Pierre Boulez

Pierre Boulez in Moscow

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Pierre Boulez in Moscow Review

by Blair Sanderson

On March 5, 1990, Pierre Boulez conducted the Moscow Conservatory Symphony Orchestra in three essential 20th century works: Igor Stravinsky's Petrushka, Anton Webern's Six Pieces for orchestra, and Claude Debussy's La Mer. This 2014 Melodiya release presents the concert with focused sound and clear details, though the orchestra's playing isn't meticulous or clean, and the music comes off a little harsh and abrasive in the close-up recording. These are ambitious works for any student orchestra to approach, and this recording should be judged on that basis, notwithstanding the presence of Boulez or the historical significance of the performance. It's doubtful that Boulez had much time to rehearse the musicians, and the scrappiness of the playing suggests that there was little room for interpretation. This CD is a bit of a curiosity that Boulez specialists might find interesting to analyze, but because he made superior recordings of all three works with world-class orchestras, notably those with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic, they are preferable to this album.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Petrushka
1 Pierre Boulez 00:51 Amazon
2 Pierre Boulez 04:33 Amazon
3 Pierre Boulez 01:47 Amazon
4 Pierre Boulez 02:33 Amazon
5 Pierre Boulez 04:01 Amazon
6 Pierre Boulez 03:01 Amazon
7 Pierre Boulez 00:47 Amazon
8 Pierre Boulez 03:01 Amazon
9 Pierre Boulez 01:06 Amazon
10 Pierre Boulez 02:33 Amazon
11 Pierre Boulez 01:17 Amazon
12 Pierre Boulez 01:04 Amazon
13 Pierre Boulez 01:57 Amazon
14 Pierre Boulez 01:35 Amazon
15 Pierre Boulez 03:28 Amazon
Six Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 6
16 Pierre Boulez 01:00 Amazon
17 Pierre Boulez 01:22 Amazon
18 Pierre Boulez 00:50 Amazon
19 Pierre Boulez 03:58 Amazon
20 Pierre Boulez 02:05 Amazon
21 Pierre Boulez 01:36 Amazon
The Sea
22 Pierre Boulez 08:02 Amazon
23 Pierre Boulez 06:56 Amazon
24 Pierre Boulez 07:37 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick