Edgard Varèse

~ Person


Edgard Victor Achille Charles Varèse (French: [ɛdɡaːʁ viktɔːʁ aʃil ʃaʁl vaʁɛːz]; also spelled Edgar Varèse; December 22, 1883 – November 6, 1965) was a French-born composer who spent the greater part of his career in the United States.

Varèse's music emphasizes timbre and rhythm and he coined the term "organized sound" in reference to his own musical aesthetic. Varèse's conception of music reflected his vision of "sound as living matter" and of "musical space as open rather than bounded". He conceived the elements of his music in terms of "sound-masses", likening their organization to the natural phenomenon of crystallization. Varèse thought that "to stubbornly conditioned ears, anything new in music has always been called noise", and he posed the question, "what is music but organized noises?"

Although his complete surviving works only last about three hours, he has been recognised as an influence by several major composers of the late 20th century. Varèse saw potential in using electronic mediums for sound production, and his use of new instruments and electronic resources led to his being known as the "Father of Electronic Music" while Henry Miller described him as "The stratospheric Colossus of Sound".

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1989 Werke für Flöte Solo Bach, Marais, Karg-Elert, Varèse, Berio, Fukushima; Peter-Lukas Graf 1
1990 Arcana / Amériques / Ionisation / Offrandes / Density 21,5 / Octandre / Intégrales Varèse; New York Philharmonic, Ensemble InterContemporain, Pierre Boulez 2
1992 Offrandes / Intégrales / Octandre / Ecuatorial Varèse; The Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, Arthur Weisberg 1
1993 L'Œuvre de Edgar Varèse, Volume 1: 1920-1927 Edgard Varèse; Phyllis Bryn-Julson, Orchestre National de France, Kent Nagano 1
1994 Ameriques / Symphony no. 4 / The Unanswered Question Ives, Varèse; The Cleveland Orchestra & Chorus, Christoph von Dohnányi 1
1995 Carter: A Symphony of Three Orchestras / Varèse: Deserts; Ecuatorial; Hyperprism Elliott Carter / Edgard Varèse 1
1995 Varèse: Nocturnal - Ecuatorial / Lazarof: Structures Sonores Edgard Varèse, Henri Lazarof; Utah Symphony Orchestra, Maurice Abravanel 1
1996 Music of Edgar Varèse Edgard Varèse 1
1997 Holst: The Planets / Varèse: Arcana Gustav Holst, Edgard Varèse; Philharmonia Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin 1
1997 L'Œuvre de Edgar Varèse, Volume 2: 1925-1961 Edgard Varèse; Bryn-Julson, Isherwood, Pierlot, Orchestre National de France, Kent Nagano 1
1998 The Complete Works Edgard Varèse; Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Asko Ensemble, Riccardo Chailly 1
2001 Arcana / Intégrales / Déserts Edgard Varèse; Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Christopher Lyndon-Gee 1
2001 Boulez conducts Varèse: Amériques / Arcana / Déserts / Ionisation Varèse; Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Boulez 1
2007 Complete Works of Edgard Varese, Volume 1 Edgard Varèse 1
2008 Orchestral Works 2 Edgard Varèse; Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Christopher Lyndon-Gee 1
2014 Symphonie Fantastique / Ionisation Berlioz; Varèse; Mariss Jansons; Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks 1
2015 Dvořák: Symphony No. 9, New World / Varèse: Amériques Antonín Dvořák, Edgard Varèse; Seattle Symphony, Ludovic Morlot 2

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1989 Weill: Threepenny Opera Suite / Bowles: Music for a Farce / Martinů: La Revue de Cuisine / Varèse: Octandre Weill, Bowles, Martinů, Varèse; Chicago Pro Musica 1

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