(too old to reply)
Which of Boulez's CBS recordings haven't made it to CD?
d***@aol.com
2008-09-18 03:23:32 UTC
There are at least a few Boulez recordings from the CBS era that have
never seen the light of day, including these:

Mahler: Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen (with Barry McDaniel)
Debussy: Symphonic fragments from Le martyre de Saint Sébastien (with
the NYP)

I keep hoping the Martyre fragments will be included the next time
Boulez’s CBS Debussy recordings are released as a set, but the
remaining recordings will fit comfortably on two discs, and it has yet
to happen. The CSO has reissued a live performance of the Fragments
with Boulez and the CSO, and Col legno has released a complete (!)
live recording of Le martyre de Saint Sébastien with the chorus and
orchestra of the Bavarian Radio Symphony recorded October 28, 1960.

A projected Volume II of the complete works of Webern including
Boulez’s recordings of various works without opus numbers and
recordings of numerous early songs with Heather Harper and Charles
Rosen has never been issued on LP or CD. Sony actually planned on
reissuing this stuff together with the material that had already
appeared on LP, but it turned out that some of the tapes had been lost
while others had become degraded beyond the point where they could be
used. (Boulez and CBS had already reached an impasse in 1979 when CBS
declined to plan a recording of Berg’s Lulu around the Paris première
of the complete opera: needless to say, DG stepped in, and the
resulting recording has never been out of print since.)

I think the NYP recording of Stravinsky’s Chant du rossignol was only
released for the first time when the NYP Firebird was first reissued
on CD by CBS. Oddly enough, the NYP Firebird and Chant du rossignol
were not reissued on CD a second time within Sony’s Boulez edition.
Boulez’s NYP recording of Scriabin’s Poem of Ecstasy was released for
the first time in Sony’s Boulez edition coupled with works of Bartók.

When Sony planned its Boulez edition, Boulez asked Sony to suppress
exactly two recordings: the LSO Symphonie fantastique and the New
Philharmonia recording of Beethoven’s Fifth. Understandably enough,
Sony nevertheless reissued the Fantastique together with Boulez’s
other CBS Berlioz recordings, a compilation that would have looked
pretty odd otherwise, especially since it included Boulez’s recording
of Lélio, Berlioz’s grab bag pendant to the Fantastique. I like the
performance and especially the performance of the Scène aux champs a
lot more than Boulez does (and much more than the deadly dull
Cleveland Orchestra performance on DG).

Sony did reissue the New Philharmonia Beethoven disc, which included a
remarkable performance of Calm Sea & Prosperous Voyage as well as the
5th, in Japan. The Calm Sea was also included in a Sony anthology of
music by Beethoven for voices and/or chorus and orchestra that
included Beethoven’s 9th (Ormandy), the Cantata on the Death of
Emperor Joseph II (Schippers), and the Choral Fantasy (Serkin/
Bernstein).

To my knowledge, these are the only recordings Boulez made for CBS
that were released on LP but never reissued on CD and not included in
Sony’s Boulez Edition:

Beethoven: Symphony no. 5 (New Philharmonia)
Berg: Seven Early Songs (Heather Harper, BBC SO)
Berg: Altenberglieder (Halina Lukomska, BBC SO)
Boulez: Le marteau sans maître (Yvonne Minton, Ensemble Musique
Vivante)

A later live recording of Marteau was already in the CD catalogue Sony
inherited from CBS: presumably that’s why the Musique vivante
recording was not reissued. I wish they’d have found a place for
Charles Rosen’s recordings of Boulez’s 1st & 3rd piano sonatas in the
Sony Boulez Edition: Boulez invited Rosen to record the sonatas and
was at the recording sessions, and there was plenty of room for the
sonatas on the rather short Boulez Edition disc that included Boulez's
Éclat/Multiples and Rituel. Too bad the four LP’s worth of Boulez
that Columbia released on LP weren’t gathered up into a single 3-CD
box (Pli selon pli; Livre pour cordes; Le marteau sans maître; Éclat/
Multiples; Rituel; Piano Sonatas 1 & 3). All of these recordings
except the sonatas were reissued as a set by Japanese CBS/Sony in the
80’s, and the Marteau is the only recording with Boulez conducting
that didn't make it into Sony's Boulez edition.

Am I missing anything?

-david gable
Matthew B. Tepper
2008-09-18 03:52:19 UTC
"***@aol.com" <***@aol.com> appears to have caused the
following letters to be typed in news:53025b56-4e83-4b8a-9cff-
A projected Volume II of the complete works of Webern including Boulez’s
recordings of various works without opus numbers and recordings of numerous
early songs with Heather Harper and Charles Rosen has never been issued on
LP or CD. Sony actually planned on reissuing this stuff together with the
material that had already appeared on LP, but it turned out that some of
the tapes had been lost while others had become degraded beyond the point
where they could be used.
I heard about the tapes having been lost long before Sony took over. They
are supposed to have included some of Webern's juvenile cello works played by
Piatigorsky, rumor had it. Stupid idiots at Columbia.
(Boulez and CBS had already reached an impasse in 1979 when CBS declined to
plan a recording of Berg’s Lulu around the Paris première of the complete
opera: needless to say, DG stepped in, and the resulting recording has
never been out of print since.)
At the risk of repeating myself, stupid idiots at Columbia! Wasn't this when
that moron Joe Dash was in charge?
When Sony planned its Boulez edition, Boulez asked Sony to suppress exactly
two recordings: the LSO Symphonie fantastique and the New Philharmonia
recording of Beethoven’s Fifth.
There is discussion in another thread about ostensibly "perverse" recordings
of a Beethoven symphony. This one takes the cake.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of my employers
largo_57
2008-09-18 04:12:27 UTC
Post by d***@aol.com
There are at least a few Boulez recordings from the CBS era that have
Am I missing anything?
-david gable
Was the Mahler Symphony No. 10 Adagio with the LSO ever reissued on
CD? It was originally the fourth side of Das klagende Lied. As I
remember, it was marred by a couple of bad tape edits (besides being
what I regarded as a rather perfunctory performance).

- Bryan
d***@aol.com
2008-09-18 05:51:52 UTC
Post by largo_57
Was the Mahler Symphony No. 10 Adagio with the LSO ever reissued on
CD? It was originally the fourth side of Das klagende Lied.
I should have mentioned this. I don't think it was ever reissued on
compact disc in the States, but it's made it to CD within a couple of
different compilations in France. I have it in this odd incarnation:

“Mahler: L’essentiel,” volume 3
Das Klagende Lied, Waldmärchen (LSO, Boulez)
Rückert Lieder (Baker, LSO, Tilson Thomas)
Symphony no. 10, Adagio (LSO, Boulez)
[French] Sony SMK53083
Post by largo_57
As I
remember, it was marred by a couple of bad tape edits (besides being
what I regarded as a rather perfunctory performance).
I've heard worse. It’s certainly not in a league with the stupendous
performance of Das Klagende Lied that it was originally issued with.

-david gable
Steve de Mena
2008-09-18 06:33:46 UTC
Post by d***@aol.com
Am I missing anything?
-david gable
Was there another short Handel work, besides the Overture to Berenice
(which appeared on the expanded "Water Music"), that didn't make it to CD?

Steve
d***@aol.com
2008-09-18 07:05:30 UTC
Post by Steve de Mena
Was there another short Handel work, besides the Overture to Berenice
(which appeared on the expanded "Water Music"), that didn't make it to CD?
Steve
The complete Water Music originally occupied a single LP. But there
was a Fireworks with the overture to Berenice. I can't specifically
recall if anything else was on the LP. But has the Fireworks made it
to CD?

-david gable
Steve de Mena
2008-09-18 07:12:10 UTC
Post by d***@aol.com
Post by Steve de Mena
Was there another short Handel work, besides the Overture to Berenice
(which appeared on the expanded "Water Music"), that didn't make it to CD?
Steve
The complete Water Music originally occupied a single LP. But there
was a Fireworks with the overture to Berenice. I can't specifically
recall if anything else was on the LP. But has the Fireworks made it
to CD?
-david gable
Yes it has. It was on a CD that had *excerpts* from the Water Music
LP. I was so happy when Sony later released the complete Water Music
on a (terrific sounding) SACD (non hybrid) with the Fireworks, and
then as a CD (adding the Berenice).

Steve
d***@aol.com
2008-09-18 08:10:59 UTC
Yes [the Boulez recording of Handel’s Fireworks] has [made it to CD].
It was on a CD that had *excerpts* from the Water Music
LP.
Oh, that’s right. On a CBS “Great Performances” disc. Turns out the
original LP release of the Fireworks included a third piece in
addition to the Berenice Overture and Fireworks: the Concerto a due
cori [or wind groups] No.3. I don’t think that’s made it to CD yet.

-david gable
Steve de Mena
2008-09-18 08:20:23 UTC
Post by d***@aol.com
Oh, that’s right. On a CBS “Great Performances” disc. Turns out the
original LP release of the Fireworks included a third piece in
addition to the Berenice Overture and Fireworks: the Concerto a due
cori [or wind groups] No.3. I don’t think that’s made it to CD yet.
-david gable
I checked and the Concerto a due cori is on a 2CD Sony "Essentials"
collection of Handel's music. (This has 3 Berenice excerpts on it).

http://tinyurl.com/42rqj3

Overall I would say Sony has been pretty good in their Boulez CD
reissues up until now. I'm not so sure we'll see many "new-to-CD"
issues from here on. Probably we'll get an "Original Jackets" box of
Boulez performances that have been reissued 2-3 times already.

Steve
d***@aol.com
2008-09-18 17:07:08 UTC
I checked and the Concerto a due cori is on a  2CD Sony "Essentials"
collection of Handel's music. (This has 3 Berenice excerpts on it).
http://tinyurl.com/42rqj3
Thanks!
Overall I would say Sony has been pretty good in their Boulez CD
reissues up until now.
Agreed.
Probably we'll get an "Original Jackets" box of
Boulez performances that have been reissued 2-3 times already.
French Sony has already reissued various Boulez recordings again and
again. For example:

Schoenberg:

http://tinyurl.com/49xm95

Stravinsky:

http://tinyurl.com/5ytr2h

Ravel:

http://tinyurl.com/4hbbt9

Boulez:

http://tinyurl.com/4nmkhr

-david gable
Gerard
2008-09-18 17:18:57 UTC
Post by d***@aol.com
I checked and the Concerto a due cori is on a 2CD Sony "Essentials"
collection of Handel's music. (This has 3 Berenice excerpts on it).
http://tinyurl.com/42rqj3
Thanks!
Overall I would say Sony has been pretty good in their Boulez CD
reissues up until now.
Agreed.
Probably we'll get an "Original Jackets" box of
Boulez performances that have been reissued 2-3 times already.
French Sony has already reissued various Boulez recordings again and
http://tinyurl.com/49xm95
http://tinyurl.com/5ytr2h
http://tinyurl.com/4hbbt9
http://tinyurl.com/4nmkhr
Some of these are just slipcases around 2 (of the original) CD's.
Obala
2008-09-19 14:19:36 UTC
Has Boulez ever talked about why he never recorded Turangalîla or Des
Canyon aux Étoiles?
makropulos
2008-09-19 15:29:05 UTC
Post by Obala
Has Boulez ever talked about why he never recorded Turangalîla or Des
Canyon aux Étoiles?
Yes and no. David Gable will know far more than I do, but I think
Boulez has only ever performed three movements from Turangalîla (at a
BBC Prom in the early 1970s - I was there), and he's made no secret of
the fact that he doesn't like the work.

He gave the UK première of Des Canyons (a fine performance) and I'm
sorry he hasn't recorded it - but I don't know whether he's ever done
it since then, so perhaps it's another work he doesn't feel happy
with.

In both cases these are works I love - and in both cases I greatly
admire Boulez's reluctance to record music with which he's out of
sympathy. There are no shortage of fine recordings of both works,
fortunately.
d***@aol.com
2008-09-19 20:22:39 UTC
Post by makropulos
Yes and no. David Gable will know far more than I do, but I think
Boulez has only ever performed three movements from Turangalîla (at a
BBC Prom in the early 1970s - I was there), and he's made no secret of
the fact that he doesn't like the work.
I’m not all that familiar with Messiaen’s output, which I came to
backwards, having encountered Boulez’s music first and knowing it much
better than Messiaen’s. So when I hear a piece by Messiaen, it tends
to remind me of a quaint Grandma Moses version of Boulez’s own.

In his intemperate youth, Boulez once dismissed Turangalila as
"brothel music." But the best bad review Turangalila ever got is
Stravinsky's: “Messiaen’s Turangalila is another example of plus
d’embarras que de richesses.” He described its style as “a mixture of
Léhar and gamelans. Like the War Requiem, it contains passages of
superior film music (‘Charlie Chan in Indochina’) as well as traces of
yesteryears of oneself.” Stravinsky objects to Messiaen’s “attempt to
stretch small and inelastic patterns into large ones. At first
contact the quality of Messiaen’s ideas, especially rhythmic, is more
arresting, but attention rapidly dissipates in the crude routine of
the continuing procedure: repetition con crescendo with an ever-wider
spread of octaves, though there is already a plague of octaves
throughout. These attenuating episodes expose a naiveté that the
first statements often successfully conceal[….] What Turangalila
needed […] was a very cold douche of the most intensive self-
consciousness. It’s not easy to imagine anything more inane than the
Joie du sang des étoiles, with its stage directions to the conductor,
‘dans un délire de passion’; or to imagine a more vapid melody than
the one for ondes Martenot […] in the Chant d’amour II, compared to
which Godard’s Berceuse is noble. Little more can be needed to write
such things than a large supply of ink.”

Not that these comments were Stravinsky’s last words on the subject.
When he heard Turangalila, Stravinsky remarked that he had not heard
any of Messiaen’s “supposedly better later music” and therefore could
not see “the direction of the earlier.” Once having heard some of the
later music, he expressed a qualified enthusiasm for it, adding that
“one of those great hymns of his might be the wisest choice of all our
music for the deck-band concert on the Titanic of our sinking
civilization.”

Many of Messiaen’s pieces consist of successions of blocks of static
material, and the young Boulez summarized Messiaen’s approach in a
famous mot: “Messiaen doesn’t compose: he juxtaposes.” Nevertheless,
Messiaen and Boulez enjoyed a decades long friendship, and, while
Boulez is inevitably more interested in some pieces than in others,
his estimation of at least some of Messiaen’s music has probably gone
up over the years. (It says something about Messiaen’s character and
the level of his admiration for Boulez’s gifts that the friendship
withstood the slings and arrows of some of Boulez’s more ruthless
criticisms.)

One piece by Messiaen that had a tremendous influence on Boulez and
Stockhausen in the very early 50’s is the Mode de valeurs et
d’intensités, which was composed in 1949, and a rather clunky
experiment of a piece it is. In the Mode de valeurs et d'intensités,
each of exactly 36 different notes is allotted a particular duration
and a particular dynamic level that are maintained each time the note
recurs according to a predetermining scheme: in short, the piece is a
particularly crude example of “total” or “integral serialism,” not
that Boulez’s more complex grappling with the issue was any more
fruitful in the long run. Before 1955 Boulez could describe
“integrally serial” scores as “timetables for trains that never
depart,” adding, “We must turn our backs on the monstrous poly-
organization or condemn ourselves to deafness.”

Be that as it may, Boulez owes a lot to Messiaen personally, which he
readily acknowledges, and he learned a great deal from him. Among
other things, Messiaen exposed Boulez to an enormous amount of
repertory when he was a student at the Conservatoire, from Bartók and
the three Viennese to Indian, Medieval, and Renaissance music. Nor
was the experiment with integral serialism a waste of time: Boulez
learned about the nuts and bolts of music while trying to develop a
language from scratch including a lot about how various kinds of
rhythmic systems have worked in different kinds of music.
Nevertheless, Boulez’s best music is the result of a rapprochement
with tradition and a quiet shift in allegiance from Messiaen’s ideas
about rhythm and Webern’s serialism to Debussy and Berg.

-david gable
d***@aol.com
2008-09-19 20:27:59 UTC
Post by makropulos
Yes and no. David Gable will know far more than I do, but I think
Boulez has only ever performed three movements from Turangalîla (at a
BBC Prom in the early 1970s - I was there), and he's made no secret of
the fact that he doesn't like the work.
I’m not all that familiar with Messiaen’s output, which I came to
backwards, having encountered Boulez’s music first and knowing it much
better than Messiaen’s. So when I hear a piece by Messiaen, it tends
to remind me of a quaint Grandma Moses version of Boulez’s own.

In his intemperate youth, Boulez once dismissed Turangalila as
"brothel music." But the best bad review Turangalila ever got is
Stravinsky's: “Messiaen’s Turangalila is another example of plus
d’embarras que de richesses.” He described its style as “a mixture of
Léhar and gamelans. Like the War Requiem, it contains passages of
superior film music (‘Charlie Chan in Indochina’) as well as traces of
yesteryears of oneself.” Stravinsky objects to Messiaen’s “attempt to
stretch small and inelastic patterns into large ones. At first
contact the quality of Messiaen’s ideas, especially rhythmic, is more
arresting, but attention rapidly dissipates in the crude routine of
the continuing procedure: repetition con crescendo with an ever-wider
spread of octaves, though there is already a plague of octaves
throughout. These attenuating episodes expose a naiveté that the
first statements often successfully conceal[….] What Turangalila
needed […] was a very cold douche of the most intensive self-
consciousness. It’s not easy to imagine anything more inane than the
Joie du sang des étoiles, with its stage directions to the conductor,
‘dans un délire de passion’; or to imagine a more vapid melody than
the one for ondes Martenot […] in the Chant d’amour II, compared to
which Godard’s Berceuse is noble. Little more can be needed to write
such things than a large supply of ink.”

Not that these comments were Stravinsky’s last words on the subject.
When he heard Turangalila, Stravinsky remarked that he had not heard
any of Messiaen’s “supposedly better later music” and therefore could
not see “the direction of the earlier.” Once having heard some of the
later music, he expressed a qualified enthusiasm for it, adding that
“one of those great hymns of his might be the wisest choice of all our
music for the deck-band concert on the Titanic of our sinking
civilization.”

Many of Messiaen’s pieces consist of successions of blocks of static
material, and the young Boulez summarized Messiaen’s approach in a
famous mot: “Messiaen doesn’t compose: he juxtaposes.” Nevertheless,
Messiaen and Boulez enjoyed a decades long friendship, and, while
Boulez is inevitably more interested in some pieces than in others,
his estimation of at least some of Messiaen’s music has probably gone
up over the years. (It says something about Messiaen’s character and
the level of his admiration for Boulez’s gifts that the friendship
withstood the slings and arrows of some of Boulez’s more ruthless
criticisms.)

One piece by Messiaen that had a tremendous influence on Boulez and
Stockhausen in the very early 50’s is the Mode de valeurs et
d’intensités, which was composed in 1949, and a rather clunky
experiment of a piece it is. In the Mode de valeurs et d'intensités,
each of exactly 36 different notes is allotted a particular duration
and a particular dynamic level that are maintained each time the note
recurs according to a predetermining scheme: in short, the piece is a
particularly crude example of “total” or “integral serialism,” not
that Boulez’s more complex grappling with the issue was any more
fruitful in the long run. Before 1955 Boulez could describe
“integrally serial” scores as “timetables for trains that never
depart,” adding, “We must turn our backs on the monstrous poly-
organization or condemn ourselves to deafness.”

Be that as it may, Boulez owes a lot to Messiaen personally, which he
readily acknowledges, and he learned a great deal from him. Among
other things, Messiaen exposed Boulez to an enormous amount of
repertory when he was a student at the Conservatoire, from Bartók and
the three Viennese to Indian, Medieval, and Renaissance music. Nor
was the experiment with integral serialism a waste of time: Boulez
learned about the nuts and bolts of music while trying to develop a
language from scratch including a lot about how various kinds of
rhythmic systems have worked in different kinds of music.
Nevertheless, Boulez’s best music is the result of a rapprochement
with tradition and a quiet shift in allegiance from Messiaen’s ideas
about rhythm and Webern’s serialism to Debussy and Berg.

-david gable