The premiere of French composer Gérard Grisey’s Quatre the note that Grisey took as the starting point for his ensemble work Partiels. PDF | The spectralism of Gérard Grisey: from the nature of the sound to the nature tween Périodes and Partiels, there is a correspondence between the closing. Debussy is one; Webern, another; Gérard Grisey – who would have been 70 this The opening of Grisey’s ensemble work Partiels () is.

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A guide to Gérard Grisey’s music |

Grisey found his solution — and the basis of spectral music — quite by accident. An accordion virtuoso in his teens ranked as one of the best accordionists in the worldhe also excelled at school, ggerard his Marianist education left him with a devout Catholic faith up till his early 20s.

Order by newest oldest recommendations. The essential idea is the creation of a new way of structuring the parameters of music by exploring the harmonic series, the overtones that are part of every musical note.

Loading comments… Trouble loading? Topics Music A guide to contemporary classical music. By atomising sounds in this way, he could structure large pieces of gerrad and spans of time, such as Partielsthat were based on an intense process of listening to an individual sound, exploding the smallest of sonic phenomena, a single note, on to the largest possible scale.

Grisey was the initiator of spectral music grixey name invented by otherswhich, emerging in Paris in the s, reinserted harmony to post-tonal composition on a new footing. This latter quality is key: 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.

Geard it’s part of the paradox of Grisey’s music that just as he can slow down time so that you feel you’re inside, say, a stretched-out gong stroke for 20 minutes, he can also speed it up with surreal velocity.


Gerarrd are apocalyptic visions listen to the start of the fourth songThe Death of Humanity, to geeard the world implode in a black hole of percussion writingreflective resignation and spectral stasis in these songs. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded.

Grisey timeline Studies at the Paris Conservatoire. Posthumous London world premiere of Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil.

partlels 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. If you analyse the complexity of the harmonic series of a single note played on a particular instrument — say a low E on a trombone — you find a teeming world of musical gerarv.


The principles of spectralism are easy to describe, and like all good musical gwrard, there’s more than a grain of truth in the term. This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. He doesn’t say “sound not metaphor”, grisry, because his music is not some abstract sonic science lesson, but about how sound affects our ears, about how we hear, paetiels how it makes our brains and bodies vibrate, and what it can make us feel.

A glittering, shimmering, light-filled chord begins Transitoires ; the music then seems to stop time with its pregnant pauses, and with echoes of sounds — a guttural double-bass growl, a low gong, a mysterious middle-distance drone — that are sustained, seemingly into the infinite.

For Grisey, every single sound was a living, breathing entity; it was only logical that he should want to explore what happens at the end of the sonic life-cycle as well as the start. Few composers could claim to have initiated a whole style. In his teens Grisey considered becoming a composer as nothing less than a God-given vocation. Listen to the incantatory power of the love-obsessed voices and electronics of Les Chants de l’Amour for real sonic proof of what I’m on about. Grosey true above all in the ethereal intertwining of the flute melody and the soprano voice in the final Berceuse movement, music which realises the post-cataclysmic serenity of a passage from the Epic of Gilgamesh, with its open-ended final words, “I looked at the sea’s horizon, the world …”.

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That E, by the way, is exactly the note that Grisey took as the starting point for his paetiels work Partielsthe third parties of his epic, six-part cycle Les Espaces Acoustiques.

Classical music George Benjamin France blogposts. To hear Grisey’s music is to have adventures in the stuff of sound that will change your ears for ever. How, then, Grisey asked himself, to reintroduce dynamism into this post-tonal material? Grisey himself spoke of the difference between the sort of super-slow time experienced by whales as opposed to the frenetic time-scale of insects.

His achievement has often been reduced to yet another of new music’s fetishistic labels, “spectralism” — a category that Grisey had rejected by the end of his life. It’s not just those Quatre Chants: Another long-term project of Grisey’s later years was to write music for griseey voice.

A guide to Gérard Grisey’s music

So much for a decidedly spectral sketch of the theory, but let’s get stuck into what Grisey wanted us to get stuck partieps, which is the stuff of sound, the sounds his music makes. Griseg the composer had already given the world visionary, inspirational and complete music. But in retrospect, the “threshold” that the Four Songs crossed wasn’t only the event horizon that separates existence from non-existence, it was the door to a new kind of music that Grisey tragically would not have time to explore.

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