Dos obras del serialista electrónico Philippe Manoury, son dirigidas por Pierre Boulez al frente del Ensemble Intercontemporain, con la participación de Sophie Cherrier a la flauta, y Hideki Nagano, Dimitri Vassilakis a los pianos. La grabación de la disquera Musidisc es de 1999, y a pesar de su relevancia, es prácticamente imposible de encontrar en tiendas. Aquí la compartimos en formato sin pérdida (Flac), en un archivo de 304 MB. .
Philippe Manoury belongs to that generation of composers who, as young musicians, delighted in the nascent possibilities of electronic music at the recently opened IRCAM in Paris. Manoury distinguishes himself from others of his generation in two ways. The first is his continuing interest in serialism, while many who frequented IRCAM followed the spectralist tradition. The other is his interest in live electronics, eschewing any kind of works for tape and instead exploring the pairing of human performers with an electronic part that could react in real-time. The two pieces here, part of his cycle "Sonus ex machina", are representative of his output. Manoury wrote "Jupiter" for flute and electronics (1987) after Laurence Beauregard, then a flautist with the Ensemble Intercontemporain, developed a flute with switches on its keys to help a computer follow along. (There's a video floating around of Beauregard demonstrating it, but sadly he died soon afterward.) This technical development let the electronic part follow the unique playing style of the live flautist. As Sophie Cherrier plays on this recording, the electronic part blossoms out of her performance in a smooth and organic fashion, with a general shimmering background to the breathiness of the flute part. "La Partition du Ciel et de l'Enfer" for flute and 2 piano soloists, ensemble and electronics (1989) is an orchestral concertante meditation on the moods of two earlier works. One one hand, there's the slow, tranquil atmosphere of "Jupiter". On the other hand, we hear the savage keyboard attacks of "Pluton" for piano (1987, the first "Sonus ex machina" work). The electronic part here has great variety and is fine listening if your stereo is up to task. I think Manoury's work is worth seeking out if you've already heard the electronic works of Pierre Boulez. Manoury's "Pluton" (available on a now deleted Ondine disc) reminded me strongly of Boulez's "Repons", while "Jupiter" and "La Partition" look ahead to Boulez's "...explosante-fixe..." and "Sur Incises" respectively. I do think, however, that Manoury's pieces tend to be mainly gimmick with little behind the concept of pairing players and electronics, so I can't rate him as highly as Boulez. Nonetheless, there is a real magic to these endeavours in live electronics. Even after 20 years, when technology has progressed on, IRCAM's early successes still impress.