Young Boulez plays with Madame Messiaen

Young Boulez plays with Madame Messiaen


norman lebrecht

December 26, 2018

Footage of Boulez and the piano is rare.

This clip with Yvonne Loriod is utterly historic.


  • barry guerrero says:

    It would be nice if they played “Chopsticks” together.

  • John Borstlap says:

    As PB explaines, and how the rehearsing part looks and sounds, it gives the impression of flirting in code.

  • muslit says:

    the most over-rated conductor.

  • Audio / video evidence of Boulez at the piano is indeed very rare. Paul Sacher once told me (in Oxford, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the death of Bartók when he conducted two of the three works that he’d commissioned from Bartók and the third, the Sonata for two pianos and percussion, made up the remainder of the programme) that he remembered well the young Boulez practising intensely for hours after a day’s teaching and he mentioned his particular focus on the music of Chopin. Sacher was convinced that, had he wished to pursue a career principally as a pianist, Boulez was eminently capable of doing so; the rest isn’t history, one might say, for that was clearly not how Boulez saw his life.

    • Ruben Greenberg says:

      Alistair Hinton; why has nobody-to my knowledge-written a biography of Paul Sacher? I offered to do this: to write one in French, but the man and his foundation were decidedly paranoid and afraid everybdoy was after his money.

  • Maarten Brandt says:

    Structures II by Boulez is one of the most fascinating statements for two piano’s of the past 20th century!

    • John Borstlap says:

      Well…… as a statement perhaps, but what kind of statement? Plinky-plonk progressiveness? As far as music is concerned, I would rather think of Bartok.

  • Mark Hildrew says:

    Love the spectacles Mlle Loriod is wearing. Like a lady from Gary Larson ‘Far Side’

    • John Borstlap says:

      Gary Larson got that idea from a modern music concert he attended in Paris in the eighties where she played ten looks on the Xmas child.

  • I studied with Yvonne Loriod thirty years ago as a private student in Paris with the first Nadia and Lili International Foundation Scholarship and a French Government Scholarship. Madame Loriod was a wonderful teacher. Warm, generous, with a sense of humour. A genius as a musician and a formidably gifted pianist who had studied with Marcel Ciampi at the Paris Conservatoire.