Color, Spontaneity, and the Music of Pierre Boulez

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Despite this month's phenomenal, forward-looking programs on Q2 Music's Lucerne Festival webcasts, there is a conspicuous absence of music by one of the festival's artistic gurus—and one of the most influential musicians of the last fifty years—Pierre Boulez.

This week on Hammered! we fill the chasm by surveying the piano and piano-ensemble works of the great composer, framing his works by the two compositional approaches it reconciles: the "constructuralist" serialism of Arnold Schoenberg, and the freer, more "spontaneous" language of Claude Debussy, et al. 

Tune in for the First and Third Piano Sonatas of Boulez, alongside solo piano scores by Debussy, Schoenberg, John Cage, John Zorn, and many others; plus larger ensemble works by Boulez featuring the piano—like Répons, and three-piano, three-percussion, three-harp masterwork Sur Incises—paired with multi-piano pieces by Béla Bartók, Benjamin Broening, and more.

Also, not to be missed, Monday's spotlight on Boulez's two most recent solo piano works, Incises and Une page d'éphéméride, taken from a live performance in NYC by pianist Gloria Cheng.