Grisey was the initiator of spectral music (a name invented by others), UK premiere of Vortex Temporum at the Huddersfield Contemporary. Her is the full conductors score of Gerard Grisey’s Vortex Temporum I, II, III for Piano and Five Instruments. Instrumentation requires 6 players using Flute in C/. This dissertation provides aesthetic and historical perspectives of the French spectral music and offers an analysis of Gérard Grisey’s late work Vortex Temporum.
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In his teens Grisey considered becoming a composer as nothing less than a God-given vocation. As one of the composers credited with founding the “spectralist” vortsx to composition – a term that Grisey himself never accepted, but which provides a connecting grjsey between figures as dissimilar as Dillon, Lindberg and Unsuk Chin – he was an important theoretician in the s and 90s, though 20 years on, it is the power and directness of Grisey’s late works in particular that single him out as such a distinctive voice.
But where many of those imitators got caught up in the academic business of composing ever more complicated vogtex chords, often lacking is the dramatic sense Grisey possessed. One of those late pieces is included on this disc – Vortex Temporum, a minute, three-movement work for piano, strings and wind.
Vortex Temporum I, II, III (1994-1996)
Whether in the tangled first movement, which eventually discharges its energy in an explosive piano solo, the slowly unwinding chorale-like progression of the second, or the extended ever-ramifying third, the expressive power and rigour of the musical thought are unmistakable. 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.
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.
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Vortex Temporum I, II & III (Mixed Ensemble)
Few composers could claim to have initiated a whole style. Though a classic spectralist work and a fine demonstration of the acuteness of Grisey’s harmonic and textural imagination, it seems relatively earthbound in comparison with Vortex Temporum, where the music operates on a different plane altogether.
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A guide to Gérard Grisey’s music |
How, then, Grisey asked himself, to reintroduce dynamism into this post-tonal material? Grisey was raised in rural Belfort, near the West German and Swiss borders, as the only child of working-class parents.
Grisey found his solution — and the basis of spectral music — quite by accident. Posthumous London world premiere of Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil. 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.
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 vorte.
Vortex Temporum I, II, III, Gérard Grisey
First lecture at the Darmstadt Summer Courses, telling his temlorum about a new musical movement afoot in Paris. 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.
Another long-term project of Grisey’s later years was to write music grizey solo voice. 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.