The music of Varèse is still, under Boulez’ influence, seen as a mere, albeit significant, side-line in the serial revolution. Yet it has its own chromatic grammar and a composing technique whereby timbre differentiates the sounds, intensity acting as a stable integrating factor and given coherence by rhythm, the true conductor. Raw sound replaces notes, which by definition adds a spatial dimension. Timbre becomes a fabulous spectral variable, a phenomenon per se, exploited by Varèse without today’s electro-acoustic or digital resources. His masterpieces Amériques, Arcana and Nocturnal give silence a curiously predominant role.
PRD 250 416