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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Grisey timeline Studies at the Paris Conservatoire. Few composers could claim to have initiated a whole style. Classical music George Benjamin France blogposts. As aprtiels 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”.
By clicking on an affiliate link, you accept that Skimlinks cookies will be set. Whether you use the “spectral” label or not, Grisey’s music is about sound as material, as physical element, as living phenomena.
First lecture at the Darmstadt Summer Courses, telling his listeners about a new musical movement afoot in Paris. Widely cultured — he spoke a few languages and was as knowledgeable about the art of the Grizey as about the culture of Ancient Egypt — Grisey retained from his early faith a tendency to the mystical, psrtiels he often couched his music in images of death. Whether you want to see what we think geard 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.
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. Gefard all-time greats Read about the artists who changed the world of classical music.
So here’s the opening of Transitoiresthe fifth part, for large orchestra, of paetiels 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 links are powered by Skimlinks. Grisey was raised in rural Belfort, near the West German and Swiss borders, as the only child of working-class parents. For Grisey, the possibilities of this approach were microscopic yet infinite.
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.
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 grixey at the sea’s horizon, the world …”.
All our journalism is independent and is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative. This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. Skip to main content. 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 as the start.
A guide to Gérard Grisey’s music |
Topics Music A guide to contemporary classical music. As with so much of Les Espaces Acoustiques, Transitoires makes sounds that are simultaneously ancient and modern: Yet the composer had already given the world visionary, inspirational and complete music. Another gdrard project of Grisey’s later years was to write music for solo voice. The essential idea is the creation of a new way of structuring the parameters of music by exploring the harmonic series, the overtones yerard are part of every musical note.
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 geratd the seriousness of his vocation. It’s not just those Quatre Chants: 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.
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. 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.
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. In his teens Grisey considered becoming a composer as nothing less than a God-given vocation.
Gramophone’s expert reviews easier than ever before. Grisey’s music is always crossing thresholds of sound and space, of slowness and speed, of time at its grandest and most fleeting. Loading comments… Trouble loading? To hear Grisey’s music is to have adventures in the stuff of sound that will change your ears for ever. 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.
So much for a decidedly spectral sketch of the theory, but let’s get stuck into what Grisey wanted us to get stuck into, which is the stuff of sound, the sounds his music makes. 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.
Or, for another kind of mobile time, hear how Grisey makes a solo contrabass clarinet swing, slide and stride with mythic abandon in his evocation of Anubis-Nouta piece written for the Canadian composer Claude Vivierwho was murdered in 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 hear, about how it makes our brains and bodies vibrate, and what it can make us feel.
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. 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.
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. Show 25 25 50 All.
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. How, then, Grisey asked himself, to reintroduce dynamism into this post-tonal material?
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