Pierre Boulez - The Three Piano Sonatas (2005)

Posted By: peachfuzz
Pierre Boulez - The Three Piano Sonatas (2005)

Pierre Boulez: The Three Piano Sonatas (2005)
Classical | EAC (APE & CUE) | 150 MB

It is almost as chastening to remember that Le Marteau Sans Maître, one of the supreme achievements of 20th-century music, is now 50 years old as it is to realise that the man who composed it is past 80. Deutsche Grammophon celebrated Boulez's 80th birthday with a raft of releases that salute his unique contribution to music, as both conductor and composer. This is the fourth time Boulez has recorded Le Marteau since it was first performed in Baden Baden in 1955. The most recent, with Elisabeth Laurence as soloist for CBS, is itself now 20 years old, so a new recording of what has been Boulez's most influential masterpiece is overdue. Each version has been more expressive than the last, partly a reflection of Boulez's increasing flexibility as a conductor but also of the performers' increasing familiarity with the music. This latest one, with Hilary Summers as the rich-toned mezzo, relishes every particle of the settings of the three René Char poems about which the instrumental movements, with their deliberately non-western ensemble of flute, viola, guitar, tuned and untuned percussion, pivot and offer commentary.

Le Marteau is paired with the two instrumental works from 1984 and 1988 that Boulez has called Dérive, but it is the disc of his three piano sonatas that is the more valuable. The playing is outstanding: the young Finn Paavali Jumppanen is a former pupil of Krystian Zimerman, and seems to have acquired his teacher's phenomenal range of keyboard touch and colour, and he applies it with such intelligence to Boulez's surging keyboard writing that the music acquires a new immediacy. The Third Sonata, perhaps the most problematic and least finished work in Boulez's published output, gains most. Jumppanen tackles only the two "formants" Boulez will allow to be performed, and makes their open form seem organic and totally convincing. The result is the finest and best-recorded disc of Boulez's piano music so far. (The Guardian, 2005)


Piano Sonata No. 1
1. Lent
2. Assez large

Piano Sonata No. 2
1. Extrêmement rapide
2. Lent
3. Modéré, presque vif
4. Très librement, avec de brusques oppositions de mouvement et de nuances

Piano Sonata No. 3
Formant 2:

1. Trope. Parethese. Nettement Au - Dessous De Lent - Attacca
2. Trope. Glose. Lent - attacca:
3. Trope. Commentaire. Nettement moins lent - attacca:
4. Trope. Texte. Presque lent

Formant 3:
1. Constellation-Miroir. Mélange points et blocs. Modéré/Vif
2. Constellation-Miroir. Points 3. Suspendu
3. Constellation-Miroir. Blocs II. Lent
4. Constellation-Miroir. Points 2. Suspendu
5. Constellation-Miroir. Blocs I. Vif
6. Constellation-Miroir. Points 1. Suspendu

Paavali Jumppanen, piano


Mirrors allowed and encouraged