Document printed Sat 22 Dec IRCAM. 1 / Pierre Boulez explosante-fixe Explosante Fixe – Cologne SWR + Emmanuel Pahud. Pierre Boulez explosante-fixe, for flute, chamber ensemble & electronics ( various versions). Composition Information ↓; Description ↓; Appears On ↓. Though he may well disapprove of the designation, in explosante-fixe Pierre Boulez has written one of the great flute concertos of this or any.

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InPierre Boulez was asked to contribute a short musical tribute to Igor Stravinskywho had died that year. The notes are written out, but the instrumentation is left open, moving from explosante-fixr single line in the Originel, introducing the seven-note cell that underlies all the material, to two lines in Transitoire II, to three in Transitoire III, and so on.

There are instructions given for going from one fragment to another, elaborating the form, and so on. This compositional schematic was published inand Boulez worked that year and the next on a “realization” of the music for an ensemble of flute, seven other instruments, and an electroacoustic component for spatializing and manipulating the instrumental sounds.


explosante-fixe – Wikipedia

Performances at that time were not completely successful, due primarily to the instability of the halaphone, the electronic element developed by German engineer Hans-Peter Haller. Boulez put the piece aside to work on other projects, but the music was never far from his mind.

In fact, the seven-note cell underlying The expanded version of The solo flute is “shadowed” by two other flutes as well as transformed versions of its music processed live by computer. As one might expect from a piece featuring the flute, the music is bright.

It is also dramatic. The amplification of the soloist ensures that it will be heard even when the ensemble is playing full out. The seven-note cell underlying the score ensures a degree of harmonic coherence, and this is apparent from close listening. Each of the three main sections uses a different transposition of this cell, and Boulez has taken care to feature the main bboulez of each prominently, providing tonal anchors.


The electronics are very well-integrated into the instrumental textures, enhancing the instrumental palette rather than opposing it. AllMusic relies heavily on JavaScript.

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