Spectralism (and related) 13 albums - ALL WORKING (Dec 12 2006)

discovering these composers is the single most exciting event in my musical life this year (very likely this decade)

i knew nothing of this subject, other than that it is a compositional movement originating in France sometime in the 60s, and that it vaguely involves analysis of specific sound characters in terms of a bandwidth or spectrum. (and that one of my favorite contemporary composers, Kaija Saariaho, was influenced by it)

then i heard these albums. head blown clean off. immediate reaction was surprise at how listenable it all is, when I thought it would be incredibly difficult like much of Stockhousen or Xenakis. the work of these composers indeed gives immense pleasure at the same time as it is extremely intellectually stimulating. over the past month or so I have been repeatedly listening and I can not get enough of them. volumes can be said about each artist and each piece of music so I will refrain from writing much... except that to my mind this music seems like some kind of final frontier of western classical music, direct descendent of a lineage including the aforementioned Stockhausen, Xenakis, and Scelsi, Nono, Ligetti, etc.

there are very limited resources on the web but I will add some links and information about the music and composers later. though I think it is just as valid, if not preferable, to approach this amazing material with almost zero knowledge or prejudice. and if anyone out there cares to drop some knowledge please do, I'm all ears.

thanks 300 million to Arcaf, grasprelease, and Knowby.

Tristan Murail - Gondwana; Désintégrations; Time and Again

1. Gondwana, for orchestra
2. Desintegrations, for magnetic tape & 17 instruments
3. Time and Again, for orchestra

Conductor: Yves Prin, Karl-Anton Rickenbacher
Orchestra: Orchestra National de France, Beethovenhalle Orchestra, Ensemble de L'Itineraire
Label: Disques Montaigne


Horatio Radulescu - Dizzy Divinity (not original cover)

1. Dizzy Divinity I
2. Byzantine Prayer
3. Frenetico il longing di amare
4. Capricorn's Nostalgic Crickets II

Conductor: Horatiu Radulescu (assistant Pierre-Alain Biget)
Performer: Pierre-Yves Artaud
Orchestra: Orchestre Francais de Flutes
Label: Adda


Horatio Radulescu - Live Palis Du Rhin (Disques Montaigne) EU (not original cover)

inner time II op42
hommage à calder
pour sept clarinettes en si bémol (1983) 56.02

armand angster clarinet system :
armand angster, jean-pierre peuvion, vincent jacquemin,
laurent berhomier, jean-marc foltz, jean-louis bergerard, denis tempo
live recording
palis du rhin, musica 93, strasbourg 22 septembre 1993


Gérard Grisey - Les Espaces Acoustiques

1 prologue (1976) pour alto solo 17.27
gérard caussé - alto solo
2 périodes (1974) pour sept musiciens 12.47
3 partiels (1975) pour 18 musiciens 18.25
ensemble cour-circuit
direction pierre-andré valade
1 modulations (1976/77) pour 33 musiciens 13.20
2 transitoires (1980/81) pour orchestre 17.28
3 épilogue (1985) pour 4 cors solos et orchestre 7.43
frankfurter museumorchestrer
direction sylvain cambreling


Gérard Grisey -Vortex Temporum

vortex temporum
1 11.17
2 10.46
3 18.23

4 talea 16.38

ensemble recherche
kwane ryan- direction
freiburg november 1996


Gérard Grisey - le noir de l'étoile (FLAC) - thanks to MaxP

1 premier mouvement 22.46
2 pulsar vela 2.46
3 deuxième mouvement 11.00
4 pulsar 0329+54 2.06
5 troisième mouvement 19.18

les percussions de strasbourg
jean-paul bernard, claude ferrier, bernard lesage
keiko nakamura, francois papirer, olaf tzschoppe
paris cité de la musique 30 mars 2003


Hugues Dufourt - Erewhon (1974-76) pour 6 percussionistes et 150 instruments

1 erewhon I 8.29
2 erewhon II 27.06
3 erewhon III 18.09
4 erewhon IV 12.40
les percussions de strasbourg
direction lorraine vaillancourt
paris 27-29 mars 1999


hugues dufourt - saturne, surgir

1 Saturne (1979) 43.16
pour ensemble instrumental, instruments électroniques et 6 percussions
ensemble l'itinéraire
direction peter eotvos

2 Surgir (1984) 30.25
pour grand orchestre
orchestre de paris
direction claude bardon


Hugues Durfourt - the watery star

1 the watery star (1993) 25.10
pour 8 instruments
2 an schwager kronos (1994) 13.35
pour piano
3 quatuor de saxophones (1993)14.25
4 l'espace aux ombres (1995)22.33
ensemble fa
direction dominique my
paris mars et mai 1995, juin 1996


André Boucourechliev - les archipels (1967-1971)

1 archipel I 10.54
pour deux pianos et deux percussions
claude helffer, hakon austbö - piano
roland auzet, jean-pierre drouet - percussions
2 archipel II 19.03
pour quatuor à cordes
quatuor isaye
3 archipel III 11.05
pour piano et 6 percussions
claude helffer - piano
ensemble les pléiades
4 archipel IV 13.45
pour piano
george pludemracher -piano
5 anarchipel 11.52
pour ensemble de 6 instruments
brigitte sylvestre - harpe
elisabeth chojnacka - clavecin
françoise rieunier - orgue
françois-frédéric guy - piano
roland auzet, jean-pierre drouet - percussions

live in maiosn de radio france paris december 11, 1993
MFA 216001


Globokar by Globokar

1 prestop II (1991)pour trombone et électronique 16.34
2 échanges (1973) pour cuivre seul 5.44
3 kolo (1988) pour choeur mixte, trombone et électronique 23.06
4 discours II (1968) pour cinq trombones 15.04
5 cri des alpes (1986) pour cor des alpes 5.27

vinko globokar -trombone, cor des lapes
quatuor de trombones "four bones"
choeur apz tone tomsic de ljubljana
enregistré février 1992 à ljubljana


Michel Redolfi - desert tracks

1 too much sky 9.15
desert tracks
2 ouverture 5.40
3 mojave desert 7.13
4 death valley 11.26
5 palm canyon 11.13
pacific tubular waves
6 inner tube 3.56
7 crystal lips 3.32
8 a smooth ride 3.49
9 pacific motion 9.30
10 the underwater park at sunset 4.05

electro-acoustic music by michel redolfi
ina / grm 1988


Philippe Leroux

1 (d')Aller 17.37
concerto pour violon et seize instruments (1994/95)
annick roussin -violin
orchestre poitou-charentes
dir : pascal verrot
2 AAA pour sept instruments (1995/96) 12.54
ensemble court-circuit
dir : pierre-andré valade
3 souffles pour quintette à vent (1996) 16.49
le concert impromptu
4 lal pour harpe celtique et guitare (1989) 11.36

christophe saunière - harp
caroline delume - guitar

recorded january 17/18, 1998 and november 25 1996(1)
grave records GRCD13

recorded january 17/18, 1998 and november 25 1996(1)
grave records GRCD13



Anonymous said...

Thanks so much! I've been meaning to check out the spectralists for a long time but was only able to track down Scelsi.

Where's the Murail link?

Loopy C said...

The following links have been deleted due to inactivity:




Anonymous said...

Ah, thanks for the Murail link.

zhao said...

all links working now.

Rambler said...

Oh man...

square dancer said...

Wow, if you continue to post so much great music at this rate, I'll have to buy a new hard drive soon.

I grabbed some Grisley (from Classical Connection methinks) that I enjoyed very much. So I'm pretty keen on listening to the stuff you put up and also on his fellow spectralists.

Baron Von Droogenbroeck said...

What a great job you've done by posting these cds! Just the other day I thought why bother and keep my rapidshare account, but you make it all worthwhile. Thanks again. And keep up the good work. And if you got time take a second listen to Stockhausen. Especially the music "From the Seven Days" is great stuff, which he wrote in the late sixties after he tried starving himself to death (luckily without any success).

Loopy C said...

Track one of 'Gérard Grisey - Le Noir De L'Étoile' had a nasty glitch in the very first seconds for me. I can do lossless repair/edits of mp3's so if anyone else has this glitch (I believe it is a digitally distorted version of the percussive figure that figures prominently in the piece), let me know and I will upload it.

zhao, outstanding set. I have had a couple of these but from pre-internet days and with no real background to a specific movement. Thanks for the aural education and starting point to what looks to be a valuable compositional/conceptual resource.

zhao said...

funny. I always thought that glitch in the beginning of Le Noir De L'Étoile' was a part of the recording. it kind of jolts the listener awake. in stark contrast to the passages of silence after. the texture of this disruptive mark also fits with the percussion orchestra's scrapes and thumps. are you certain that it is not a part of the piece?

either way it doesn't bother me at all, and there are no other glitches in the piece.

chris_c said...

thanks for the spectralist stuff, have wanted to check them out since the wire feature, but lack of funds and availability has prevented me from doing so. I must say this is by far my favourite music blog, you echo my tastes to a tee with pleasures for the mind and body.
Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Great posts, but what is the password for Saturne/Surgir? The Grime comp link has expired, are you going to renew it? Thanks for some great music.

Matteo said...

Bellissima musica. Grazie!

This music is *so* beautiful. Thank you!

naos said...

Has somebody a recommendation for a completely ignorant fellow? Which one should I try first?

And thank you Zhao for helping me to discover so much new music!

zhao said...

naos, the first disc up there, Tristan Murail's Gondwana, is a good place to start because it is the oldest of the bunch (1960s), and some say a good document of Spectralism "proper" compared to the later works, which may be more accurately classified as Post-Spectral.

Lucky said...

Hi, Zhao!
Please read this:
Rapidshare changed the inactivity time limit for free users to 10 instead of the former 30 days!!!
Orang Sad!!!

zhao said...

should we switch?

how long do megaupload links stay up for with no activity? seems might be a better alternative?

Lucky said...

Hi Zhao!

Megaupload isn't useable for people from Latin America - and others from Eastern Europe complaint about download limits, up to just 100 downloads per day for a whole country!!! (i think it was a czech or baltic blogger)

found a better one:
some facts:
- only in german yet (bad point!)
- upload till 350MB (up to 3 files at one time) :)
- links get killed after 190 (!) days with no download - we'll see!
- same features like rs, means: on a free account you could upload your files at the collector's zone and see the time of latest dl of each link etc.

PS: when Rapidshare stays like this, I'm sure this will change a lot in the scene - most of the links are there, and I have already wondered, why so many of my links got killed - same on SFRP!
Shame on them - but they told (also JUST IN GERMAN someone told me) on their news, that they had a problem with the space capacity - well, many are using it, it was just a matter of time ...
but no need to worry, there'll be a time after RS ;)=

cheers, zhao!!

zhao said...

a friend of mine didn't like Murail's Gondwana at all, saying it is too "fire and brimstone" and "Stravinskiesque", but LOVES horatiu radulescu's Dizzy Divinity.

so there you go. I think good entry points for this material varies for each individual.

Barry the Dot said...

Thank you so much! I really like the Murail. To echo another commenter, what is the password to the Saturne/Surgir zip file?

zhao said...

this Saturne/Surgir is my upload, and it does not require a pass. I bet those who are encountering this problem are on PC's? I suggest getting a friend with a mac to unpack it for you...

barry the dot said...

Aha! The secret to opening the Saturne/Surgir file is _not_ to use the dumb Windows archive program or WinRar. What worked for me? WinZip!

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Good to see spectral... but my imac/stuffit don't cope with .rar files. Any suggestions? apart from unzipping on a windows machine?


zhao said...

use unrar-x

electrocontinuo said...

Hi, I love your blog. So much good music!!! Any chance of reupping some of these albums for a little bit?

Anonymous said...

COngratulations for your blog from Spain !

One request: could you re-upload this recording
1. Dizzy Divinity I
2. Byzantine Prayer
3. Frenetico il longing di amare
4. Capricorn's Nostalgic Crickets II

Conductor: Horatiu Radulescu (assistant Pierre-Alain Biget)
Performer: Pierre-Yves Artaud
Orchestra: Orchestre Francais de Flutes
Label: Adda ???


Anonymous said...

Any chance of a 'Saturne - Surgir' repost? I've always wanted to hear this piece but it's now out of print.

Thanks in advance

subversion283 said...


Great blog. Any chance to re-post Grisey's Vortex Temporum? Heard it live just week ago, and I would love to hear some recording as well.

Thanks in advance!

Tony said...

Is there any chance to repost Hugues Dufourt - Saturne and Surgir - It would be agreat act of human kindness :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Globokar! But what is the 6th track, listed as "piste 7"? Doesn't seem to be listed on the tracklist.

Anonymous said...

I would love if someone could repost Michel Redolfi's Desert Tracks...

Victoria said...

Hi there.

Is there any chance you could repost Desert Tracks? I've been driving myself crazy trying to find a copy, and it's absolutely impossible.

Thanks much for maintaining such a lovely blog. There are so many treasures here!

Sr. Biu said...

Can you reupload the links?
Nice blog : )

MaxP said...

'Gérard Grisey - Le Noir De L'Étoile' (FLAC)