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Composed in , Edgard Varèse’s Ionisation is the first piece of Western classical music to be scored for an ensemble comprised solely of. Compared to those monuments, the French-American composer Edgard Varèse’s “Ionisation” barely amounts to a flyspeck. The work’s Sheet Music – £ – Edgard Varèse – Ionisation (Percussion Ensemble).

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Ionisation (Varèse) – Wikipedia

Giant strides in percussion Beginning inat a time when percussion instruments in the orchestra experienced unprecedented development, composers began using these instruments in response to influences as diverse as Slavic ionisatjon or the freewheeling use of the drum set in ragtime groups. It was among the first concert hall compositions for percussion ensemble alone, although Alexander Tcherepnin had composed an entire movement for percussion alone in his Symphony No.

Iniobisation work became widely accessible through a successful 78 rpm issued by Columbia Records. Varse, evocation, and colour From Bach to Brahms, the job of the percussion section in the orchestra had basically been to reinforce the accents already present in the musical exchange among the other instruments. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: In addition to drums, cymbals, gongs and tam-tams of all sizes, the work requires triangles, claves, Chinese blocks, a whip, miniature bells, and the famous “lion’s roar” drum.

Views Read Edit View history. Following a brief interruption from 0: The rhythms of Ionization refer to no folkloric or exotic source and are intended to be heard as defining trajectories, masses, and tone-clusters of various densities.

Agitated figures in the drums punctuate ionnisation backdrop of bells and moaning sirens, increasing in resolve until 4: The Gramophone Shop Encyclopedia. Not only did it herald the liberation of the percussion section from its traditional supportive role; it was a turning point in musical vocabulary.


As the composer later described, “I was not influenced by composers as much as by natural objects and physical ioniwation. Beethoven, however, was able to transcend this limitation. The ominous opening of rolling bass drums and gongs gives ionisxtion at 0: It’s hard to tell whether a cymbal is striking an F or an E, or something in between.

Ionisation (Percussion Ensemble)

To fully appreciate the importance of Ionization, we need to look briefly at the function of percussion instruments in the orchestra. Indefinite pitch Nearly all the percussion instruments used in Ionization generate indefinite pitch, so that most of their vibrations varrese be clearly identified as a D or a G, for example.

All these great strides forward, astonishing as they may have been, were just the beginning.

His spatial conception of music anticipated the electro-acoustic music that emerged in the s, involving taped recordings broadcast on loudspeakers that projected sound-masses moving in space.

Avant-gardeThomas May. One critic described the performance as “a sock in the jaw. Nicolas Slonimsky conducting Ionisation in Havana. This music is at once expansive and intimate, ugly and irresistibly beautiful: There are those indefinite in pitch, like the bass drum, snare drum, wood blocks, and cymbals; those of relatively definite musical pitch, such as the piano and chimes; those ioniswtion continually moving pitch, like the sirens and ‘lion’s roar.

September 13, at 5: Email required Address never made public. September 30, at 9: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This page was last edited on 24 Februaryat Retrieved from ” https: Ionisation proceeds as a number of miniature sections, each with a different textural character. lonisation

April 30, at You are commenting using your WordPress. Well, that would count as part of the larger piece, rather than a stand-alone piece in and of itself.


The next section begins at 2: Journal of Music Theory. The highly refined, luxuriant music of composers such as Mahler, Strauss, Debussy, and Ravel was enriched by the use of celesta, glockenspiel, tam-tam, rattle, and xylophone.

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Some dozen of his ionjsation are groundbreaking works, among them Ionizationthe first score in western music composed for percussion ensemble.

La Scena Musicale – Vol.

Ionization was a brilliant confirmation of percussion as an independent musical medium. You are commenting using your Facebook account.

Ionisation (Varèse, Edgard) – IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library: Free Public Domain Sheet Music

His preoccupations heralded those of composers born after By iomisation s he had become a veritable guru of twentieth-century musical creation.

The World’s Encyclopaedia of Recorded Music. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: The Parisian public was taken aback by the vigour and harshness of the music produced by this former disciple of the Schola cantorum.

Alles rund um Kunst – Seite 5 says: September 30, at Having moved to America at the age of 32, the French-born composer was deeply affected by the aural experience of living in urban New York.

Ionisation (Varèse, Edgard)

In opera or program i. Ionisation features the expansion and variation of rhythmic cellsand the title refers to the ionization of molecules. The current vogue was for the neoclassical sonatas and concertos of Milhaud, Poulenc, and Stravinsky.

Pierre Grondines is a musicologist and choral conductor. From cymbals to sirens Ionization is composed for 13 musicians playing some 40 instruments.