Edgard Varèse (composer)

~ Person


Edgard Victor Achille Charles Varèse (French: [ɛdɡaʁ viktɔʁ aʃil ʃaʁl vaʁɛz]; also spelled Edgar; 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. 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 media for sound production, and his use of new instruments and electronic resources led to his being known as the "Father of Electronic Music" whilst Henry Miller described him as "The stratospheric Colossus of Sound".

Varèse actively promoted performances of works by other 20th-century composers and founded the International Composers' Guild in 1921 and the Pan-American Association of Composers in 1926.

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1970AmericanaEdgard Varèse, Carlos Chávez, John Cage; Les Percussions de Strasbourg1
1972Arcana / Intégrales / IonisationEdgard Varèse; Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Zubin Mehta1
1981Digital PercussionCage, Varèse, Farberman; London Percussion Ensemble, Harold Farberman31
1983Density 21,5 / Hyperprism / Intégrales / Ionisation / Octandre / Poème ÉlectroniqueVarèse; Members of the Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Robert Craft2
1984Ecuatorial / Déserts / Intégrales / Hyperprism / Octandre / Offrandes / Density 21.5Varèse; Boulez, Ensemble intercontemporain1
1989Werke für Flöte SoloBach, Marais, Karg-Elert, Varèse, Berio, Fukushima; Peter-Lukas Graf1
1990Arcana / Amériques / Ionisation / Offrandes / Density 21,5 / Octandre / IntégralesVarèse; New York Philharmonic, Ensemble InterContemporain, Pierre Boulez2
1992Offrandes / Intégrales / Octandre / EcuatorialVarèse; The Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, Arthur Weisberg1
1993L'Œuvre de Edgar Varèse, Volume 1: 1920-1927Edgard Varèse; Phyllis Bryn‐Julson, Orchestre National de France, Kent Nagano2
1994Ameriques / Symphony no. 4 / The Unanswered QuestionIves, Varèse; The Cleveland Orchestra & Chorus, Christoph von Dohnányi1
1994Prokofiev: Symphony no. 3 / Varèse: Arcana / Mosolov: Iron FoundryProkofiev, Varèse, Mosolov; Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly2
1994Winkler: Emergent / Feldman: The Rothko Chapel / Varèse: Intégrales / OctandreGerhard E. Winkler, Morton Feldman, Edgard Varèse1
1995Carter: A Symphony of Three Orchestras / Varèse: Deserts; Ecuatorial; HyperprismElliott Carter / Edgard Varèse1
1995Varèse: Nocturnal - Ecuatorial / Lazarof: Structures SonoresEdgard Varèse, Henri Lazarof; Utah Symphony Orchestra, Maurice Abravanel1
1997Holst: The Planets / Varèse: ArcanaGustav Holst, Edgard Varèse; Philharmonia Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin1
1997L'Œuvre de Edgar Varèse, Volume 2: 1925-1961Edgard Varèse; Bryn-Julson, Isherwood, Pierlot, Orchestre National de France, Kent Nagano1
1998The Complete WorksEdgard Varèse; Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Asko Ensemble, Riccardo Chailly52
1999Suites for OrchestraBartók, Hindemith, Varèse; Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Jean Martinon1
2001Arcana / Intégrales / DésertsEdgard Varèse; Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Christopher Lyndon‐Gee1
2001Boulez conducts Varèse: Amériques / Arcana / Déserts / IonisationVarèse; Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Boulez52
2002Debussy / Jolivet / Messiaen / Dutilleux / Hersant / Dusapin / Tanguy / VarèseDebussy, Jolivet, Messiaen, Dutilleux, Hersant, Dusapin, Tanguy, Varèse; Juliette Hurel, Hélène Couvert1
2005Amériques · Offrandes · Hyperprism · Octandre · Arcana · Densité 21,5 · Ionisation · Ecuatorial · Nocturnal · Intégrales · DésertsEdgard Varèse1
2006Stalks in the Breeze: Music for Flute AloneDebussy, Ibert, Fukushima, Muczynski, Hoover, Nelson, Herbolsheimer, Varèse, Honegger, Hindemith; Sarah Bassingthwaighte2
2007Complete Works of Edgard Varese, Volume 1Edgard Varèse1
2008Percussion MasterpiecesReich, Chávez, Stockhausen, Cage, Varèse; I Percussionisti della Scala, Renato Rivolta1
2008Orchestral Works 2Edgard Varèse; Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Christopher Lyndon‐Gee1
2011Varèse: Amériques / Feldman: Piece for Four Pianos / Five PianosEdgard Varèse, Morton Feldman; Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo & Friends2
2011Kontinent (»In Meinem Kopf Singt Ein Vogel Das Ganze Jahr.«)VarèseThe Percussive Planet, Martin Grubinger, Ensemble Modern Orchestra, François‐Xavier Roth, ORF Radio‐Symphonieorchester Wien, Bertrand de Billy1
2014Symphonie Fantastique / IonisationBerlioz; Varèse; Mariss Jansons; Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks1
2015Dvořák: Symphony No. 9, New World / Varèse: AmériquesDvořák, Varèse; Seattle Symphony, Ludovic Morlot2
2021American Percussion WorksCage, Ginastera, Harrison, Varèse; Percurama1

Album + Compilation

1972The Varèse AlbumVarèse, Robert Craft Conducting The Columbia Symphony Orchestra1
1989Weill: Threepenny Opera Suite / Bowles: Music for a Farce / Martinů: La Revue de Cuisine / Varèse: OctandreWeill, Bowles, Martinů, Varèse; Chicago Pro Musica1
2009Boulez Conducts Webern, Carter, Varèse, BerioWebern, Carter, Varèse, Berio; Pierre Boulez, Ensemble intercontemporain, London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic1

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