« links for 2007-03-03 | Main | Giant Steps (1959). John Coltrane /clickety click/ »

March 03, 2007


Daniel Wolf

My favorite is Hyperprism, almost a perfect little piece.

I think that there isn't a Varese "school" largely because (a) his work was held together largely by force of musical personality and not as part of a larger theoretical project, and (b) his own personality was completely unsuited to a leadership role of the sort.

Nevertheless, Lucia Dlugoszewski and Chou Wen Chung were his students, and there are an even larger number of composers for whom the Vares example was critical -- Tenney, Mumma, Reynolds, perhaps Erickson. And the impact of single works of Varese on other composers -- for example Poeme Electronique on Stockhausen, Offrandes on Boulez, or Octandre on Ferneyhough and Density or Ionisation on dozens of composers -- cannot be underestimated.

richard friedman

Lutoslawski claimed to be a disciple of Varese. I might be able to locate a quote somewhere someday. But where does the idea that a composer must be the inspiration for a "school"? Daniel's comment about Varese's personality not being suited for that role (think Schoenberg as the model) is right on. Also, in Varese lived the confluence of a number of historical dynamics which will probably never intersect again: surrealism, pan-americanism, urbanism. His music reflects his time and culture, both of which no longer exist. Also, there are so few pieces (compared to the output of other composers) that it is hard to see the whole picture. Still, many composers have been influenced by his music .. his techniques, sound .. because of what they heard, and because it was so different and so personal.

Sometimes great things come in small packages.

david toub

Varese has always been one of my favorite composers ever since our school music teacher Mr. Griggs played ionization for us on a recording in 7th grade. My favorite works would include octandre, deserts, integrales and arcana. But if I had to pick just one, it would be a tie between ameriques and integrales. Just too hard to choose.

Without question, varese has been, and continues to be, a major influence on a lot of composers. I'm not sure why he seems to not be in great favor anymore, however. Perhaps it was the variety of factors that have been alluded to by richard and daniel.Regardless, his music should be heard more often.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

/aworks data/

  • q2 streaming
  • aworks weekly listening
  • aworks recently played