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Boulez, Pierre / Complete Music For Solo Piano (Marc Ponthus, Piano)
Album:Complete Music For Solo Piano (Marc Ponthus, Piano) Collection:Classical
Artist:Boulez, Pierre Added:09/2016
Label:Bridge Records 

A-File Activity
Add Date:2016-09-05 Pull Date:2016-11-07 Charts:Classical/Experimental
Week Ending:2 Oct25 Sep18 Sep11 Sep
Airplays:1111

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Album Review
Larry Koran
Reviewed 2016-09-05 
One searches in vain for any pleasing melody, rich harmonic exploration, or music that can grab the heart. Instead, Boulez experiments with sounds a piano can make if composition is guided by abstractions like “twelve movements of twelve bars each,” sound “textures,” or “shards of intervals, contours, and motifs.” The “music” is for those who like the atonal, revel in drips of sound, or find pleasure in tumbling sound fragments. This reviewer clearly does not. Mental images these sound experiments evoked in one listener are shown below, an uncertain guide to those that broadcast listeners may experience.

1. Disc A. Deuxième Sonate (1947-48). I. Extrêmement rapide – Encore plus vif (5:22). Effervescent dissonant notes and chords pop up all over the keyboard, bubbles in piquant champagne.
2. II. Lent – Un peu plus vif (11:20). A quiet, somewhat earthy, mildly fruity Merlot.
3. III. Modéré, Presque vif – Mouvement dédoublé - Modéré, presque vif (2:13). A dry Chenin Blanc, with hints of fruit.
4. IV. Vif – Très modéré...(progressively until) Extrèmement vif – Lent (10:01). More dry Chenin Blanc, dissonant and jumpy.
5. Douze Notations (1945). I. Fantasque – Modéré (0:54). A still, mildly clouded pool of water.
6. II. Très vif (0:22). Violent jumps up and down the keyboard.
7. III. Assez lent (0:55). As if thoughtful, but difficult to understand.
8. IV. Rythmique (0:33). A clown seeks attention.
9. V. Doux et improvisé (0:33). Ripples in a pool, as water droplets hit.
10. VI. Rapide (0:25). Ants rapidly on the move.
11. VII. Hiératique (1:17). A ruined temple of Ancient Egypt.
12. VIII. Modéré jusqu’à très vif (0:52). A distant call to battle grows nearer.
13. IX. Lointain – Calme (1:33). A dark, still pond, where perhaps a large goldfish lurks in the depths.
14. X. Mécanique et très sec (0:35). A machine gone awry.
15. XI. Scintillant (0:45). Distant fire-flies.
16. XII. Lent – puissant et âpre (1:05). A defeated knight complains.

17. Disc B. Incises (version 2001). Libre. Lent – Prestissimo -Très lent - Vif (10:02). A visit to a gallery of post-modernist art, where squiggles and splashes of color claim to be meaningful.
18. Première Sonate (1946). I. Lent - Beaucoup plus allant - Lent (3:58). High and low, here I go.
19. II. Assez large - Rapide - Modéré sans lenteur - Plus vif (5:07). More high and low hitting the piano keys, with the occasional percussive run from low to middle to high.
20. Une page d’éphéméride (2005). Libre – Lent - Assez rapide – Lent – Rapide. Debussy-like Impressionism, without melody.
21. Troisième Sonate (1955-57). I. Formant 3: Constellation Miroir (11:12). More brief pokes at various notes, high and low, with portentous pauses to suggest meaning.
22. II. Formant 2: Trope (7:26). Stalactites and stalagmites in a dim cave, very cold.

Track Listing
1.Disc A. Deuxième Sonate (1947-48). I. Extrêmement Rapide – Encore Plus Vif (5:22 12.Viii. Modéré Jusqu’À Très Vif (0:52)
2.Ii. Lent – Un Peu Plus Vif (11:20) 13.Ix. Lointain – Calme (1:33)
3.Iii. Modéré, Presque Vif – Mouvement Dédoublé - Modéré, Presque Vif (2:13) 14.X. Mécanique Et Très Sec (0:35)
4.Iv. Vif – Très Modéré...(Progressively Until) Extrèmement Vif – Lent (10:01) 15.Xi. Scintillant (0:45)
5.Douze Notations (1945). I. Fantasque – Modéré (0:54) 16.Xii. Lent – Puissant Et Âpre (1:05)
6.Ii. Très Vif (0:22) 17.Disc B. Incises (Version 2001). Libre. Lent – Prestissimo -Très Lent - Vif (10
7.Iii. Assez Lent (0:55) 18.Première Sonate (1946). I. Lent - Beaucoup Plus Allant - Lent (3:58)
8.Iv. Rythmique (0:33) 19.Ii. Assez Large - Rapide - Modéré Sans Lenteur - Plus Vif (5:07)
9.V. Doux Et Improvisé (0:33) 20.Une Page D’Éphéméride (2005). Libre – Lent - Assez Rapide – Lent - Rapide
10.Vi. Rapide (0:25) 21.Troisième Sonate (1955-57). I. Formant 3: Constellation Miroir (11:12)
11.Vii. Hiératique (1:17) 22.Ii. Formant 2: Trope (7:26)