Boulez's Mallarmé


After the Second World War, when the leading names of dodecaphonic music died with their bodies, not their works and thoughts, the new generation wanted to connect their era with the previous one. Post-WebernThe composers known as the second generation continued to defend the freedom of sounds. Along with this freedom, many other developments in the field of music, apart from those brought by the past, took their place at the forefront of the modernism period. The developing world has also included music in its developments. As technology and science progressed, music continued to be a product of its environment. 

philosopher and composer Olivier Messiaestudent of n Pierre BoulezwebernHe is among the 20th century composers who use the ongoing serial method as a bridge. French composer and conductor Boulez, MessiaenHe not only benefited from the music teachings of ', but was also influenced by his philosophical thoughts. Boulez'of MessiaenThe fact that he adopted the ideas of "Livre pour quatuorin ” and “2. Piano SonataIt is predicted that he will enable him to discover the possibilities of rhythmic and dynamic serialism.

Boulez says, "A composer who has not experienced the necessity of 12 sound systems is useless." with his keen thought, Schoenberg instead webernHe wanted to indicate that he was following in the footsteps of SchoenbergHe criticized ' for his flamboyant romance and clichés. Since the seriality of this period did not survive in its original form, the professor of musicology Jean-Jacques Nattiez he spoke as follows: “While Boulez and Berio acknowledge the merits of the serial method, they have escaped its '50s excesses.”

Well Boulez What exactly did the serial method mean at that time? Boulez "structureHe thought that ' was the 'key word' of the period. Serial composers, like architects or sound engineers, were concerned with structure and organization. They followed their ideas with a scientific meticulousness and touched upon research and mathematics in their technical books. In serialization, StravinskyThe longing for an “objective sound art” expressed by .

In this period, which follows the traces of the past, but includes new roads and removes some roads from its body, BoulezHe believes that music is intertwined with science. The general theory of all sciences is music and the pioneer of developing science is again music. Regarding this idea, those who completed their first education on engineering Boulez He explained his ideas as follows:Our revolution will be busy creating and arranging a new language that will create the masterpieces of the future for several generations.” With very specific views and assertive words Boulez, has succeeded in creating a great excitement in the name of the developments to be made and to be experienced in the field of music. Of course, it was not too late to fill the bottom of the excitement it created. It is understood from the skeleton music he wrote that their music sounds different when sung by different performers. Boulezstated that a composition has a structure that cannot be made by everyone, cannot be formed suddenly and can exist as a result of a certain knowledge:

            “Every creation made without writing must be denied (…). Improvisation is not possible (…). For example, Bach's improvisations are mentioned. I think Bach wrote that he improvised, and it is the most interesting one he has written. For the most part, these improvisations are just plain, timbre examples, sometimes intriguing, but in no way can they be called a composition. This creates constant excitement, reassurance, and is intolerable for me (…).” 

Boulez is dissatisfied with this "personal taste" of composition. When music and its pleasure become multiplying, then the music returns to its own self. This is a reflection of life and reality.  

While witnessing different innovations from the previous day every day, people act according to the returns of that day in understanding nature. As in every period, the interaction between arts and artists is permanent. 19th century French poet Stephane Mallarme Like many other artists, he has big thoughts and a different vision. BoulezIt also made a huge impact.  

In the middle of the twentieth century and in the years that he focused his creativity on Pierre Boulezmy goodsclose to é. DebussySymbolist poet whose works were inspired by MallarmeHe started to question and think about Boulez. Maybe this questioning was due to the fact that he found himself in her, who knows. Likewise, both artists had a lot in common; They were more interested in the relationship between objects than in themselves, and they wanted the language they used to be simple, whether poetic or musical.

In 1957 Boulez first "random” compositions; It's a coincidence(!) Mallarme led by his works in Latin “alea (gambling/game)” rooted “aléatoire (random)” got the title of art. BoulezThe third sonata of ' is a concrete example of this abstract intimacy. Boulez In this sonata, there are many possibilities and alternatives apart from the tempo he uses. This working model is Mallarmeconsisting of words, phrases and signs thrown irregularly on the pages byUn Coup de DesIt's like a poem. Mallarme With this poem and other works, he aimed to show that his sketches have an aesthetic understanding created to provide endless possibilities to the readers.

Boulez ve Mallarme Another factor that carries the relationship to another dimension is Boulez's MallarméIt is a composition of the same name in which he describes the portrait of . This work, which includes texts from three sonnets and two poems of Mallarmé, is Boulez's longest work. “Portrait of Mallarmé” with the subtitle "Pleat Hallon Pleat” was composed for soprano and orchestra. “In layersThe name of this work, which means ”, represents the portrait of Mallarmé, which is formed as the work approaches the end and at the same time stratifies. BoulezDuring the five years of composition, he gradually revealed the poet's impressive personality and aesthetic theories through sounds. Well, after so many common points, your work Boulez'It wouldn't be wrong to say that he also presented his self-portrait.

Mallarme'who does not hesitate to refer to the structure of his poems at every opportunity, who knows how to show that he is one of the leading names of his time with his works, thoughts and the power of his character, and most importantly, who is always interested in the needs of his age. Boulez He called out: “Define the 20th century as an experimental age; because every age has been experimental in itself. Both Mozart and Bach were experimenting in their own time! Like every age, the 20th century also presented very enthusiastic and beautiful music.” 


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McCalla, J., Sea-Changes: Boulez's Improvisations sur Mallarmé, The Journal of Musicology, Vol. 6, no. 1, (Winter, 1988), Published by: University of California Press, p. 83-106

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