Jean-Henri-Alphonse Barraqué (January 17, 1928 –August 17, 1973) was a French composer and writer on music who developed an individual form of serialism which is displayed in a small output.
France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.
A composer is a musician who is an author of music in any form, including vocal music, instrumental music, electronic music, and music which combines multiple forms. A composer may create music in any music genre, including, for example, classical music, musical theatre, blues, folk music, jazz, and popular music. Composers often express their works in a written musical score using musical notation.
In music, serialism is a method of composition using series of pitches, rhythms, dynamics, timbres or other musical elements. Serialism began primarily with Arnold Schoenberg's twelve-tone technique, though some of his contemporaries were also working to establish serialism as a form of post-tonal thinking. Twelve-tone technique orders the twelve notes of the chromatic scale, forming a row or series and providing a unifying basis for a composition's melody, harmony, structural progressions, and variations. Other types of serialism also work with sets, collections of objects, but not necessarily with fixed-order series, and extend the technique to other musical dimensions, such as duration, dynamics, and timbre.
Barraqué was born in Puteaux, Hauts-de-Seine. In 1931, he moved with his family to Paris. He studied in Paris with Jean Langlais and Olivier Messiaen and, through Messiaen, became interested in serialism. After completing his Piano Sonata in 1952, he suppressed or destroyed his earlier works. A book published by the French music critic André Hodeir, titled Since Debussy, [ citation needed ]created controversy around Barraqué by claiming this work as perhaps the finest piano sonata since Beethoven. As the work had still not been publicly performed, and only two other works by him had at this time, the extravagant claims made for Barraqué in this book were received with some scepticism. Whilst with hindsight it is clear that Hodeir had accurately perceived the exceptional features of Barraqué's music—notably its searing Romantic intensity, which distinguishes it from the contemporaneous works of Boulez or Stockhausen.
Puteaux is a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, France. It is located in the heart of the Hauts-de-Seine department 8.7 kilometres (5.4 mi) from the center of Paris.
Hauts-de-Seine is a department of France. It is part of the Métropole du Grand Paris and of the Île-de-France region, and covers the western inner suburbs of Paris. It is small and densely populated and contains the modern office, theatre, and shopping complex known as La Défense.
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.
As Paul Griffiths' biography clarified, Boulez had in fact attempted to get the Barraqué Piano Sonata performed for some years after it was finished. [ citation needed ]Barraqué's music was published starting in 1963 by the Florentine businessman Aldo Bruzzichelli, who provided much-needed material assistance for the composer, but whose promotion could not perhaps compete with that of the better known Universal Edition in Vienna who published Boulez, Berio, and Stockhausen. In any event, Barraqué did not obtain ready access to the better-known new music festivals and concert series until much later than they.
Paul Anthony Griffiths OBE is a British music critic, novelist and librettist. He is particularly noted for his writings on modern classical music and for having written the libretti for two 20th century operas, Tan Dun's Marco Polo and Elliott Carter's What Next?.
Universal Edition (UE) is a classical music publishing firm. Founded in 1901 in Vienna, and originally intended to provide the core classical works and educational works to the Austrian market. The firm soon expanded to become one of the most important publishers of modern music.
Luciano Berio, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI was an Italian composer. He is noted for his experimental work and also for his pioneering work in electronic music.
Embracing the Parisian avant-garde, Barraqué entered into a romantic relationship with the philosopher Michel Foucault. Together, they tried to produce their greatest work, used recreational drugs heavily and engaged in sado-masochistic sexual activity.
Barraqué was involved in a car accident in 1964, and his apartment was destroyed by fire in November 1968. [ not in citation given ]He suffered from bad health for much of his life. Nevertheless, his death in Paris in August 1973, at the age of 45, was sudden and unexpected, and he appeared to have resumed serious work on a number of larger compositions from the Death of Virgil cycle.
Barraqué stated that he wrote about 30 works before those that he eventually acknowledged; as far as is known they were destroyed by him. They included a Nocturne and Mouvement lent for piano, at least three piano sonatas, a sonata for unaccompanied violin, and a Symphony in C sharp minor.The presumably fourth, but un-numbered Piano Sonata, for which he gave the date 1952, was his earliest acknowledged work. Barraqué then produced his only electronic piece, the musique concrète Etude (1954), made at Pierre Schaeffer's studio. Subsequently, he planned a large-scale cycle of pieces, La Mort de Virgile, based on Hermann Broch's novel The Death of Virgil , a book which Barraqué's friend and sometime lover Michel Foucault recommended to him. This cycle, along with other pieces deriving from it or acting as commentaries upon it, he envisaged as his principal lifelong creative project. Following the scheme of the novel, it was to be divided into four sub-cycles: 'Water (The Arrival)', 'Fire (The Descent)', 'Earth (The Expectancy)' and 'Air (The Return)'. Most of Barraqué's creative efforts went into the works which were to take their place in 'Fire (The Descent)', which - to give an idea of the projected scope of the whole design - was to have consisted of thirteen works. Before his death he completed two of the projected parts: Chant aprés chant (1966), and Le Temps restitué (1957/68). Fragments of some of the other parts exist.
A symphony is an extended musical composition in Western classical music, most often written by composers for orchestra. Although the term has had many meanings from its origins in the ancient Greek era, by the late 18th century the word had taken on the meaning common today: a work usually consisting of multiple distinct sections or movements, often four, with the first movement in sonata form. Symphonies are almost always scored for an orchestra consisting of a string section, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments which altogether number about 30 to 100 musicians. Symphonies are notated in a musical score, which contains all the instrument parts. Orchestral musicians play from parts which contain just the notated music for their own instrument. Some symphonies also contain vocal parts.
Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments, digital instruments and circuitry-based music technology. In general, a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means, and that produced using electronics only. Electromechanical instruments include mechanical elements, such as strings, hammers, and so on, and electric elements, such as magnetic pickups, power amplifiers and loudspeakers. Examples of electromechanical sound producing devices include the telharmonium, Hammond organ, and the electric guitar, which are typically made loud enough for performers and audiences to hear with an instrument amplifier and speaker cabinet. Pure electronic instruments do not have vibrating strings, hammers, or other sound-producing mechanisms. Devices such as the theremin, synthesizer, and computer can produce electronic sounds.
Musique concrète is a type of music composition that utilizes recorded sounds as raw material, assembling them into a form of montage. It can feature sounds derived from recordings of musical instruments, the human voice, and the natural environment as well as those created using synthesizers and computer-based digital signal processing. Compositions in this idiom are not restricted to the normal musical rules of melody, harmony, rhythm, metre, and so on. It exploits acousmatic listening, meaning sound identities can often be intentionally obscured or appear unconnected to their source cause. Originally contrasted with "pure" elektronische Musik, the theoretical basis of musique concrète as a compositional practice was developed by Pierre Schaeffer, beginning in the early 1940s. From the late 1960s onward, and particularly in France, the term acousmatic music started to be used in reference to fixed media compositions that utilized both musique concrète based techniques and live sound spatialisation.
Barraqué also wrote ... Au delà du hasard (1958–59) for three female voices and ensemble, and a Concerto for clarinet, vibraphone and ensemble in 1962–68, which are related to The Death of Virgil, but not actually part of that cycle. (... Au delà du hasard is described as a commentary on Affranchi du hasard, which was to have been the eleventh piece of 'Fire (The Descent)' but was not actually composed.)The only other extant piece by Barraqué is Séquence (1955–56), a setting of Nietzsche for soprano and ensemble which is partly a re-working of three songs for soprano and piano from the early fifties.
Barraqué's use of tone rows in his work is quite distinctive. Rather than using a single tone row for an entire piece, as Anton Webern did, or using a number of related rows in one work, as Alban Berg or Arnold Schoenberg sometimes did, Barraqué starts by using one row, and then subtly alters it to get a second. This second row is then used for a while before being slightly altered again to make a third. This process continues throughout the work. He called this technique "proliferating series".
Harry Halbreich has written that "Barraqué's whole work is marked by terrible despair, lightened by no religious or ideological faith, and entirely dominated by the great shadow of Death".In 1998 the record company CPO issued his entire output on CD, in performances by the Austrian ensemble Klangforum Wien.
The major reference work on his music in English is a biography entitled The Sea on Fire by the British music critic Paul Griffiths (2003). In German, Heribert Henrich's book of 1997 is its complement. His music is now published by the German firm of Bärenreiter.
Barraqué wrote many articles on other composers (including Alban Berg, Monteverdi, Mozart and Messiaen) and on theoretical aspects of contemporary music. His major prose work is his book on Claude Debussy (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1962). He also made numerous analyses of works in the standard repertoire from J.S. Bach to Honegger, some of which he used in his teaching.His few pupils included the British composer Bill Hopkins.
Paul Abraham Dukas was a French composer, critic, scholar and teacher. A studious man, of retiring personality, he was intensely self-critical, and he abandoned and destroyed many of his compositions. His best known work is the orchestral piece The Sorcerer's Apprentice, the fame of which has eclipsed that of his other surviving works. Among these are the opera Ariane et Barbe-bleue, a symphony, two substantial works for solo piano, and a ballet, La Péri.
Edison Vasilievich Denisov was a Russian composer in the so-called "Underground"—"Anti-Collectivist", "alternative" or "nonconformist" division of Soviet music.
Henri Dutilleux was a French composer active mainly in the second half of the 20th century. His work, which garnered international acclaim, followed in the tradition of Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Albert Roussel and Olivier Messiaen, but in an idiosyncratic style.
Lucien Denis Gabriel Albéric Magnard was a French composer, sometimes referred to as a "French Bruckner", though there are significant differences between the two composers. Magnard became a national hero in 1914 when he refused to surrender his property to German invaders and died defending it.
Hermann Broch was a 20th-century Austrian writer, considered one of the major Modernists.
Claude Helffer was a French pianist noted particularly for his advocacy of 20th-century music.
The Death of Virgil is a 1945 novel by the Austrian author Hermann Broch. The narrative reenacts the last hours of life of the Roman poet Virgil, in the port of Brundisium (Brindisi), whence he had accompanied the emperor Augustus, his decision – frustrated by the emperor – to burn his Aeneid, and his final reconciliation with his destiny. Virgil's heightened perceptions as he dies recall his life and the age in which he lives. The poet is in the interval between life and death, just as his culture hangs between the pagan and Christian eras. As he reflects, Virgil recognises that history is at a cusp and that he may have falsified reality in his attempt to create beauty.
Philippe Gaubert was a French musician who was a distinguished performer on the flute, a respected conductor, and a composer, primarily for the flute.
Harry Halbreich was a Belgian musicologist.
Paul Émile Ladmirault was a French composer and music critic whose music expressed his devotion to Brittany. Claude Debussy wrote that his work possessed a "fine dreamy musicality", commenting on its characteristically hesitant character by suggesting that it sounded as if it was "afraid of expressing itself too much". Florent Schmitt said of him: "Of all the musicians of his generation, he was perhaps the most talented, most original, but also the most modest". Peter Warlock dedicated his Capriol Suite to him and Swan Hennessy his Trio, Op. 54.
The Piano Sonata by Jean Barraqué is a significant serial composition from the period of avant-garde composition in France shortly after World War II.
André Hodeir was a French violinist, composer, arranger and musicologist.
The Royan Festival was held in Royan from 1964 to 1977. It was a multi-disciplinary annual event, bringing together:
The Six sonatas for various instruments by Claude Debussy (1862–1918) was a projected cycle of sonatas, that were interrupted by his death in 1918, after he had composed only half of the projected sonatas. He left behind his sonatas for cello and piano (1915), flute, viola and harp (1915), and violin and piano (1916–1917).
The Cinq poèmes de Charles Baudelaire constitute a song cycle for voice and piano by Claude Debussy, on poems taken from Les Fleurs du mal by Charles Baudelaire. Composed from December 1887 to March 1889, these five highly developed vocal pieces were not well received by Parisian musical circles because of the Wagnerian influence they revealed.
The Concerto for six instrumental formations and two solo instruments is a work composed by Jean Barraqué in 1962–68.
Le Temps restitué is a work for mezzo-soprano solo, choir, and orchestra by the French composer Jean Barraqué. It was both the first part to have been begun and the last one to be completed in his projected but unfinished cycle of works based on Hermann Broch’s novel, The Death of Virgil. A performance lasts about forty minutes.
Chant après chant is a composition for soprano singer, piano, and six percussionists, by the French composer Jean Barraqué, written in 1966. It is the third part of a projected but unfinished cycle of works based on Hermann Broch’s novel The Death of Virgil, and uses texts written by the composer as well as extracts from the second book of Broch’s novel, in the French translation by Albert Kohn. A performance lasts about twenty-five minutes.
… Au delà du hasard is a composition for three women’s voices (SSA) and four instrumental groups, by the French composer Jean Barraqué, written in 1958–59. It is the second part of a projected but unfinished cycle of works based on Hermann Broch’s novel The Death of Virgil, and uses texts written by the composer based on a quotation from Broch’s novel, in the French translation by Albert Kohn. A performance lasts about forty minutes.
Jean-Pierre Drouet is a French multi-instrumentist percussionist and composer.