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Composed in , Edgard Varèse’s Ionisation is the first piece of Western classical music to be scored for an ensemble comprised solely of. Compared to those monuments, the French-American composer Edgard Varèse’s “Ionisation” barely amounts to a flyspeck. The work’s Sheet Music – £ – Edgard Varèse – Ionisation (Percussion Ensemble).

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He had settled in the United States in One critic described the performance as “a sock in the jaw. Inthe work became widely accessible through a successful 78 rpm issued by Columbia Records. Three other instruments appear only in the last bars of the work: Views Read Edit View history. You are commenting using your Twitter account. To find out more, varrese how to control cookies, see here: A Sketch of the Man and His Music”.

April 30, at Studia Musicologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae.

You are commenting using your WordPress. September 30, at By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. From cymbals to sirens Ionization is composed for 13 musicians playing some 40 instruments.

Avant-gardeThomas May. The World’s Encyclopaedia of Recorded Music. A new world of sound would soon open for percussion instruments. The ominous opening of rolling bass drums and gongs gives way at 0: Nicolas Slonimsky conducting Ionisation in Havana.


Ionization was a brilliant confirmation of percussion as an independent musical medium. This page was last edited on 24 Februaryat All these great strides forward, astonishing as they may have been, were just the beginning. His preoccupations heralded those of composers born after Well, that would count as part of the larger piece, rather than a stand-alone piece in and of itself.

varesd The current vogue was for the neoclassical sonatas and concertos of Milhaud, Poulenc, and Stravinsky. Toward the end of the nineteenth century, the percussion section was expected to provide colour as well.

Retrieved 30 August Below is a recording of Ionisation followed iojisation a brief listening guide. September 30, at 9: Reinforcement, evocation, and colour From Bach to Brahms, the job of the percussion section in the orchestra had basically been to reinforce the accents already present in the musical exchange among the other instruments.

Having moved to America at the age of 32, the French-born composer was deeply affected by the aural experience of living in urban New York. The next section begins at 2: His spatial conception of music anticipated the electro-acoustic music that emerged in the s, involving taped recordings broadcast on loudspeakers that projected sound-masses moving in space. Beethoven, however, was able to transcend this limitation.


Ionisation (Varèse) – Wikipedia

April 26, at 9: September 13, at 5: The Gramophone Shop, Inc. His predilection for sounds outside the traditional scales was shared by electro-acoustic musicians, continually experimenting with new intervals.

Email required Address never made public. Ionisation features the expansion and variation of rhythmic cellsand the title refers to the ionization of molecules. Perspectives of New Music. To fully appreciate the importance of Ionization, we need to look briefly at the function of percussion instruments in the orchestra.

Ionisation (Varèse, Edgard)

Sound-masses in collision For the first time in the history of western music, orchestral percussion instruments were liberated from their supportive role. Indefinite pitch Varse all the percussion instruments used in Ionization generate indefinite pitch, so that most of their vibrations can’t be clearly identified as a D or a G, for example. There are suggestions of the characteristic sounds of modern city life.