Ensemble Intercontemporain, Boulez: Sur Incises; Messagesquisse; Anthemes 2

Seth Colter Walls

By Seth Colter Walls

on 06.20.11 in Reviews

Boulez: Sur Incises; Messagesquisse; Anthèmes 2

Ensemble Intercontemporain

“Sur Incises” — for three trios of pianos, harps and percussionists, respectively — is the headliner here, but “Anthèmes 2″ is the real stunner. For a solo violinist and a sound manipulator (who feeds the live sound back, after some processing), the piece is the cleanest representation of what Boulez has been up to at IRCAM all these years. The massed forces of pieces like “Repons” and “…explosante-fixe…” mean that it’s sometimes difficult to discern where the electronics end and the live performance begins. Not so here; the bevy of tweaked sounds — airy sustains, chopped-and-screwed pizzicato moments, and kaleidoscopic glissando runs — are all clear and exposed.