Muse Mentors

Edgard Varèse - DENSITY 21.5

June 21, 2023 Karen Kevra Season 2 Episode 15
Muse Mentors
Edgard Varèse - DENSITY 21.5
Show Notes

Edgard Varèse is one of the most influential musicians of the twentieth century and was called  "The stratospheric Colossus of Sound."  He lived life with intensity and composed the same way.  Varèse lived most of his composing life in New York City and  made music out of the  compelling cacophony of NYC street noises: sirens,  firetrucks, river sounds, foghorns, and even skyscraper construction.

Density 21.5 was composed in 1936 (and revised in 194) at the request of Georges Barrère to inaugurate his new platinum flute.  (21.5 is the density of platinum.) Density 21.5 breaks the stereotype of typical French music. This 4 minute-long  ground-breaking piece offers free tonality, an immense dynamic range,  surgically precise rhythms, steely and wispy colors, and it showcases Varèse's love for percussion.

Varèse was more interested in the nature of sound rather than the aspect of melody.  Listen with curiosity to the sounds and enjoy the emotional ride.

Georg Philip Telemann, Fantaisie No. 12 for solo flute by Karen Kevra
Edgard Varèse -Poème électronique Kees Tazelaar, Edgard Varèse & Institute for Computer Music
Jacques Offenbach - Barcarolle from Tale of Hoffman, Sir Neville Mariner
Frédéric Chopin - Ballade #4, Opus 52, Alfred Cortot
Erik Satie - Gymnopédie No. 1,  Philippe Entremont
Edgard Varèse - Amériques, The Philadelphia Orchestra
Edgard Varèse, Ionisation, The New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Pierre Boulez
Edgard Varèse - Déserts, Choeurs de Radio France, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Pierre Boulez
Claude Debussy - Syrinx, Karen Kevra
Cécile Chaminade - Concertino, Karen Kevra
Edgard Varèse - Density 21.5, Karen Kevra

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