey considered becoming a composer as nothing less than a God-given vocation.