Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Edgard Varèse: Complete Chronological Collection

Edgard Varèse (1883 - 1965) was a French composer, often credited as the "Father of Electronic Music", while Henry Miller described him as "The stratospheric Colossus of Sound". He was Zappa's main musical influence and the artist who inspired him to become a composer.

Works in this playlist:
  • Un grand sommeil noir, song to a text by Paul Verlaine for voice and piano (1906)
  • Amériques for large orchestra (1918–1921; revised 1927) 
  • Offrandes for soprano and chamber orchestra (poems by Vicente Huidobro and José Juan Tablada)(1921) 
  • Hyperprism for wind and percussion (1922–1923) 
  • Octandre for seven wind instruments and double bass (1923) 
  • Intégrales for wind and percussion (1924–1925) Arcana for large orchestra (1925–1927) 
  • Ionisation for 13 percussion players (1929–1931) 
  • Ecuatorial for bass voice (or unison male chorus), brass, organ, percussion and theremins (revised for ondes-martenots in 1961) (text by Francisco Ximénez) (1932–1934) 
  • Density 21.5 for solo flute (1936) 
  • Tuning Up for orchestra (sketched 1946; completed by Chou Wen-chung, 1998) 
  • Dance for Burgess for chamber ensemble (1949) Déserts for wind, percussion and electronic tape (1950–1954)
  • Déserts for wind, percussion and electronic tape (1950–1954)
  • Poème électronique for electronic tape (1957–1958) 
  • Nocturnal for soprano, male chorus and orchestra, text adapted from The House of Incest by Anaïs Nin (1961), revised and completed posthumously by Chou Wen-chung (1968)
Because Varèse only completed slightly more than a dozen compositions, I included all available recordings in this playlist.

Get this collection in one Spotify playlist: Edgard Varèse: Complete Chronological Collection (141 tracks, total time: 18 hours). Ctrl (CMD) + G to browse in album view. Recommended reading: Zappa's article Edgard Varèse: The Idol of My Youth and Zappa on Varèse.

According to Gail Zappa, FZ's final project, Varèse: The Rage And The Fury, might be released "at the end of the Mayan Calendar". Looks like we can finally hear it in a few months...