EDGARD VARESE x 4 The Complete Works (1997), Arcana/Ameriques/Ionisation/Offrandes… (1977), Works, Vol.1 (1920-1927) (1993) & Offrandes/Integrales/Octandre/Ecuatorial (1993)

The Complete Works (1997) Chailly
Arcana/Ameriques/Ionisation/Offrandes… (1977) Boulez
Works, Vol.1 (1920-1927) (1993) Nagano
Offrandes/Integrales/Octandre/Ecuatorial (1993) Weisberg
Zappa Fans Should Consider Sampling The Source

I was originally going to just re-up our old 2008 Pierre Boulez post for avant-composer Edgard Varese, but when I went to the CD shelf I figured folks might be interested in The Complete Works, instead. But then, what about Kent Nagano’s version, since Nagano was the guy that conducted Zappa’s only full orchestral releases in the 80s, London Symphony Orchestra Vol I & II. Then I figured, what the hell, I’ve got conductor Arthur Weisberg’s take, too… why not post them all? Edgard (or Edgar) Varese’s apocalyptic visions (technically categorized as classical music) are a curious compression of sound and ideas – often chaotic, sometimes stark and eerie. Varese’s patented concentration camp-style of orchestral ensemble music has been confounding listeners since the 1920s, making a lasting impact on Frank Zappa (who placed an orchestra physically inside a concentration camp in 200 Motels). What probably first drew the young drummer’s attention to Varese’s scores are the armies of percussionists, wailing horns, air sirens and oodles of wanton dissonance. Boulez is a degree of separation for both Ed & Frank, having also conducted Zappa’s The Perfect Stranger. Calling Varese non-prolific is an understatement, but he’s still considered one of the fathers of modern dissonance. The present day composer refuses to die, indeed. I like it loud!

The Complete Works
Tuning Up (5:07)
Ameriques (Original Version) (24:48)
Poeme Electronique (8:08)
Arcana (18:32)
Nocturnal (10:37)
Un Grand Sommeil Noir (Orchestral Version) (4:08)
Un Grand Sommeil Noir (2:50)
Offrandes (6:53)
Hyperprism (4:28)
Octandre (6:45)
Integrales (10:25
Ecuatorial (11:34)
Ionisation (5:52)
Density 21.5 (4:12)
Deserts (24:19)
Dance For Burgess (1:48)

Ionisation (5:59)
Ameriques (24:13)
Density 21.5 (4:11)
Offrandes (6:40)
Arcana (18:43)
Octandre (6:38)
Integrales (10:35)

Works, Vol.1 (1920-1927)
Ameriques (23:35)
Offrandes (7:41)
Hyperprism (4:01)
Octandre (7:04)
Arcana (18:28)

Offrandes (7:45)
Integrales (10:38)
Octandre (6:55)
Ecutorial (11:44)


  • Willard
    June 20, 2011 - 10:13 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • Miles
    January 5, 2012 - 23:08 | Permalink


    Apparently I missed this share to first time around. However, I can’t believe there are no comments here. Admittedly, Musique Concrete might be considered an acquired taste, but Varese’s work is among the genres finest of works. Thanks for the generous share, Willard, although I’m only going for ‘The Complete Works.’ What more might I need?

  • Willard
    January 6, 2012 - 04:34 | Permalink

    Hey Miles,

    Actually, this was a “transition” post, if you catch the drift. I think this was one of about 40 to 50 posts that got its comments wiped during rebirth. But thanks for the chance to clean it up some. As for how much you need, they’re all a little different. I just can’t remember the characteristics. Guess it depends on how much 40s Germany you can stand being around.

  • April 25, 2012 - 14:37 | Permalink

    Worth it for Poeme Electronique alone. How many pieces have you heard that have been played inside a room shaped like a cow’s stomach? At least, that’s how I heard it described at one point.

    My old Columbia LP added far too much of it’s own sounds after 45 years.

    Thank you, thank you!

  • March 6, 2013 - 21:16 | Permalink

    Just found this one. Incredible! Many thanks.

  • Jay
    July 17, 2013 - 04:24 | Permalink

    Hello, would it be possible to reup Varese Complete Works by Chailly? Thank you for your amazing blog!

    • Willard
      July 17, 2013 - 10:15 | Permalink

      New links up, thanks.

      • Jay
        July 23, 2013 - 06:48 | Permalink

        Thanks for the new links.

  • yo
    March 28, 2014 - 08:26 | Permalink


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