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Edgard Varèse: "Hyperprism"

July 10, 2011

Continuing today with the music of Edgard Varèse, this post will focus on Hyperprism a work that Varese wrote in 1923, the same time period of the 1920's that he wrote Integrales and Octandre. Sorry in advance for the broken up nature of this post.

 

A biography of Varèse can be found in yesterday's post if you are interested in that sort of background information.

 

Here is a blog post by Daniel Wolf, a composer living in Frankfurt, Germany. It is always interesting to get a compositional perspective on these things. You can find his posting here.

 

Below is information from the Philharmonic Winds on the work.

 

Hyperprism calls for nine wind players and seven to 10 percussionists playing 20 instruments. The premiere took place under the composer’s baton on 4 March 1923 at Klaw Theatre (New York, U.S.A.). As Varèse could not find professional percussionists willing to rehearse, the entire Dalcroze School of Eurhythmics collaborated.

 

Below you can find an analysis of the piece. It is pretty technical, so people with less theoretical background may have trouble with it. That being said, this is a good resource to take a look at.

 

Hyperprism Analysis

 

Edgard Varèse, Hyperprism

Riccardo Chailly, conductor

 

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