Between 1965-68, the composer Luc Ferrari collaborated with director Gérard Patris on a series of filmed intimate portraits of great musicians, 'Les Grandes Répétitions' (The Great Rehearsals). Created for the ORTF, and encouraged by its director Pierre Schaeffer, these remarkable films were shown on French TV. They are remarkable not only for their exceptional content, but also for the creative camera work, including dynamic hand-held shots and croppings, and the juxtaposition of music and talk.
Mode has selected two of these films, on Karlheinz Stockhausen and Edgard Varèse, for this DVD. It is the first time these films have been released outside of France, and the first time they have been issued with English subtitles — prepared especially for this Mode release.
Karlheinz Stockhausen: 'Momente' is an extraordinary document. Recorded during rehearsals for the premiere of his monumental work 'Momente' (scored for soprano solo, 2 choirs, orchestra and 2 electric organs) in Cologne, Stockhausen discusses the genesis and meaning of this work dedicated to his wife. The film’s rehearsal sequences, with Stockhausen as conductor, are a revelation as he works out details with the soprano Martina Arroyo, the choir and orchestra. The musical sections are intercut with footage of Stockhausen speaking — often as the camera follows him around the studio — capturing his youthful energy and charisma.
'Hommage à Edgard Varèse' (1965, nb, 66 ') is a tribute to Varèse, who unfortunately died a few days before filming began. Iannis Xenakis, Olivier Messiaen, Herman Scherchen, André Jolivet, Pierre Schaeffer, Pierre Boulez, Konstantin Simonovic, Ferdnand Ouellette and Marcel Duchamp speak of the personality and work of this 'musical architect'. Varèse’s voice is also heard. A complete performance of Varèse’s percussion ensemble classic 'Ionisation' is shown (Simonovic conducting), and Bruno Maderna directs a rehearsal of 'Deserts'.
Region 0, NTSC, Aspect Ratio 4:3 Black & White
Duration: 111 minutes, PCM Mono
In French & German with English subtitles