Pierre Boulez (1925-2016) – With the sad and shocking news earlier today on the passing of the legendary composer-conductor Pierre Boulez, at the age of 90, the airwaves and the internet have been filled with tributes and remembrances of one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century. With his passing, as Radio France remarked, The 20th Century is now officially over.
Many of his concerts, which I have posted over the years have been listened to again as well as an interview I ran of his from the 1970s. There is really nothing to add that hasn’t been reflected on and spoken of at great length during the day, and what will be many more days to come. Tributes from most of the European Radio networks are starting, including this concert which ran earlier this afternoon in Paris. A classic concert featuring Orchestre National de France, led by Pierre Boulez and fearing soprano Phyllis Bryn-Julson in music of Stravinsky, Boulez and Arnold Schoenberg. The concert was recorded by France Musique on October 29, 1981.
I hope to be running his earlier concerts with various orchestras, those performing bodies which loved and admired him. I ran an Ojai Festival with the L.A. Philharmonic early last year, but I hope to run some of his New York Philharmonic and BBC Symphony concerts in the coming weeks and months.
But for now – here is that concert, re-broadcast earlier today, from October 29, 1981:
The Sun water
Radio France Choir
Phyllis Bryn Julson, soprano
Pélleas et Mélisande
Phyllis Bryn Julson, soprano Choir of Radio France Orchestre National de France Pierre Boulez direction
The loss of Pierre Boulez has been huge for the Music world. His influence and example – his passion and commitment were regularly spoken about with the musicians he worked with. His vision and deep love for music have no equal.
Without question, he will be missed. I was hoping he’d live forever – but I realize that’s not possible. Instead, we are left with the records and the accounts; the words and reminiscences and the memory of one of the truly giant creative forces to have graced the concert hall.
No equal – no replacement.