Magazine article Gramophone

'Les Grandes Repetitions'

Magazine article Gramophone

'Les Grandes Repetitions'

Article excerpt

'Les grandes repetitions' [DVD]

Two films by Luc Ferrari and Gerard Pattis 'Karlheinz Stockhausen: Momente' (1965) Martina Arroyo sop Alfons & Aloys Kontarsky elec orgs Choir and Orchestra of the Westdeutscher Rundfunk / Karlheinz Stockhausen 'Hommage a Edgard Varese' (1965) Deserts (rehearsal) (a). Ionisation (b)

(a) Domalne Musicale Orchestra / Bruno Maderna; (b) Ensemble Instrumentale de Musique Contemporaine de Paris / Konstantin Simonovic Mode (F) [DVD] MODE276 (111' * NTSC * 4:3 * b&w * PCM mono * O * s)

Perhaps one way to guarantee a hit-rate of better, more informed television music documentaries would be to hand composers a stack of money and commission them to make programmes about their own kind. Between 1965 and '68, the French composer Luc Ferrari collaborated with the television director Gerard Patris on a series of composer portraits which were broadcast as Les grandes repetitions ('The Great Rehearsals'), programmes which have since become the stuff of new-music legend--and were virtually impossible to see. But now Mode Records has dusted down two episodes and given them English subtitles.

Hommage a Edgard Varese had been meant to be centred around an interview with Varese himself but, sadly, the great man died shortly before the film went into production. So Ferrari produced instead a profoundly moving obituary featuring a fantasy football team of talking heads: Xenakis, Boulez, Messiaen, Marcel Duchamp, Pierre Schaeffer and Hermann Scherchen. …

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