Pierre BOULEZ (né 1925).

Lot 209
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Pierre BOULEZ (né 1925).
autograph musical manuscript signed "pierre boulez", Le Soleil des eaux, (1950); title and 11 folio pages (35 x 27 cm). First version for voice and piano of this cantata on two poems by René Char, a major score by Pierre Boulez. In April 1948, Boulez had written music for the radio production of a piece by René CHAR, Le Soleil des eaux. He then decided to use a small part of this music, and conceived a cantata that would bring together two poems by René Char (collected in Les Matinaux, 1950): Complainte du lézard amoureux, and La Sorgue, for three vocal soloists (soprano, tenor and bass) and chamber orchestra. The work was premiered on July 18, 1950 at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, conducted by Roger Désormière, with Irène Joachim, Joseph Peyron and Pierre Mollet, "a historic premiere that marked the entry of Pierre Boulez into official musical life" (D. Jameux). Boulez would later revive his work twice: a version for the three soloists plus a choir and symphony orchestra (1958), then the final version for solo soprano, choir and orchestra (1965). This manuscript is carefully written in black ink on 30-line paper, on systems of 4 to 5 staves; it shows corrections and scratches, and was used for the engraving. The title page reads: "Le soleil des eaux / 2 poems by René Char / - Complainte du lézard amoureux / - La Sorgue ; chanson pour Yvonne / for soprano, tenor, bass and orchestra / (reduction for piano)". On the reverse side, Boulez copied this "Warning" by René Char: "We have within us, on our temperate side, a series of songs that flank us, wings of communication between our rested breath and our strongest fevers. Almost banal pieces, of a mild colouring, of a backward content, whose fabric however carries a tiny wound. It is up to each one to determine the origin and term of this questionable redness. On the following page, Boulez noted four warnings for the interpretation of the work, notably: "- the bar line is only a visual marker; in no case is it a vertical rhythmic support. - given the simplicity of tone of these poems, it is strongly recommended that the performers of the vocal part do not roll the r's with their tongue against the roof of their mouth. The manuscript includes the two parts of the cantata: I. Complainte du Lézard Amoureux (p. 1-3): " N'égraine pas le tournesol "... (Moderate). II. La Sorgue, song for Yvonne (p. 4-11) : " River too soon gone, in one go, without a companion "... (Allant). Boulez has included in his manuscript numerous indications of dynamics, rhythms and interpretation; thus, at the beginning of the song of La Complainte: "a little restrained... (as if improvised)"; then: "non mesuré", "Cédez beaucoup / Un peu plus lent", etc. Attached is a manuscript copy (title and 27 p. in-fol.), with numerous autograph annotations in pencil for the performer (it was used for performances, and bears a rental stamp, and the name of the singer Ginette Guillamat); a printed score (Heugel 1959), with a note signed by Pierre Boulez on the title page: "revised score" (p. 1-4 are missing) and numerous corrections in red pen (plus a complete copy) Bibliography: Dominique Jameux, Pierre Boulez (Fayard 1984), p. 317-331. Discography, 1958 version: Pierre Boulez, BBC Singers, BBC Symphony Orchestra (Erato 1990); 1965 version, Pierre Boulez, Elizabeth Atherton, BBC Singers, BBC Symphony Orchestra (2005, video on You Tube)
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