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pianist, composer, conductor and musicologist

Season 2. July 2011 - June 2012. Number: 7, January 2012
Happy New Year 2012!!
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Pierre Boulez (1925)
Most people regard him as a dry and over-intellectualized composer, even for some he is not a composer at all... To me he is one of the greatest figures of the past century and certainly one who have had the largest influence on music composing today, after Schoenberg and Webern. Read some search results on the topic...
Being a great mind and a  very good composer and being called "too intellectual" as if it was better to be stupid and ignorant...
Start a discussion on that topic in my Facebook page... Click here to connect with me on my personal Facebook space, or here to visit my Fan page...
"Not enough inspiration", "too much brain"... we live in a strange epoch where what makes a great composer and artist is pushed down and what makes a "happy amateur" is valued higher...
Start a discussion on that topic in my Facebook page... Click here to connect with me on my personal Facebook space, or here to visit my Fan page...
Boulez25oct2004.jpgimage from Wikimedia
In a time where the intellectual laziness of composers, favoring "minimalism" and "structuralism", because these do not need to be crafted with a logical and structural approach, Boulez shows us what makes for a great musical composition
What makes a musical composition stand "alive", for centuries and probably forever? There were many answers to that question, none fully satisfying. What makes us delight in a Fugue by J.S.Bach three centuries later? I do not think there can be any definitive answer. But one can attempt for some and the research can be interesting. I believe that first of all, like a specie to remain alive, a musical composition must have a strong inner structure. This is probably not the only true answer, if any, but at least one explanation. This strong inner structure is what makes an organism survive and it may well apply for a work of art.

Click here to connect with me for discussing that on my personal Facebook space, or here to visit my Fan page...

BoulezPollini2009.jpgimage from Wikimedia
Two artists, Maurizio Pollini and Pierre Boulez, one ideal: Music is not mere entertainment
There was a tendency to view music (art-music) as an entertainment and this is even applied to contemporary music creation as well. It is pretty straightforward to think "people must enjoy it". Do people enjoy Quantum Physics or Paleontology? There are some of course and fortunately who enjoy reading about that. Today's composer must evaluate his position and express it clearly. If one wants to entertain people, that's fine we all need it. If one wants to "educate" people that's also valid and there is need for it. But if one wants to compose and build on top of its predecessors, that should be the position of a composer who defines himself as nothing else but "composer", then pleasing crowds  should be of no interest for him (unfortunately)...

Click here to connect with me for discussing this on my personal Facebook space, or here to visit my Fan page...

What I learned from him...

The "finesse" and the utmost importance of "musical ecriture". How an idea is not actually one if it is not expressed by writing (as music) on music paper. How an idea becomes a structure and then can be split into smaller structures and also integrated in a larger one. How the whole affects the details and how the smaller structures reflects on the larger ones.
Click here to connect with me for discussing that on my personal Facebook space, or here to visit my Fan page...

Some interesting search results:

Pierre Boulez: A Resource Guide

Pierre Boulez is one of the most important musical and intellectual figures of the twentieth century. As a composer, he wrote a new chapter in the history of music in the fifties, particularly with Le Marteau sans Maître (1953-55), a synthesis of many different streams in modern and world music (including Balinese, African, and Japanese).

Pierre Boulez is also an articulate, perceptive and sweeping writer on music. Others dealt with questions of technique and aesthetics in a deeply reflectif sometimes elliptical manner. These writings have mostly been republished under the titles  Stocktakings from an Apprenticeship ,  Orientations: Collected Writings , and  Boulez on Music Today , as well as in the journal of the Darmstadt composers of the time,  Die Reihe . A third edition of the French texts, with previously uncollected material, has appeared under the title  Points de repère I, II, and III .
Pierre Boulez is also a conductor, known the world over having directed most of the world's leading symphony orchestras and ensembles since the late fifties. He served concurrently as musical advisor of the Cleveland Orchestra from 1970 to 1972, chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra from 1971 to 1975, and music director of the New York Philharmonic from 1971 to 1977. He is currently the Conductor Emeritus of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, after having been its Principal Guest Conductor. The orchestras which he has conducted in recent years include the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the London Symphony Orchestra (2004 tour), the Orchestre de Paris, the Ensemble InterContemporain, the  Mahler Chamber Orchestra . In 2005 he began a collaboration with the  Staatskapelle Berlin .

Pierre Boulez: "...explosante-fixe..." - Piece Detail | LA Phil

Pierre Boulez is a ceaseless questioner. His refusal to stop and settle down with a given solution complements a restless perfectionism. This creative doubt might also seem, on the surface, to contradict the supreme confidence Boulez brings to his roles as both composer and conductor. Yet such dichotomies are integral to Boulez’s musical thinking, generating the tension that has made him such a powerful leading force of the postwar avant-garde.

Articles about Pierre Boulez - Los Angeles Times

Much as conductor-composer Pierre Boulez is a towering figure in music and a celebrity in his own domain, he is one with seemingly little interest in the star-making machinery that exists in classical music. At the Japan America Theater last week, in one of his four concert programs during a recent monthlong stay with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the audience offered a wildly enthusiastic ovation upon Boulez's arrival. The stoic Frenchman was taken aback.

South Florida Classical Review

Because of its difficulty and the frequently adverse reaction of audiences, the music of Pierre Boulez is not a frequent visitor to the general concert platform (especially in Florida). Sunday's program by musicians of the New World Symphony brought a belated visit of the music by this noted conductor, and showed us just what we have been missing.

Pierre Boulez: A Resource Guide

As a conductor, he gave contemporary music its rightful status and renovated many masterpieces of symphony and opera (Wagner, Bruckner, Mahler, Debussy, Stravinsky, Bartók and others). He made his début at the renowned Bayreuth Festival with Parsifal in 1966, returning to conduct Wagner's final work again in 1967, 1968, and 1970. His recordings have earned him a total of 26 Grammys and vast numbers of other prestigious awards.

cd cover
CD: My Two Pieces for acapella mixed choir
My Two Seascapes for acapella chorus in a CD featuring some Turkish composers, published by the TRT. The CD is not available outside Turkey.  My own tracks can be auditioned here...
image from Wikimedia
I recently published a paper on the Klavierstuck N.9 by Karlheinz Stockhausen you can read it (pdf -1.9MB) here...
image from Wikimedia
I recently updated okonsar.com my official site, please connect, read, listen and share if you like.

F. Liszt Dante Sonata  ~ J.S.Bach Partita n.6 BWV830 (harpsichord)

Mehmet Okonsar is a pianist-composer-conductor and musicologist. Besides his international concert carrier he is a prolific writer.  He is the founder of the first classical music-musicology dedicated blog site: "inventor-musicae" as well as the first classical-music video portal : http://www.classicalvideos.net. Mehmet Okonsar's official site: http://www.okonsar.com
Inspiration By Tzvi Freeman
A man without a woman is not an Adam. For it is written (Genesis 5:2), "Male and female He created them... and He called their name Adam." --Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrkanus (quoted in the Talmud, Yevamot 63a)
What is an "Adam"?
An Adam is the free radical of G-d's creation. An unpredictable organism. [read more...]
A diva who specializes in risque arias is an off-coloratura soprano.

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