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Symphonic Music - Released February 16, 2010 | CSO Resound

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica - Exceptional sound

Symphonic Music - Released November 14, 1994 | Sony Classical

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Golden Oldies

Classical - Released January 1, 2013 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles de Classica

Symphonic Music - Released February 21, 2014 | Sony Classical

Distinctions Choc de Classica

Full Operas - Released March 27, 2009 | Sony Classical

Distinctions Diapason d'or

Full Operas - Released January 1, 2006 | Philips

Although not the most controversial of postwar Bayreuth Rings -- Georg Solti and Peter Hall's retro-Romantic Ring with naked Rhine maidens wins that prize -- Pierre Boulez and Patrice Chéreau's post-industrial revolution Ring as metaphor for the decline and fall of capitalism is certainly the second most controversial postwar Bayreuth Ring. But more controversial than Chéreau's dramatic conception was Boulez's musical execution. With startlingly clear textures, spectacularly bright colors, and stunningly light tempos, Boulez' obtains a Wagner sound like no other. And for those with ears to hear, it works. Wagner's music doesn't have to be murky to be metaphysical or massive to be overwhelmingly moving and Boulez gets playing from the too-often turgid Bayreuth Festival Orchestra that makes the music crackle and blaze with musical and dramatic meaning. But perhaps most surprisingly, the best thing about this Ring is the singing, or, rather, the singing-acting. From Donald McIntyre's bigger than life but deeply human Wotan to Gwyneth Jones heartbreakingly beautiful Brünnhilde, the leads are magnificently convincing both as singers and as actors. And while Peter Hoffmann's Siegmund and Manfred Jung's Siegfried were less well received at the time, their performances, while perhaps too earnest, are still quite effective in their roles. Philips' 1981 sound is very live -- much of the stage action is plainly audible -- but this only adds to the verisimilitude of the recording. While not for everybody, the Boulez Ring has to be heard by anyone who loves the work.

Classical - Released January 1, 2013 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)


Classical - Released January 1, 2012 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Between 1991 and 1999, Pierre Boulez recorded the major orchestral works of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, and the London Symphony Orchestra; Deutsche Grammophon has reissued these handsome performances in a six-CD trimline box. The Debussy recordings occupy a little more than two of the discs, while the majority of space is devoted to a much larger representation of Ravel's orchestral music. Rightly or wrongly, these composers have been tagged with the term, "Impressionist," so-called after the 19th century art movement in France, primarily for their use of evocative tone colors and exotic-sounding orchestration to create atmospheric music that suggests, rather than boldly depicts, images. As a master of instrumental colors, dynamics, and textures, Boulez is one of the world's finest interpreters of these works, especially because his keen awareness of the composers' innovations translates into accurate performances that always sound meticulously rehearsed and perfectly polished. There is no attempt to create an overly fluffy or diaphanous sound, typical of imitations of Debussy and Ravel in clichéd film music, nor any manipulation of the orchestra to make the scores prettier or more lush than they already are. Instead, the orchestras give incisive, scintillating, and often robust-sounding performances that feel newly conceived and far from ordinary. Deutsche Grammophon's reproduction is all-digital and exceptional for its clarity and depth. Highly recommended.

Classical - Released October 30, 2015 | Sony Classical


Classical - Released March 1, 2013 | Sony Classical


Classical - Released January 1, 2010 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

The years have seen Pierre Boulez record for CBS, Erato, EMI, and Philips, among other labels, but his most consistent and critically praised work has appeared on Deutsche Grammophon, where he has conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, and his own Ensemble InterContemporain in many successful performances. These ensembles are heard on this trimline, six-CD box set of Igor Stravinsky's major works, which brings together Boulez's recordings of L'oiseau de feu, Petrushka, Le Sacre du printemps, L'histoire du Soldat, the symphonies, concertos, and other works, recorded between 1980 and 1996. As one of the leading champions of modernism, first as a composer and essayist, then as a prominent conductor, Boulez is regarded as an authority on Stravinsky's oeuvre, and it is difficult to imagine many conductors who have a better understanding of the technical and stylistic issues that affect performances. Boulez is also famous for his precision and meticulousness, which make the details stand out clearly in the rhythmically complex and texturally dense orchestral scores of the ballets, and yet seem so delicate and exact in the concertos and pieces for smaller ensembles. That Boulez has inspired a devoted international following is beyond question, so this collection of some of his finest recordings will appeal to his admirers and the wider circle of Stravinsky fans.

Classical - Released January 1, 2009 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)


Classical - Released January 1, 2012 | Deutsche Grammophon Classics


Classical - Released January 16, 1995 | Sony Classical


Classical - Released January 1, 1981 | Decca Music Group Ltd.


Classical - Released September 30, 2003 | Sony Classical - Legacy


Classical - Released May 3, 2013 | Sony Classical


Classical - Released July 13, 1993 | Sony Classical


Opera - Released July 17, 2009 | Sony Classical


Symphonic Music - Released December 5, 1995 | Sony Classical


Pierre Boulez in the magazine