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Pierre Boulez: nailed and mastered - Justine Anderson from Six Degrees Ensemble chats on The Sound Barrier!

The Sound Barrier for Sunday 8 July 2018

No one has ever claimed that the music of Pierre Boulez is easy listening. But, even so, when, in my mid-teens, I first heard his remarkable chamber piece Le Marteau sans maître ('The Hammer without a Master') I was instantly won over by the effervescent sparkle of its instrumentation, giving a kind of fizzy energy to the surrealist poetry of its René Char text.

That text, and that music, is going to be part of a concert that traces the impressionist influence of Claude Debussy through 20th-century French music, Traces of Passage, coming up at the Melbourne Recital Centre's Salon on Wednesday 18 July, performed by the fabulous Six Degrees Ensemble, whose soprano, Justine Anderson, will be joining me on the next edition of The Sound Barrier to talk about this amazing piece by Pierre Boulez: incredibly demanding for its performers, utterly magical for its audience.

Along with my chat with Justine, I will also be playing the complete Le Marteau sans maître as one part of a whole program devoted to this controversial composer of the 20th Century avant-garde whose music, complex and challenging, intricate and intriguing, brings the exotic finesse of French modernism into the elaborately ordered world of post-war serialism that grew in Germany's Darmstadt in the early 1950s.

I hope you can join me this Sunday night, 8 July, at 10 PM (AEST) as The Sound Barrier celebrates Boulez. You can listen live both on your radio (106.7 on Melbourne's FM band, or on PBS digital radio), or online through the website or the PBS app. The show will also be available to listen back to, also here on the website, shortly after it has gone live to air.

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