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Boulez, Pierre
(b Montbrison, Loire, 26 March 1925). French composer and
conductor. Resolute imagination, force of will and ruthless
combativeness secured him, as a young man, a position at the
head of the Parisian musical avant garde. His predecessors, in
his view, had not been radical enough; music awaited a
combination of serialism with the rhythmic irregularity opened up
by Stravinsky and Messiaen. This call for a renewed modernism
was widely heard and widely followed during the 1950s, but its
appeal gradually weakened thereafter, and in the same measure
his creativity waned. He began to be more active as a conductor,
at first specializing in 20th-century music, but then, in the 1970s,
covering a large and general repertory. Towards the end of that
decade he turned his attention to an electro-acoustic music
studio built for him in Paris, where he hoped to resume the effort
to create a new musical language on a rational basis. After a
brief hiatus, though, conducting became again his principal
means of expressing his independence and clarity of vision.
1. Compositional career.
2. Conducting.
3. Compositional style.



1. Compositional career.
As a boy Boulez divided his attention between music and
mathematics. He sang in the choir of his Catholic school at St
Etienne, he enjoyed playing the piano; but his early aptitude for
mathematics marked him out at least in the eyes of his father, a
steel industrialist for a career in engineering. On leaving school
in 1941, he spent a year attending a course in higher
mathematics at Lyons with a view to gaining admission to the
Ecole Polytechnique in Paris. During that year he made what
progress he could with music, cultivating his proficiency as a
pianist and acquiring a grounding in theory.
It was the latter which stood him in good stead when he moved
to Paris in 1942 and, against his father's wishes, opted for the
Paris Conservatoire rather than the Ecole Polytechnique; he had
failed the pianists' entrance examination. After three years he
took a premier prix in harmony, having attended Messiaen's
famous harmony class. Along with some of his contemporaries in
Messiaen's class, he took exception to the hidebound curriculum
of the Conservatoire and looked beyond its walls for instruction in
counterpoint. This he studied privately with Andre Vaurabourg,
the wife of Arthur Honegger.
It was in Messiaen's class that Boulez, respected as well as
encouraged by his teacher, first gave proof of exceptional
abilities as a music analyst. Quick to detect genuine originality of
craftsmanship, he equally quickly lost patience with music whose
renown rested on anything less substantial. He viewed
composition as a form of aesthetic research and demanded that
it be conducted on stringently scientific (that is, logical) lines; in
this light, the cult of personal stylistic development a hangover
from Romanticism counted for nothing. Infected by a common
zeal, Boulez and a number of his fellow pupils demonstrated their
protest vocally at performances of works whose modernity they
considered a facile and arbitrary disguise; not even the personal
reputation of Stravinsky was sacrosanct, and many a lesser one
was mercilessly deflated.
His own aesthetic researches at the time had led him to a very
clear awareness of the necessity for atonality. When
Schoenberg's pupil Leibowitz began to introduce dodecaphonic
music to the French public, Boulez readily applied to him for
instruction in serial techniques. Within a year his earliest
published compositions (Notations, the Flute Sonatina, the First
Piano Sonata, Le visage nuptial) had taken shape; his inventive
energies had taken the route suggested by Schoenberg's Wind
Quintet op.26 (which he had heard in 1945) and by the later
works of Webern. Again, Boulez was subsequently to write: Any
musician who has not felt the necessity of the dodecaphonic
language is OF NO USE (Eventuellement , 1952, in Boulez,

On the recommendation of Honegger, Boulez was appointed

musical director of the new Compagnie Renaud-Barrault in 1946.
He thus laid the solid foundations of his career as a conductor
with performances of theatre music, including specially
composed scores by Auric, Poulenc and Honegger himself.
(Roger Desormire, from whom he received guidance, could be
considered his one teacher of conducting.) Boulez was in
charge of Milhaud's music for Claudel'sChristophe Colomb when
the company's production of the play was recorded on disc, and
in 1955, the penultimate year of his association with the
company, Boulez himself wrote the incidental music for their
production of theOresteia at the Bordeaux Festival.
The first works that made Boulez's reputation as a composer
were those that came after his dbut pieces: the Second Piano
Sonata and Le soleil des eaux. The latter, first given as a cantata
in Paris in July 1950, grew out of some incidental music Boulez
wrote for a radio production of Char's work of the same name,
broadcast in April 1948. The music of the original version,
reworked, became Complainte du lzard amoureux, and Boulez
added to this a second movement, La sorgue. The scoring of
the cantata, both impressionistically delicate and violent, has a
hallucinatory clarity which accords well with Boulez's surrealist
In contrast with the one-movement Sonatina and the twomovement First Sonata, Boulez's Second Sonata is a
monumental work in four movements. Avowedly modelled on
Beethoven, its movements follow a sufficiently Classical pattern
for the many facets of Boulez's style to be systematically
deployed. The work's reputation grew less from relatively
obscure early performances by Yvette Grimaud and Yvonne
Loriod than from circulation of the score, which was published in
1950. This composition, more than any other, first spread
Boulez's fame abroad: its first performance in Darmstadt (by
Loriod in 1952) was one of the most eagerly awaited musical
events of the postwar years, and through the advocacy of Tudor
it reached the ears of the American avant garde.
Immediately afterwards came the Livre pour quatuor, which
foreshadows much of the later development of Boulez's musical
thinking. The work is in the form of a collection of movements,
and it is left to the the performers to select which will be given at
any one performance. Thus the Livre anticipates those works of
the late 1950s in which the performer is allowed to choose his
own path through the music. Its immediate significance, however,
was as a pointer towards the technique of total serialization.
Stimulated by the last works of Webern and by Messiaen's
Quatre tudes de rythme (194950), Boulez sought to develop a
technique whereby the principles of serialism could be made to
govern the timbre, duration and intensity of each sound, as well

as its pitch. Some of the movements of the Livre pour quatuor

may be considered as first sketches towards such a technique.
By 1951 Boulez had arrived at a stage where he could commit
his first essays in the new technique to paper and to magnetic
tape. The resources of the studio for musique concrte run by
Schaeffer under the auspices of French radio enabled Boulez to
compose two Etudes in which the precise organization of
timbres, durations and intensities could remain immune from the
hazards of human performance. These hazards proved to be a
real stumbling-block in Polyphonie X for 18 soloists (195051),
which was composed for and performed at the 1951
Donaueschingen Festival. The last, and most successful, of
Boulez's essays in total serialization was Structures I for two
pianos (19512). Organization of timbres was here replaced by
that of modes of attack, and the treatment of durations in
particular became more flexible in the last two of the work's three
sections. The first section was performed at a Paris concert in
1952 by Messiaen and the composer.
At the same time Boulez completed a first revision of his early
cantata,Le visage nuptial. Originally written for two vocal soloists
and a chamber ensemble, the work was reorchestrated for very
much larger forces including a women's chorus. Densely
orchestrated and richly polyphonic, the work reaches towards
lyrical paroxysm and its style shares certain features with both
Messiaen and the Expressionism of Berg. In two of its five
movements (each a setting of a poem by Char) Boulez freely
used quarter-tones (though he expunged these from his revision
of 19869). It was not until December 1957 that the fivemovement version was given its first performance, under the
composer's direction, in Cologne.
The next five years saw a marked slowing down in Boulez's
production as a composer. It was a period in which much of his
musical thinking found expression in articles on technique and
aesthetics, many of which are to be found in the collection
Relevs d'apprenti. Perhaps the most notorious of all these
writings was his obituary in Score(1952) Schnberg est mort, in
which he continued his protest against what he considered the
inadequate working-out of musical discoveries. But this was also
a period during which Boulez won wide and even popular
acclaim for a work which very soon came to be thought of as a
keystone of 20th-century music, a worthy companion to The Rite
of Spring and Pierrot Lunaire:Le marteau sans matre (19535).
Unlike Boulez's earlier settings of Char's poetry, Le marteau sans
matre is scored for a small ensemble; its contralto soloist is
complemented only by alto flute, xylorimba, vibraphone,
percussion, guitar and viola (fig.2). Char's three poems are
embedded in a nine-movement structure of interlacing settings
and related instrumental movements. Recalling the cellular style
of late Webern, Boulez cultivated a certain rhythmic monotony,

emphasized by his use of the percussion in some of the

movements. This is offset by abrupt tempo transitions, passages
of broadly improvisatory melodic style, and not least of all the
fascination of exotic instrumental colouring, underlining the
work's basically static conception.
In 1954, supported by the Compagnie Renaud-Barrault and by
the patronage of Suzanne Tzenas, Boulez was able to found
the Domaine Musical series of concerts. New works were given
carefully prepared performances in programmes which included
only those works of the past thought to be of special relevance to
contemporary music. These composers's concerts found an
enthusiastic following in Paris, and set a pattern which has since
been widely and successfully imitated. The Domaine Musical
gave European premires of works by Stravinsky, Messiaen and
many younger composers of different nationalities. Its concerts
became a regular feature of Parisian musical life, and in 1967
Boulez was succeeded as musical director by Amy.
Following the success of Le marteau sans matre, Boulez began
to be in considerable demand as a teacher of composition. He
taught at Darmstadt annually from 19546 and four times again
between 1960 and 1965; he was also professor of composition at
the Basle Musik-Akademie (196063), a visiting lecturer at
Harvard University (1963) and an active private teacher. It was at
Darmstadt that he gave the series of lectures which were to
become Penser la musique aujourd'hui. The book outlines in
systematic fashion the developments of serial technique which
followed Boulez's preoccupation with total serialization; in
particular, it relates to the group of works (the Third Piano
Sonata, Posie pour pouvoir, Doubles, Structures II, Pli selon pli)
he composed between 1957 and 1962.
By now the broadening of his serial techniques had led Boulez to
an interest in the possibilities of open form. At one level,
individual works were increasingly to be seen as parts of a
greater whole, a work in progress, to be taken up again and
reworked as the larger entity came to assume its own shape. The
two Improvisations sur Mallarm for soprano and percussion
ensemble (1957) in this way became parts of Pli selon pli(1957
62), which then underwent intermittent change during a period of
30 years; an early version of its opening section, Don, gave rise
to Eclat(1965), another continuing project; and Doubles,
commissioned by the Lamoureux Orchestra for performance in
1958, was later expanded as FiguresDoublesPrismes(1963),
which is also in principle unfinished. But more far-reaching was
the freedom Boulez now tended to give the performer. There are,
for example, passages in Improvisation sur Mallarm II that are
marked senza tempo, leaving the soloist and conductor free to
judge durations for themselves.
In the Third Sonata the performer has considerably more
freedom of choice. Within certain limits, the order of the work's

five movements may be freely selected; within movements

themselves, the performer is offered a number of alternative
routes, and must choose which passages to perform and which
to omit. However, the composer's planned scheme of options
represents a much firmer control over the work's identity than is
to be found in such aleatory music as Stockhausen's Klavierstck
XI. Only two of the sonata's movements have so far been
published, the remainder having been withdrawn into the
category of work in progress. Completed works of the period
include Posie pour pouvoir for orchestra and tape, and
Structures II for two pianos. The former, based on a text by
Michaux, continues the spatial exploitation of orchestral sound
which Stockhausen inaugurated with hisGruppen. Structures II
(195661) complemented the studies in serialism of 19512 with
examples of a more developed and freer serial technique.
The extent of Boulez's new freedom is perhaps most amply
demonstrated in Pli selon pli, a work for soprano and large
orchestra in five movements, sub-titled portrait de Mallarm.
Extended passages in which the registers of notes remain fixed
make for a new simplicity of style, particularly in the vocal writing
of the three Improvisationswhich form the work's central core.
The density of instrumental textures varies from the use of the full
orchestra in the outer movements to the delicate chamber
ensemble which accompanies the second Improvisation. The
frequently ornate vocal style of the work does not preclude a
somewhat expressionistic treatment of Mallarm's text, but
Boulez's real homage to the poet lies deeper, in the formal
correspondences between his music and Mallarm's poetic
Eclat for 15 instruments (1965) heralded a group of compositions
in which Boulez turned his attention to variously constituted
chamber ensembles of moderate size. This work, featuring an
important solo piano part among the nine non-sustaining
instruments of its original version, finally grew into Eclat/
Multiplesfor orchestra. In cummings ist der Dichter for 16 solo
voices and 24 instruments (1970, rev. 1986), Boulez invented a
new type of chamber cantata; more concise than Pli selon pli, the
work is another portrait of a poet, and is again built around a
central improvisatory section in which sustained notes alternate
with violent vocal ejaculations.
The possibilities of open forms continued to exercise his
imagination. InDomaines, for clarinet alone or with 21
instruments (19618), as in Posie pour pouvoir and Figures
DoublesPrismes, Boulez emphasized the role of spatial location
in the distribution of the ensemble; the solo clarinettist moves
among the work's six instrumental groups. The freedom given to
the performers in determining the work's form is allotted
alternately to the soloist and to the ensemble, under the
leadership of the conductor. The original plan (1971) for

explosante-fixe sets out a wide range of possible forms for

selection by the players involved, whose number and instruments
Boulez does not prescribe. He returned in 1968 to his work in
progress then of longest standing, the Livre pour quatuor he had
embarked on 20 years previously; he prepared a new version
(Livre pour cordes) for full string orchestra of two of its
movements which, in a further revision in 1988, were to become
The recomposition of older pieces became a major part of
Boulez's creative life. Le soleil des eaux had already been
revised in 1965; a version of Notations for enormous orchestra
was begun in 1978; and in the 1980s several works were
rethought, from Le visage nuptial throughPli selon pli to
cummings ist der Dichter. Boulez who has spoken also of
amending Polyphonie X, Posie pour pouvoirand Domaines, and
has started at least the last of these tasks felt that his growing
experience allowed him to improve or extend what he had written
in his twenties and thirties, but he was also committed to an
aesthetics of proliferation, to a belief that, within the centreless
universe of serialism, musical ideas held limitless potential for
development. Hence the difficulty, too, of bringing pieces to a
conclusion: major works that seem destined to remain unfinished
include the Third Piano Sonata, FiguresDoublesPrismes,Eclat/
Multiples, explosante-fixe and Rpons, of which the last
was designed to exploit the possibilities of digital sound
manipulation that were being developed at Boulez's research
facility, the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/
Musique, which started to come into operation towards the end of
the 1970s.
Proliferation is important also to the textures and forms of
Boulez's later works, most of which are based either on the
explosante-fixe kit (a group including the orchestral Rituel,
which is unusual for this composer in its monumental conception,
in having been instantly completed and in having resisted
change) or on a sequence of harmonies derived from a musical
spelling of Paul Sacher's surname (Messagesquisse, Rpons,
the Drive series).
More ambiguous is Boulez's commitment to the electronic
medium. His hopes for IRCAM, expressed in manifestos, were
that it would be a meeting-place for scientists, composers and
performers, a laboratory in which the musical adventure of the
20th century could at last be continued not the sophisticated
electro-acoustic music studio it quickly became. If, nevertheless,
he took advantage of what he had, and created Rpons partly to
show off IRCAMs digital machinery for storing and transforming
sounds in live performance, the electronic aspect here is perhaps
less central than the opposition that had generated Eclat/
Multiples, between tuned percussion (six soloists, amplified and
altered) and a chamber orchestra of wind and strings

(untransformed). Dialogue de l'ombre double (19825), a

recomposition of Domaines, shows a far more integrated use of
electronic voice-change, applied to a solo clarinet, and the
development of explosante-fixeinto a concerto for MIDI flute
(19913) does the same, within music characteristically caught
between thrill and desperation. But the works of this period that
show most inventiveness and control in terms of timbre are the
extensions for large orchestra of the piano Notations (1945), from
which Boulez had come to date his career as a composer.

2. Conducting.
Boulez's conducting career began with the Domaine Musical
concerts, where he conducted many new works by young
composers as well as his own Le marteau sans matre. In 1957,
at the invitation of Scherchen, he conducted the first performance
of Le visage nuptial in Cologne; during the next year, he not only
conducted the premire of Doubles in Paris, but participated with
Rosbaud and the Grosses Orchester der SWF in the first
performance of Posie pour pouvoir. He was again invited to
conduct the same orchestra when an early version of Pli selon pli
was introduced in Cologne in 1960; meanwhile, he had become
a guest conductor with the orchestra, and had taken up
residence in Baden-Baden, partly as a gesture of revolt against
French musical conservatism. (The German spa town remained
his principal home for 20 years, until he returned to Paris to take
charge of IRCAM and assume a position at the Collge de
France.) Although always primarily concerned with the
performance of 20th-century music, and notably that of Debussy,
Stravinsky, Webern and Messiaen, he extended his repertory
during this time to include a number of earlier works (by Haydn,
Beethoven, Schubert and others) with which he felt a special
After some years of alienation from the official musical world in
Paris, Boulez returned there triumphantly in 1963 to conduct the
first Paris Opra production of Wozzeck. Very quickly he came to
be in demand for a wide variety of occasions in many different
countries. In 1964 he conducted a special concert performance
of Hippolyte et Aricie for the Rameau bicentenary celebrations in
Paris, in 1965 he was at the Edinburgh Festival to conduct Pli
selon pli and in 1966 he was entrusted with Parsifal at the
Bayreuth Festival. In 1967 he became a guest conductor with the
Cleveland Orchestra, with whom he made a number of
recordings, and four years later he was appointed principal
conductor of both the BBC SO and the New York PO. He
relinquished these posts in 1974 and 1977 respectively. In 1976
he conducted the Ringat Bayreuth, in Patrice Chreau's
controversial production, and in 1979 at the Paris Opra he had
charge of the first production of Berg'sLulu in complete form.
After this he reduced his conducting commitments drastically, but
by the 1990s he was performing and recording frequently again,
mostly in his favourite 20th-century repertory, but with some new
acquisitions (Bruckner, Strauss).
Boulez's performances are primarily noted for their analytical
clarity of sound: every note, even in complex scores, makes its
point as a contribution to the whole. This proved an invaluable
feature of Boulez's pioneering performances of new music, even
though at first they were often hampered by some aridity in
orchestral sonority. Given superior orchestras, the freshness of

his approach gave particularly successful results in his

performances of Debussy's scores, presenting a stark contrast
with a long-standing tradition of impressionist cloudiness. A
certain deliberacy of forward propulsion, admirably suited to
many of the modern scores he performs (The Rite of Spring, for
instance), can at other times impede the flow or overload the
beat: the sensitivity of his musical ear is widely and justly
renowned; the suppleness of his muscle is less likely to claim
such regard. He brings a composer's insight to the shaping of
structure and form, and imagination to his interpretation of a
work's aesthetic. This insight and imagination is also displayed in
his verbal introductions to many of the works he performs, for he
has continued, both in the concert hall and through the mass
media, to be a most active propagandist and spokesman for the
music of the 20th century.

3. Compositional style.
Boulez's famous phrase about organized delirium (Son et
verbe, 1958, in Relevs d'apprenti, 1966) is a most useful
starting-point for examining his style and aesthetics. Delirium
situates the music's essential poetics: it points to the postExpressionist colouring of individualist subjectivism in which the
humanism of Boulez's music has its deepest roots; and it directs
the listener's attention to the unique inflections of the composer's
voice. Organization, on the other hand, speaks of the effort to
exteriorize expression in universal terms: it indicates the nature
of the Platonic model to which Boulez relates his work, and
instructs one to seek out the logic in its workings. Composers of
Boulez's generation have commonly seen the inseparability of
style and logic as a criterion of musical excellence; and it is within
such terms as theirs that critical analysis of Boulez's music has
most often been conducted.
With rare exceptions (notably in the Third Piano Sonata),
Boulez's music displays its firmest foundations in linear, melodic
thinking. In adopting and imaginatively developing the principles
of Schoenbergian serialism in his organization of pitches, Boulez
rapidly evolved a melodic manner of wide-ranging flexibility. The
freedom with which he uses every possible tempered melodic
interval is restrained only by a recurrent tendency of these
intervals to fall into characteristic aggregations, somewhat in the
manner of Webern. This gives rise to melodic cells, which can
be used in an overtly thematic manner, as in the early sonatas
and in the Sonatina, whose form is modelled on that of
Schoenberg's Kammersymphonie op.9, and from which the
following examples are taken. Ex.1 shows a principal theme of
the work and some of its later appearances. The figure x, taken
from a characteristic opening flourish (ex.2), is later used,

together with its inversion (x'), retrograde (x'') and retrograde

inversion (x''') forms, as the basis of an extended development
section (ex.3). The use of repeated notes in this example
anticipates their appearance in the first movement of the Second
Piano Sonata, where they help to articulate the motivic content.

In the works with orchestra of the late 1940s, instrumental

overlapping tends to create a more obvious continuity of melodic
line and there is correspondingly less emphasis on chiselled
melodic-rhythmic cells. Even in those works of 19512 where
Boulez was applying a technique of total serialization, there is not
the marked discontinuity of horizontal line which characterizes
the point (isolated note) composition of Stockhausen's
contemporary works (e.g. Punkte for orchestra). Melodic
passages are given to individual instruments in Polyphonie X;
indeed, in the first piece of Structures I, the use of constant
dynamic levels and modes of attack does much to emphasize the
continuous conception of each polyphonic strand. (The wide
leaps in register between notes do not affect this fundamental
continuity: they had been part of Boulez's melodic thinking for the
piano since the time of the First Piano Sonata, as that work's
second movement clearly shows.)
The broader serial thinking of subsequent years produced a
distinctly more improvisatory melodic style sometimes highly
embellished, sometimes circling round a central note or group of
notes. As an example of this, the writing for solo clarinet in

Domaines is interesting often a single note is decorated in a

manner suggesting, in Boulez's own phrase, a polyphony which
remains latent (Boulez on Music Today, p.137). The opening of
Improvisation sur Mallarm I (ex.4) demonstrates the effect of a
fixed constellation of registers in melodic writing of this kind.
Another, more incidental, feature of certain works of this period is
the use of preponderant intervals, usually by means of a careful
shaping of the registral scheme in an appropriate way; thus,
much of Le marteau sans matre shows a preponderance of
minor 3rds (see ex.5), and Improvisation sur Mallarm II is
likewise marked by major 9ths.

The fixing in register of a field of pitches over a comparatively

long stretch of music is a rather sporadic phenomenon in Boulez,
though he continues to resort to this technique in explosantefixe . The static, decorative effect to which it gives rise is
particularly evident in certain passages of Boulez's writing for the
piano (in Structures IIand Eclat, for instance); and in Don, the
opening section ofPli selon pli, it notably draws the attention from
the pitch structure to details of instrumental timbre. By contrast,
Boulez went to the other extreme in his early works. Here he
consistently avoided fixity of register by maintaining a steady flow
of transpositions, even in the slower passages of orchestral
writing occurring in Le visage nuptial and Le soleil des eaux.
Sometimes, indeed, the flow is so fast as blatantly to contravene

the Schoenbergian guiding principle of octave avoidance (see

exx.1dand 3).
Boulez's polyphonic thinking, unlike Webern's, is allied to a
harmonic style of some density which has its roots not only in
Schoenberg but in Messiaen too. This is evident in Boulez's
richly sounding vertical aggregates and instrumental voicing, in
his cluster effects, in his treatment of the extreme registers of the
piano, and in his occasional use of organum-like parallel chord
movement (see ex.1d; more complex examples are to be found
in later works such as Eclat). Less obvious, although no less
effective than parallel homophonic movement, are those
passages dominated by preponderant harmonic intervals. The
third movement of the Second Piano Sonata is haunted by major
2nds; and the character of Le marteau sans matre owes much to
the deployment, both melodically and harmonically, of 3rds and
6ths (ex.5).
This example demonstrates one of the methods most commonly
used by the serialists in their attempts to bring about a fusion
between horizontal and vertical pitch structures. The melodic line
in ex.5acontains a full range of intervals, yet for the most part it is
developed from the sort of chordal spacing suggested in ex.5b,
which is exclusively occupied with the minor 3rd and its inversion.
(In the transcription of this example, certain details are omitted,
notably the part for percussion.) It should be noted, however, that
this type of fusion leaves the typical melodic and harmonic
textures unaltered. The harmonic writing here is obstinately in
four parts; and only the slight hint of latent polyphony in the
vocal line shows Boulez moving towards the textural fusion which
marks the Third Piano Sonata.
The procedures Boulez came to use in order to produce suitably
mobile pitch structures from serial premises are described in
Penser la musique aujourd'hui. In the example he gives there, a
melodic series is broken up into polyphonic segments (one- to
three-part writing), each of which is thickened by multiplication
that is, by transposing the same interval or chord onto each of its
notes. (For example, if the segment FGB is multiplied by the
interval CE! , the result is F(A! )G(B! )B(D), i.e. FGA!
BB! D.) It is this technique of multiplication that represents the
true diagonal between melody and harmony. It is possible that
Boulez had been consciously seeking this path from the very
start; rapid flourishes using equal durational values (e.g. ex.2)
frequently appear in the early works and may have been
conceived, if naively so, as a fusion between vertical and
horizontal writing. But it is only the later technique that represents

a truly serial approach to textural density, offering a solution

which had eluded Boulez at the time of his research into the
possibilities of total serialization.
A way into the serialization of rhythm came from the arithmetical
series of durational values in Messiaens Mode de valeurs et
d'intensits. Boulez favoured the same approach (see Structures
Ia), and his subsequent conception of musical time owes much to
it. However, the global organization of time and the performance
of rhythms within time require greater differentiation than the
exclusive use of such durational series offers. In Structures Ib,
Boulez introduced regular subdivisions of the larger temporal
units, and soon (see Eventuellement , 1952) he was finding
ways of incorporating a flexibility of rhythmical movement
commensurate with that of his early works.
These works were firmly founded on a form of cellular rhythmic
motivicism which derived from the practice of Messiaen. Small
rhythmic groups could be varied and developed by using simple
procedures of permutation, augmentation, diminution, extension
and elision; in this way, a very small number of rhythmic ideas
could engender enough rhythmic forms to sustain an extended
composition. There are some simple examples of this in the
Sonatina. The values marked x' in ex.1b are a regular diminution
of the first three notes of ex.1a; and the first four values of ex.1b
appear in a reversed form inex.3 (x and x'; retrograde inx'' and
x'''). As a means of articulating the thematic content of sonata
forms, the technique has many advantages, and it corresponds
admirably to the use of recurrent pitch aggregates.
A similar correspondence can be found in nonthematic music,
where passages of varying rhythmic regularity can be set off
against highly regular or highly irregular passages; this parallels
the musical characterization that can be achieved by the control
of pitch structures. The extreme regularity of the subdivisions in
Structures Ib continues to represent one type of characterization,
as, for example, in Domaines (see the writing for trombones in
their Miroir section). The harmonic example of Le marteau sans
matre (ex.5b) shows how regularity of values can link up with
motivic thinking. Irregular durations are generally formed by
introducing irrational subdivisions (a technique Boulez took over
from Varse and Jolivet) or by adding fractional values in the
manner of Messiaen (ex.1contains simple instances of both
techniques). From the first, these rhythmic techniques were an
important factor in the suppleness of Boulez's melodic style,
especially in his writing for the voice. Ex.5ais a typical example of

the masterly way in which he welds together rational and

irrational, regular and irregular elements.
In many of his works, Boulez's approach to problems of musical
form has been guided by a poetic text. In Le visage nuptial the
relationship between text and musical form is particularly
transparent: it is a curiosity of the final version of this work that,
for all the vast orchestral resources Boulez could call upon, there
are amazingly few bars of vocal inactivity. The text very closely
determines the form of the music, even when (as in the fourth
movement, Evadn) it is merely declaimed relentlessly in
unpitched semiquavers. Le soleil des eaux shows a marked
advance on this, and its instrumental interludes and wordless
vocalise anticipate the commentary movements in Le marteau
sans matre. In the later vocal works, the texts become sources
of irrigation, the centre and absence of the musical conceptions
Boulez builds around them (Posie centre et absence
musique, 1963, in Boulez, 1981). They continue to suggest
forms, without dominating them.
The instrumental forms preferred by Boulez in the late 1940s are
only superficially affiliated with the neo-classical movement.
Sonata forms provided the merest skeleton, a pretext for
thematic presentation and development at a time when Boulez's
serial language was superbly equipped to follow those lines. His
later forms are both more freely conceived and more sectional.
Serial organization on a broad scale stimulates the invention of
forms whose constituent parts are related only to one another,
rather than to a pre-existing model. It also provides general
criteria for linking structures in a number of alternative ways, thus
clearing the way for the open forms Boulez used in, for example,
the Third Piano Sonata and Domaines. In the Sonata the five
movements, or formants, can be played in a number of different
orders, always grouped round the central Constellation; the
order and choice of sections within formants is similarly variable.
In Domainesthere are 12 sections to be played through in two
groups of six, the order being chosen once by the soloist, once
by the conductor.
To have gained a perspective in which serialism implies, and
even logically entails such freedom, is one of the triumphs of
Boulez's imagination. Yet the earlier works are far too convincing
in themselves to be dismissed as preparatory exercises. Some
critics have shown concern at the vast difference in character
between early Boulez and post-1952 Boulez. The musical
scientist may indeed have satisfied his thirst for a system; but, so

long as that system remains an open one, he is still free to go on

making discoveries.


unaccompanied choral
chamber and solo instrumental
incidental music
plans and projects
editions and arrangements

Le soleil des eaux (R. Char), S, T, B, chbr orch, 1950 [after incid music],
Joachim, Mollet, Peyron, Orchestre National, cond. Desormire, Paris,
18 July 1950, unpubd; rev. S, T, B, STB, orch, 1958, Nendick, Krebs,
Rehfuss, Hesse Radio Chorus and SO, cond. Bour, Darmstadt, 9 Sept
1958; rev. S, SATB, orch, 1965, Gayer, Berlin Philharmonic Choir and
PO, cond. Boulez, Berlin, 4 Oct 1965
Le visage nuptial (Char), S, A, female chorus, orch, 19512 [after chbr
work], Steingruber, Bornemann, Cologne Radio Chorus and SO, cond.
Boulez, Cologne, 4 Dec 1957; rev. 19869, Bryn-Julson, Laurence, BBC
Singers, BBC SO, cond. Boulez, London, 25 Jan 1988 [inc.], same
perfs., Metz, 16 Nov 1989 [complete], unpubd
Pli selon pli (S. Mallarm), S, orch, 195762:
1 Don, S, pf, 1960; Rogner, Bergmann, Cologne, 13 June 1960 [first
perf. of Pli selon pli], unpubd; new version, S, orch, 196062, Rogner,
SWF SO, cond. Boulez, Amsterdam, 5 July 1962; rev. 198990,
Tuomela, Finnish RSO, Etvs, Helsinki, 18 April 1990, unpubd
2 Improvisation sur Mallarm I: Le vierge, le vivace et le bel aujourd'hui,
S, hp, tubular bells, vib, 4 perc, 1957; Hollweg, members of NDR SO,
cond. Rosbaud, Hamburg, 13 Jan 1958; arr. S, orch, 1962, Rogner, SWF
SO, cond. Boulez, Donaueschingen, 20 Oct 1962
3 Improvisation sur Mallarm II: Une dentelle s'abolit, S, cel, hp, pf,
tubular bells, vib, 4 perc, 1957; Hollweg, members of NDR SO, cond.
Rosbaud, Hamburg, 13 Jan 1958
4 Improvisation sur Mallarm III: A la nue accablante tu, S, orch, 1959;
Rogner, SWF SO, cond. Rosbaud, Donaueschingen, 10 June 1959; rev.
19834, Bryn-Julson, BBC SO, cond. Boulez, London, 23 Feb 1984;
both versions unpubd
5 Tombeau: S, orch, 1959; Rogner, Domaine Musical Ens, cond. Boulez,
Donaueschingen, 17 Oct 1959, unpubd; rev. version, Rogner, SWF SO,
cond. Boulez, Cologne, 13 June 1960

cummings ist der Dichter, 16 solo vv/mixed chorus, chbr orch, 1970;
Schola Cantorum Stuttgart, Stuttgart RSO, cond. Boulez, Gottwald, Ulm,
19 Sept 1970; rev. 1986, Stockholm Chamber Choir, Ensemble
InterContemporain, cond. Boulez, Strasbourg, 23 Sept 1986

Symphonie concertante, pf, orch, 1947, lost 1954
Doubles, orch, 19578; Lamoureux Orch, cond. Boulez, Paris, 16 March
1958; extended as FiguresDoublesPrismes, orch, 1963, SWF SO,
cond. Boulez, Basle, 10 Jan 1964; further extended, 1968, Residentie
Orch, cond. Boulez, The Hague, 3 March 1968; all versions unpubd
Posie pour pouvoir (H. Michaux), 5-track tape, 3 orch groups, 1958;
SWF SO, conds. Rosbaud, Boulez, Donaueschingen, 19 Oct 1958;
Livre pour cordes, Ia, Ib, str, 1968; Ia, New Philharmonia, cond. Boulez,
London, 1 Dec 1968; with Ib, same perfs., Brighton, 8 Dec 1968; rev. in 1
mvt 1988, BBC SO, cond. Boulez, London, 17 Jan 1989
Rituel: in memoriam Bruno Maderna, orch, 19745 [related to
explosante-fixe], BBC SO, cond. Boulez, London, 2 April 1975
Notations, 1978 [developed from pf pieces]; IIV, Paris Orch, cond.
Barenboim, Paris, 18 June 1980; VII, Chicago SO, cond. Barenboim,
Chicago, 14 Jan 1999

Notations, 11 nos., 1946, unpubd [arr. of pf pieces]
Polyphonie X, 18 insts, 195051; SWF SO, cond. Rosbaud,
Donaueschingen, 6 Oct 1951; unpubd, withdrawn
Domaines, cl, 21 insts in 6 groups, 19618; Boeykens, RTB SO, cond.
Boulez, Brussels, 20 Dec 1968; unpubd except for cl pt performable as cl
Eclat, 9 perc, 6 insts, 1965 [related to original Don and Strophes];
members of Los Angeles PO, cond. Boulez, Los Angeles, 26 March
1965; extended as Eclat/Multiples, 9 perc, orch, 1970, BBC SO, cond.
Boulez, London, 21 Oct 1970, inc., unpubd
Rpons, 2 pf, hp, vib, glock, cimb, orch, elecs, 198084; Ensemble
InterContemporain, IRCAM technicians, cond. Boulez, Donaueschingen,
18 Oct 1981; extended version, same perfs., London, 6 Sept 1982;
further extended version, Turin, 22 Sept 1984; all versions unpubd
explosante-fixe, version for MIDI fl, orch, elecs, 19913, Valade,
Ensemble InterContemporain, cond. Robertson, Turin, 13 Sept 1993
[Transitoire VII]; Valade, Ensemble InterContemporain, cond. Boulez,
New York, 11 Nov 1993 [Transitoire VII, Transitoire V, Originel]; both
versions unpubd

unaccompanied choral
Oubli signal lapid (A. Gatti), 12 solo vv, 1952; Ensemble Vocal Marcel
Couraud, Cologne, 3 Oct 1952; unpubd; material used in cummings ist
der Dichter

chamber and solo instrumental
Le visage nuptial (Char), S, A, 2 ondes martenot, pf, perc, 1946 [2
movts]; Paris, 1947, unpubd
Le marteau sans matre (Char), A, a fl, gui, vib, xylorimba, perc, va,
19535; Plate, members of SWF SO, cond. Rosbaud, Baden-Baden, 18
June 1955

311 instruments
Quartet, 4 ondes martenot, 19456; unpubd
3 essais, perc, 1950, unpubd
Livre pour quatuor, str qt, 19489: Ia, Ib, II, IIIa, IIIb, IIIc, IV (unpubd), V,
VI; Ia, Ib, II, Marschner Qt, Donaueschingen, 15 Oct 1955; V, VI,
Hamann Qt, Darmstadt, 9 Sept 1961; IIIa, IIIb, IIIc, Parrenin Qt,
Darmstadt, 8 July 1962
Pour le Dr Kalmus, fl, cl, va, vc, pf, 1969, private perf., London, 16 May
1969, unpubd
explosante-fixe, version for fl, cl, tpt, London Sinfonietta, London,
17 June 1972; version for fl, cl, tpt, hp, vib, vn, va, vc, elecs, New York
PO, New York, 5 Jan 1973; rev., BBC SO, Rome, dir. Boulez, 13 May
1973; rev., Musique Vivante, dir. Masson, La Rochelle, 6 July 1974; all
versions unpubd
Messagesquisse, solo vc, 6 vc, 1976; Claret, members of the jury of the
Rostropovich Competition, La Rochelle, 3 July 1977
Drive I, fl, cl, pf, vib, vn, vc, 1984; London Sinfonietta, cond. Knussen,
London, 31 Jan 1985; related to Rpons
Mmoriale, fl, 8 insts, 1985 [after fl pt of 19724 explosante-fixe],
Cherrier, Ensemble InterContemporain, cond. Boulez, Paris, 29 Nov
1985; rev. in 19913 version of explosante-fixe
Initiale, brass, 1987, Houston, 4 June 1987; extended, 1992, members of
Chicago SO, cond. Boulez, Chicago, 20 Nov 1992; both versions unpubd
Drive II, 11 insts, 198893; Ensemble InterContemporain, cond. Boulez,
Milan, 21 June 1990; rev. version, same perfs., London, 7 Feb 1993;
both versions unpubd
sur Incises, solo pf, 2 pf, 3 hp, 2 vib, mar, 19958 [after pf work Incises],
Vassilakis, Ensemble InterContemporain, cond. Boulez, Basle, 27 April
1996; extended, 1998, Vassilakis, Ensemble InterContemporain, cond.
Robertson, Edinburgh, 30 Aug 1998; first version unpubd

12 instruments
Sonatina, fl, pf, 1946; private perf., Boterdael, Mercenier, Brussels, 1947;
first public perf., Gazzelloni, Tudor, Darmstadt, 1956
Domaines, cl, 19618; Deinzer, Ulm, 20 Sept 1968
Dialogue de l'ombre double, cl, elecs, 19825 [after Domaines];
Damiens, Florence, 28 Oct 1985; version for bn, elecs, 1995, Gallois,
Paris, 3 Nov 1995
explosante-fixe, version for vib, elecs, 1986, Forestier, Basle, 2
Sept 1986
Anthmes, vn, 1991 [after vn pt of 19724 explosante-fixe], Arditti,
Vienna, 18 Nov 1991; Anthmes II, vn, elecs, 1997, Hae Sun Kang,
Donaueschingen, 19 Oct 1997

Nocturne, pf, 19445, unpubd
Prelude, Toccata and Scherzo, pf, 19445, unpubd
3 psalmodies, pf, 1945; Grimaud, Paris, 1945; unpubd
Theme and Variations, pf left hand, 1945, unpubd
Notations, 12 pieces, pf, 1945; Grimaud, Paris, 1945; orch versions,
1946, 1978
Sonata no.1, 1946; Grimaud, Paris, 1946
Sonata no.2, 19478; Grimaud, Paris, 29 April 1950
Structures, livre I, 2 pf, 19512; Messiaen, Boulez, Paris, 4 May 1952 [Ia
only]; Grimaud, Loriod, Cologne, 13 Nov 1953 [complete]
Sonata no.3: Antiphonie, Trope, Constellation (also retrograde version
Constellation-Miroir), Strophe, Squence, 19557; Boulez, Darmstadt,
26 Sept 1957; rev. 1963; unpubd except for Sigle (fragment of
Antiphonie), Trope and Constellation-Miroir
Structures, livre II, 2 pf, 195661; Loriod, Boulez, Donaueschingen, 21
Oct 1961
Incises, pf, 1994; Umberto Micheli Piano Competition, Milan, 21 Oct

2 Etudes, tape, 1951

incidental music
Le soleil des eaux (radio play, Char), S, orch, 1948; ORTF, April 1948,

Orestie (stage play, Aeschylus, trans. A. Obey), 1955; Renaud-Barrault

Company, cond. Boulez, Bordeaux, 1955; unpubd
Symphonie mcanique (film, dir. J. Mitry), tape, 1955
Le crpuscule de Yang Koue-fei (radio play, L. Faur), 1957; Paris, RTF,
5 July 1957; unpubd; related to Improvisations sur Mallarm III
Mon Faust (stage play, P. Valry), 1962, unpubd
Ainsi parla Zarathoustra (stage play, J.-L. Barrault, after F. Nietzsche), v,
inst ens, 1974; Renaud-Barrault Company, Paris, Oct 1974; unpubd

plans and projects
Un coup de ds (Mallarm), chorus, orch, 1950, unpubd
Strophes, fl, insts, 1957, inc., unpubd, related to Orestie
Marges, perc ens, 19624, sketches only, unpubd
explosante-fixe, compositional plan, 1971; various realizations
listed above
Also op projects with J. Genet, 1960s and H. Mller, 1980s

19423: songs (C. Baudelaire, R.M. Rilke); Berceuse, vn,

editions and arrangements
Chansons de Bilitis, reconstruction of cel part for work by Debussy, ?
Frontispice, after Ravel, small orch, 1987
ed. with M. Chimnes: C. Debussy: Jeux, Oeuvres compltes, v/8 (Paris,
MSS (incl. unpubd works) in CH-Bps
Principal publishers: Universal (most works), Amphion (works of 1946),
Heugel (works of 19469)


most of the composer's articles, essays and lectures have been published
in volume form; only uncollected items are listed separately
Musikdenken heute (Mainz, 1963/R; Fr. orig., Paris, 1964/R, as Penser la
musique aujourd'hui; Eng. trans., 1971, as Boulez on Music Today)
Relevs dapprenti (Paris, 1966; Eng. trans., 1968, as Notes of an
Apprenticeship and, 1991, as Stocktakings from an Apprenticeship)
Technology and the Composer, Times Literary Supplement (6 May 1977)
Through Schoenberg to the Future, Journal of the Arnold Schoenberg
Institute, (19767), 1215
Points de repre (Paris, 1981; Eng. trans., 1986, as Orientations)
Le timbre et lcriture, Le timbre: mtaphore pour la composition: Paris
1985, 5419; Eng. trans. in CMR, ii (1987), 16171
Necessit d'une orientation esthtique (II), Canadian University Music
Review, (1986), 4679 [part I in Points de repre]
M a e s t r o C o m p u t e r : E r f o r s c h u n g d e r n e u e n To n g r e n z e n ,
Computermusik, ed. G. Batel, G. Kleinen and D. Salbert (Laaber,
1987), 3747
with others: IRCAM: Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/
Musique (Paris, 1987)
The Composer and Creativity, Journal of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute,
xi (1988), 10722
with A. Gerzso: Computers in Music, Scientific American, no.258 (1988),
Jalons (pour une dcennie) (Paris, 1989)
Le pays fertile: Paul Klee (Paris, 1989)
The Vestal Virgin and the Fire-Stealer: Memory, Creation and
Authenticity, EMc, xviii (1990), 3558
with J. Cage: Correspondance et documents, ed. J.-J. Nattiez (Winterthur,
1990; Eng. trans.,1993, as The Boulez-Cage Correspondence
L'autodidacte volontaire, Acanthes an XV: composer, enseigner, jouer la
musique d'aujourd'hui, ed. C. Gilly and C. Samuel (Paris, 1991), 113
Zukunftsmusik: avenir de la musique, Circuit, iii/1 (1992), 722
with others: Recherche et cration vers de nouveaux territoires (Paris,

with A. Schaeffner: Correspondance 19541970, ed. R. Pereira de Tugny

(Paris, 1988)


monographs and symposia
general studies
studies relating to particular works

monographs and symposia

A. Gola: Rencontres avec Pierre Boulez (Paris, 1958/R)
M. Cadieu: Boulez(Madrid, 1977)
J. Peyser: Boulez: Composer, Conductor, Enigma (London, 1977)
P. Griffiths: Boulez(London, 1978)
M. Stahnke: Struktur und sthetik bei Boulez: Untersuchungen zum
Formanten Trope der Dritten Klaviersonate (Hamburg, 1979)
D. Jameux: Pierre Boulez (Paris, 1984; Eng. trans., 1991)
M. Andersen and M. Wenzel Andreasen, eds.: Pierre Boulez: komponist
dirigent utopist (Copenhagen, 1985)
J. Fernndez Guerra: Pierre Boulez (Madrid, 1985)
J. Husler, ed.: Pierre Boulez: eine Festschrift zum 60. Geburtstag am 26.
Mrz 1985 (Vienna,1985)
T. Hirsbrunner: Pierre Boulez und sein Werk (Laaber, 1985)
W. Glock, ed.: Pierre Boulez: a Symposium (London, 1986)
J. Husler, ed.: ber Rpons: ein Interview Variation ber das Echo
eines Schreis: eine Analyse (Kassel, 1986)
C. Samuel, ed.: Eclats/Boulez(Paris, 1986)
P.F. Stacey: Boulez and the Modern Concept (Aldershot, 1987)
D. Jameux and others: Rpons/Boulez(Paris, 1988)
Boulez at the Barbican, London, 1989 [programme of BBC concert series]
L. Koblyakov: Pierre Boulez: a World of Harmony (Chur, 1990)
J. Husler: Pierre Boulez in Salzburg (Salzburg, 1992)
J.-J. Nattiez, ed.: Boulez au Canada: portrait d'impact, Circuit, iii/1 (1992)
[whole issue]
T. Muller, ed.: Jeux de Boulez (Rotterdam, 1994)
Pierre Boulez, Musik-Konzepte, nos.8990 (1995)
Pierre Boulez II, Musik-Konzepte, no.96 (1997)

general studies
M. Scriabine: Pierre Boulez et la musique concrte, ReM, no.215 (1952),
J. Barraqu: Rythme et dveloppement, Polyphonie, nos.910 (1954),
R. Craft: Boulez and Stockhausen, The Score, no.24 (1958), 5464
A. Hodeir: La musique depuis Debussy (Paris, 1961; Eng. trans., 1961)
S. Bradshaw and R.R. Bennett: In Search of Boulez, Music and
Musicians, xi (19623), no.5, pp.1013; no.12, pp.1418, 50
K. Boehmer: Zur Theorie der offenen Form in der neuen Musik
(Darmstadt, 1967, 2/1988), 84ff
A. Whittall: After Webern, Wagner: Reflections on the Past and Future of
Pierre Boulez,MR, xxviii (1967), 1358
A.H. Cross: The Significance of Aleatoricism in Twentieth-Century Music,
MR, xxix (1968), 30522
G.W. Hopkins: Debussy and Boulez, MT, cix (1968), 71014
B. Canino: Boulez prima e dopo, NRMI, iii (1969), 67283
J.-P. Derrien: Dossier Pierre Boulez, Musique en jeu, no.1 (1970), 103
J. Husler: Fruchtland der Synthese: der Komponist Pierre Boulez,
Musica, xxiv (1970), 23941
M. Fink: Pierre Boulez: a Selective Bibliography, CMc, no.13 (1972),
D. Hamilton: The Prospective Encounters at the Philharmonic: Aims and
Achievement,Musical Newsletter, ii/4 (1972), 38
P. Wapnewski: Richard Wagner: die Szene und ihr Meister (Munich,
S. de Nussac and F. Regnault, eds.: Historie d'un ring: Der Ring des
Nibelungen (L'anneau de Nibelung) de Richard Wagner Bayreuth
19761980 (Paris, 1980)
F. Bayer: De Schnberg Cage: essai sur la notion d'espace sonore dans
la musique contemporaine (Paris, 1981)
R. Craft: Stravinsky Pre-Centenary, PNM, xix (1981), 46477
J.-E. Marie: Inverse Function: Differentiation and Integration in Messiaen
and Boulez,Sonus, ii/1 (1981), 2633; v/1 (1984), 3660
Dossier Pierre Boulez, L'avant-scne opra, no.36 (1981), 16297
J. Ardoin: A Ring Diary, OQ, i (1983), no.2, pp.410; no.3, pp.2532
J.-J. Nattiez: Ttralogies: Wagner, Boulez, Chreau (Paris, 1983)
R. Craft: Stravinsky: Selected Correspondence, ii (London and New York,
H. Dufourt: De Schnberg Boulez: logique et dialectique de la cration
musicale, Esprit, no.99 (1985), 2136
M. Foucault: Pierre Boulez: l'cran travers, Silences, no.1 (1985), 11
15; repr. as preface to P. Boulez: Jalons (pour une dcennie) (Paris,
1989), 1922
I. Founberg: Serialisten Pierre Boulez, DMt, lix (19845), 12037, 231
46, 35162
G. Schubert: Werkidee und Kompositionstechnik zur seriellen Musik von
Boulez, Stockhausen und Ligeti,Die Musik der fnfziger Jahre, ed. C.
Dahlhaus (Mainz, 1985), 4871
C. Delige: Invention musicale et idologies (Paris, 1986)
H. Dufourt: Pierre Boulez: musicien de l're industrielle, Komponisten
des 20. Jahrhunderts in der Paul Sacher Stiftung, ed. F. Meyer, J.M.
Jans and I. Westen (Basle, 1986), 37180
J. Husler: Boulez selon Boulez: fragmentarische Bemerkungen zu den

theoretischen Schriften,Komponisten des 20. Jahrhunderts in der

Paul Sacher Stiftung, ed. F. Meyer, J.M. Jans and I. Westen (Basle,
1986), 35970
D. Jameux: Gustav Mahler et Pierre Boulez: Paralllisme/Divergences,
Gustav Mahler: Paris 1985, 7382
J.-F. Pioud: Pierre Boulez: l'nergie cratrice, Etudes, no.364 (1986),
D. Jameux: Mallarm, Debussy, Boulez, Silences, no.4 (1987), 191202
F. Leclre: Premires pierres (Paris, 1987)
J.-J. Nattiez: Chanter le Ring, Canadian University Music Review, viii
(1987), 78133
R. Kapp: Die Schatten des Urbilds des Doubles: vorsichtige Annherung
an eine Figur Ren Leibowitz, Musiktheorie, ii (1987), 1531; Eng.
trans. as Shades of the Double's Original: Ren Leibowitz's Dispute
with Boulez, Tempo, no.165 (1988), 216
R. Cogan: Science, Music Values and the Study of Music: Mozart, Tibetan
Chant, Boulez II,Sonus, viii/2 (19878), 1635
E. Costre: Dialectique des hauteurs chez Schnberg et Boulez, Revue
internationale de musique franaise, no.27 (1988), 83100
K.-K. Hbler: Errungenschaften des Serialismus: Pierre Boulez und die
zahmen Wilden der Neuen Musik,MusikTexte, no.23 (1988), 35
A. Padilla: Partir hacia lo desconocido, con pasin: el pensamiento
esttico-musical de Pierre Boulez, Araucaria de Chile, no.42 (1988),
A. Edwards: Unpublished Bouleziana at the Paul Sacher Foundation,
Tempo, no.169 (1989), 415
D. Gable: Boulez's Two Cultures: the Post-War European Synthesis and
Tradition, JAMS, xliii (1990), 42656
S. Galaise: Pierre Boulez: les cours de Ble, Mitteilungen der Paul
Sacher Stiftung, iii (1990), 910
E. Humbertclaude, ed.: (Re)lire Souvtchinski (La Bresse, 1990)
H. Dufourt: Musique, pouvoir, criture (Paris, 1991)
J. Aguila: Le Domaine Musical: Pierre Boulez et vingt ans de cration
contemporaine(Paris, 1992)
Sammlungen der Paul Sacher Stiftung,Mitteilungen der Paul Sacher
Stiftung, v (1992), 112
G. Born: Rationalizing Culture: IRCAM, Boulez and the Institutionalization
of the Musical Avant-Garde(Berkeley, 1995)
M. Breatnach: Boulez and Mallarm: a Study in Poetic Influence
(Aldershot, 1996)
A. Williams: New Music and the Claims of Modernity (Aldershot, 1997)
S. Heinemann: Pitch-Class Set Multiplication in Theory and Practice,
Music Theory Spectrum, xx/1 (1998), 7296
R. Nemecek: Untersuchungen zum frhen Klavierschaffen von Pierre
Boulez (Kassel, 1998)

studies relating to particular works

G. Ligeti: Pierre Boulez: Entscheidung und Automatik in der Structure Ia,
Die Reihe, iv (1958), 3863; Eng. trans. in Die Reihe, iv (1960), 36
H. Michaux: Gense des trois Posies pour pouvoir, Melos, xxv (1958),
M. Wilkinson: Some Thoughts on Twelve-Tone Method (Boulez: Structure
Ia), Gravesaner Bltter, no.10 (1958), 239
G. Ligeti: Zur III. Klaviersonate von Boulez, Die Reihe, v (1959), 3840;
Eng. trans. in Die Reihe, v (1961), 58

K. Stockhausen: Musik und Sprache, Die Reihe, vi (1960), 3658; Eng.

trans. in Die Reihe, vi (1964), 4064 [on Le marteau sans matre]
M. Butor: Mallarm selon Boulez, Melos, xxviii (1961), 3569
G.W. Hopkins: Le soleil des eaux, Tempo, no.68 (1964), 357
H.U. Lehmann: FiguresDoublesPrismes,Tempo, no.68 (1964), 345
R. Henderson: Le soleil des eaux, MT, cvi (1965), 6734
M. Chanan: Boulez'sEclat/Multiples, Tempo, no.95 (197071), 3033
J. Grimm: Formaspekte der 2. Klaviersonate von Boulez, SMz, cxii
(1972), 2015
I. Stoanowa: Pli selon pli: portrait de Mallarm, Musique en jeu, no.11
(1973), 7598
R. Gehrlach: Pierre Boulez und Stphane Mallarm: ein Fragment ber
das Artfizielle, ber Musik und Sprache, ed. R. Stephan (Mainz,
1974), 7092
R. Stephan: Bemerkungen zu Pierre Boulez's Komposition von Ren
Chars Klage der verliebten Eidechse, Zur musikalische Analyse, ed.
G. Schuhmacher (Darmstadt, 1974), 44151
I. Stoanowa: LaTroisime sonate de Boulez et le projet mallarmen du
Livre, Musique en jeu, no.16 (1974), 928
I. Stoanowa: Verbe et son centre et absence, Musique en jeu, no.16
(1974), 79102
A. Cross: Form and Expression in Boulez' Don, MR, xxxvi (1975), 215
A. Trenkamp: The Concept of Ala in Boulez's ConstellationMiroir,ML, lvii (1976), 110
L. DeYoung: Pitch Order and Duration Order in Boulez Structure Ia',
PNM, xvi/2 (19778), 2734
R. Febel: Musik fr zwei Klaviere seit 1950 als Spiegel der
Kompositionstechnik(Herrenberg, 1978)
U. Siegele: Zwei Kommentare zum Marteau sans matre von Pierre
Boulez (Tbingen, 1979)
R.T. Piencikowski: Ren Char et Pierre Boulez: esquisse analytique du
Marteau sans matre,Schweizer Beitrge zur Musikwissenschaft, iv,
ed. J. Stenzl (Stuttgart, 1980), 193264
M. Beiche: Serielles Denken in Rituel von Pierre Boulez, AMw, xxxviii
(1981), 2456
C. Delige: Deux aspects de l'univers boulezien: Structures pour deux
pianos quatre mains, Critique, no.408 (1981), 47884
M.J. Worton: Archipel et labyrinthe: l'importance de la posie de Ren
Char pour la musique de Pierre Boulez, Interfrences, no.13 (1981),
R. Black: Boulez's Third Piano Sonata: Surface and Sensibility, PNM, xx
(1982), 18298
M. Denhoff: Rituelvon Pierre Boulez: Anmerkungen zur Raum- und ZeitKonzeption, Festschrift Emil Platen zum sechzigsten Geburtstag, ed.
M. Gutirrez-Denhoff (Bonn, 1986), 20819
S. Goldet: Quatuors du 20me sicle (Paris, 1986)
S.D. Winick: Symmetry and Pitch-Duration Association in Boulez' Le
marteau sans matre,PNM, xxiv (1986), 280321
A. Bonnet: Ecritureand Perception: on Messagesquisse by Pierre
Boulez, CMR, ii/1 (1987), 173209
F. Jedrjzewski: La mise en oeuvre du principe dodcaphonique dans la
1e sonate de Pierre Boulez, Analyse musicale, no.7 (1987), 6976
J.-J. Nattiez: Reponset la crise de la communication musicale
contemporaine,InHarmoniques, no.2 (1987), 193210
C. Delige: Moment de Pierre Boulez: sur l'introduction orchestrale de
Rpons,InHarmoniques, no.4 (1988), 181202
J. McCalla: Sea-Changes: Boulez's Improvisations sur Mallarm, JM, vi

(1988), 83106
W.G. Harbinson: Performer Indeterminacy and Boulez's Third Sonata,
Tempo, no.169 (1989), 1620
A. Baltensperger: Marginalien zu einem Manuskript von Pierre Boulez,
Mitteilungen der Paul Sacher Stiftung, iii (1990), 1522
U. Mosch: Disziplin und Indisziplin: zum seriellen Komponieren im 2. Satz
des Marteau sans matrevon Pierre Boulez, Musiktheorie, v (1990),
3966; responses by T. Bsche, ibid., 25370, and G.F. Haas, ibid.,
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sans matre,PNM, xxix (1991), 14270
P. McCallum: Deuxime Sonate Que me veux-tu? Sonata Form in the
First Movement of Boulez's Second Piano Sonata, SMA, xxvi (1992),
A. Piret: Pierre Boulez: Troisime sonate pour piano, Analyse musicale,
no.29 (1992), 6174
B. Ramaut: Dialogue de l'ombre double de Pierre Boulez: analyse d'un
processus citationel, Analyse musicale, no.28 (1992), 6975
H. Sandroff: Realizing the Spatialization Processing of Dialogue de
l'ombre double by Pierre Boulez, Inernational Computer Music
Conference: San Jose, CA 1992, 2025
A. Edwards: Boulez'sDoubles and FiguresDoublesPrismes: a
Preliminary Study, Tempo, no.185 (1993), 618
J.S. Lee: Mimesis and Beyond: Mallarm, Boulez, and Cage, Writings
about John Cage, ed. R. Kostelanetz (Ann Arbor, 1993), 180217
R. Nemecek: Tendenz und Kontinuitt im frhen Klavierschaffen von
Pierre Boulez,Mitteilungen der Paul Sacher Stiftung, vi (1993), 1822
R. Pereira: La Troisime sonate de Pierre Boulez, Dissonanz, no.36
(1993), 47
R.T. Piencikowski: Assez lent, suspendu, comme imprvisible:
quelques aperus sur les travaux d'approche d'Eclat, Genesis, no.4
(1993), 5167
A. Williams: Rpons: Phantasmagoria or the Articulation of Space,
Theory, Analysis and Meaning in Music, ed. A. Pople (Cambridge,
1994), 195210
P. OHagan: Pierre Boulez: Sonate que me veux-tu: an Investigation of
the Manuscript Sources in Relation to the Third Sonata and the Issue
of Performer Choice(diss., U. of Surrey, 1997)
S. Chang: Boulezs Sonatine and the Genesis of his Twelve-Tone
Practice (Ann Arbor, 1998)