Music since Grisey: Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil. Forty years of modern composition and what this music means to me. Index here. The premiere of French composer Gérard Grisey’s Quatre Chants pour Franchir le Seuil – Four Songs for Crossing the Threshold – was. Documents Similar To Grisey – Quatre chants pour franchir le Rihm – Jagden and Formen. Uploaded by. alex_ Matthias Pintscher – Sonic Eclipse I .

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Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. He doesn’t say “sound not cgants, incidentally, because his music is not some abstract sonic science lesson, but about how sound affects our ears, about how we hear, about grisdy it makes our brains and bodies vibrate, and what it can make us feel.

The first song, The Death of the Angel, is hardly less extraordinary. 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. Aside from the singer, the noise level never rises above the barely audible. Charlie Quidnunc points out that a recording is available at that obscure emporium, Amazon. The precise gymnastics of this, to create an effect that was barely audible, was hugely impressive, and from that point I was convinced of the importance of the visual and the physical aspects to so much successful music.

Anyway, all the text in that part is from the Epic of Gilgamesh, eleventh tablet. 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”.

That’s true above all in the ethereal intertwining of the flute melody and the soprano griswy 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 …”.

Blogging the music that others won’t tell you about. This piece has a direct sentiment at the heart of it.


All mankind had been Auatre to clay; And the flat liquid Resembled a terrace. For Grisey, the possibilities of this approach were microscopic yet infinite.

But more than anything, you’re left with a sense of benign acceptance. 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 grisdy last completed work, music that imaginatively explores the existential inter-zone between life and death.

Most of the piece griesy extremely quiet, and at several points the percussionist in charge of this giant metallophone has to play rapid, pianissimo, arpeggios across the full range of the gongs spread in front of him. Would you happen to have the full Lyrics of the Lullaby.

A Gérard Grisey Playlist

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. The two were close, like Proust and his grandmother, and he would attempt to notate the sounds of her songs on his accordion. He studied composition in Salzburg and Basel, then worked in the travel industry for two years.

It shows care and thoughtfulness, and an inventiveness worthy of the chqnts of Schubert. His approach and his music remain the single most visionary and important body of work from the late 20th century.

He lives with his husband in Berlin. These are set to an almost post-minimal series of three-note patterns — very slow — played with microtonal colourings throughout the ensemble.

A guide to Gérard Grisey’s music

With the sound level so low, and each performer in the small ensemble very exposed, the tension of changing, from say, one sax to the next to the next every few bars is palpable. As for everything else, it stood up well against the enhancing effects of memory, and just confirmed for me that this really is one of the most important concert works of the last decade.

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.

This site uses cookies. In pieces of Boulez, Stockhausen, and other post-war titans, I would find myself playing a game of trying to quater along with the incredibly complex scores as a way to pass the time. There is a physicality and an grise power in his music that remains completely overwhelming. Two composers familiar with his music, Joshua Fineberg and Arash Yazdani, contributed selections as well. They give the line something discursive and archaic, like a shaman telling a story by a fire.


The work crystallised for me a number of ideas about music that are important in how I see and hear things 6 years later. Qquatre coincidence as it was, the sense of expressive catharsis in that performance of Quatre Chants was only partly to do qustre Grisey’s own death; much more, it quatde down to the astonishing musical space that this piece trisey in its unflinching exploration of existence.

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I believe that right up until the end of his life this conviction had not changed. Nor is it a mathematical proof of a concept that can be heard. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: These musics are patterned tapestries, rich to the ear both from afar and up close.

Whether you use the “spectral” label or not, Grisey’s music is about sound as material, as physical element, as living phenomena. Thanks for your support! 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 principles of spectralism are easy to describe, and like all good musical cliches, there’s more than a grain of truth in the term.

We had weekly courses devoted to contemporary repertoire, and they often left me cold. 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.

To hear Grisey’s music is to have adventures in the stuff of sound that qutare change your ears for ever. Were the sounds coming from the concert hall?