French National Library to house major Boulez archive of scores, photos, and more

Posted on: January 4, 2018

“The French National Library (Bibliothèque nationale de France) has acquired a vast quantity of Pierre Boulez’s archives,” writes Frank Cadenhead in Wednesday’s (1/3) (subscription required). “His personal library is projected to occupy some 220 meters of space; his correspondence, recordings, scores, photos, and other archival material will fill 50 meters…. While the Paul Sacher Foundation in Switzerland continues to own most of his original manuscripts, his vast personal archive is now in the possession of the National Library, thanks to funds left by longtime Boulez champion, music critic, and producer Pierre Souvtchinsky (d. 1985). Manuscripts of several of the composer’s youthful works—including Trois Psalmodie, Première sonate pour piano, Sonatine pour flute et piano, Le Visage nuptial, and Structures—will now go to the Library as well. The BNF also announced the acquisition of the manuscript for Twelve Notations for Piano, written while he was in his 20s and still a student of Olivier Messiaen. Regarded as Boulez’s first major composition, it was purchased from Christie’s in late November.” Boulez, who died two years ago, was “a composer, conductor, pedagogue, theoretician, and founder of IRCAM and Ensemble InterContemporain.”

Posted January 4, 2018