This page lists all recordings of Ecuatorial, by Edgard Varèse (1885-1965) on CD & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.
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Varèse: The Complete Works
“Riccardo Chailly's 1996 account [of Amériques] is unlike any of its competitors in that it reconstructed for the first time Varèse's original version of the score from 1918-21, which uses a vast orchestra featuring 27 woodwind and 29 brass instruments - even a cyclone whistle. The recording certainly packs a punch, but the Concertgebouw players also revel in the many subtleties that colour the composer's unique orchestration. It comes as part of a two-disc release that features all of Varèse's surviving music - small in quantity but big on impact.” Matthew Rye, The Telegraph, 24th August 2008
In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.
Edgard Varèse: Kontinent
for percussion ensemble of 13 players
soprano and chamber orchestra
for 9 winds and percussionist
for bass voice, 8 brass, piano, organ 2 ondes Martenot and 6 percussionists
for 11 winds and 8 percussionists
Born in Paris in 1883, Varèse studied composition and piano with d’Indy and Widor. Later he moved to Berlin and built strong links with R. Strauss and Busoni. The earliest work known is Ameriques, a composition for large orchestra written in 1921 and recorded here. He developed a wholly new cosmos of sounds, characterized by a multitude of dissonant chords and a complex rhythmic polyphony.
Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.
Varèse - Orchestral Works Volume 2
The works on this recording span Varèse’s entire career, containing his sole surviving early composition, Un Grand Sommeil Noir, and his last, unfinished work, Nocturnal, brilliantly and seamlessly completed by the composer’s disciple and assistant during the last seventeen years of his life, the composer Chou Wen-Chung. Chiefly, though, the recording features the world première recording of the original version of Amériques, for a massive orchestra of 155 players, recorded immediately following a rare public performance at the Warsaw Philharmonic (only its second since the 1920s) as part of the 2005 Warsaw Autumn Festival.
“With Varèse fans still revelling in Riccardo Chailly's groundbreaking 1998 Decca cycle, anybody else approaching this provocative and inflammable music better have something profound to say: Christopher Lyndon-Gee and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra don't let the side down. These Polish musicians are well used to the rough-and-tumble of performing the early textural works of Penderecki and Górecki and that visceral rawness, inherent in their own culture, transmutes powerfully to these seminal Varèse scores.
The standout performance for sure is the original 1921 version of Amériques, scored for an orchestra of over 150 musicians and an offstage 'banda'. Lyndon-Gee marshals his charges with a careful ear to balancing this monolithic ensemble: Varèse's emphatically reiterated rhythmic mantras are daintily articulated, but the musicians never sound browbeaten by his attention to detail. The elemental power of the closing moments is feral way beyond the call of duty.
Performances of the trail-blazing percussion ensemble work Ionisation, and other classics like Hyperprism, Densité 21.5 and Ecuatorial, are cut from the same devoted cloth. And the rest of the album is devoted to curios like Dance for Burgess and Tuning Up, reconstructed by Varèse's pupil Chou Wen-Chung and recorded for the first time by Chailly. Tuning Up was conceived for a 1947 film about Carnegie Hall and incorporates Iveslike illusions to Varèse's own and borrowed music, all ricocheting against repeated As. Inevitably he came to blows with the film-makers, but Lyndon- Gee makes one think the by-product of their collaboration might be a minor masterpiece.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
“These Polish musicians are well used to be rough-and-tumble of performing the early textural works of Penderecki and Górecki and the visceral rawness, inherent in their own culture, transmutes powerfully to these seminal Varèse scores.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2008
(also available to download from $6.00)
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“There are better accounts of some of these pieces (virtually the complete Varèse canon), but Nagano doesn't sell the music short, and the recording copes equally well with the massive sonorities of Arcana and the intimacies of Octandre or Densité 21.5.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2005 ***
Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.