Le Voile D’Orphée

Categories: Elettroacustica
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Published on: 28 March 2007

Pierre Henry’s “Veil of Orpheus”, probably the first major work of symphonic concrete music, though composed for an opera (“Orpheus 53”, written with Pierre Schaeffer for the Donauescliingen Festival). At the time it stood out from among the many experiments as finished and significant; it sounds as valid today despite the great progress made by the technical evolution upon which electro-acoustical music so closely depends.
I say symphonic because the score calls for a large number of “concrete instruments” the history and specifications of which we need not go into here; indeed one of the essential conditions of concrete music is transmutation, and the actual origin of a sound is relatively unimportant. But Pierre Henry profoundly individualizes instruments and instrumental (or choral) ensembles, as would classical composers, without adopting classical molds. What is astonishing is that here in the infancy of concrete music he had already reinvented everything: a mysterious quality in the orchestral fabric, a large, complex rhythmic structure, a polyphony of rhythms and sound planes obeying no known rules and nevertheless achieving a unity, an internal logic, that cannot be gainsaid.

[excerpt from Notes From Philips 836 887 by Jacques Lonchampt]

Can download both versions in loseless flac format from the AvantGarde Project

Il solito Anablog, specializzato in musica analogica ormai fuori catalogo, pubblica Le Voile D’Orphée, composta da Pierre Henry nel 1953.
Si tratta della prima versione, di 27 minuti. Nel 1958, infatti, venne prodotta una seconda versione, più breve (circa 15′), utilizzata nel balletto di Maurice Bejart “Orpheus”.
Questo brano è uno dei più rappresentativi della prima musica concreta, basata su filtraggi, cambi di velocità e montaggi di nastri (chi volesse approfondire l’aspetto tecnico, può leggere questo mio breve contributo).
Qui Henry tratta i suoni concreti in modo quasi sinfonico. A circa 50 anni di distanza, questa musica conserva intatto il senso di mistero che la ispirava.
Dal sito dell’AvantGarde Project si possono scaricare entrambe le versioni del brano in formato flac (compressione senza perdita).

Pierre Henry – Le Voile D’Orphée I (1953)

1 Comment
  1. Hey Mauro, thanks for add, keep up the good work!

    MM

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