First posthumous recording of Henri Pousseur.
marks the end of the trilogy on the Parabolic works (following the 1972 unreleased recordings and the 2001 collective performance). This time around, we have a piece built through another major Pousseur work: Leçon d'Enfer (composed in 1990-1991 around Arthur Rimbaud). This previously unreleased version was realized by Henri Pousseur in Cologne in 1992.
Paraboles-Mix avec Leçons d'Enfer: this release was important to Henri Pousseur, as it concludes, in a sense, the Paraboles trilogy, after 1972's 8 Etudes Paraboliques and 4 Parabolic Mixes. This suite of works was gradually pushing composition further into the territory of destruction and abstraction. This final installment, a mix made from the 1972 Etudes, as should be, integrates a major external element (something already planned in the initial design): another work by Pousseur, Leçons d'Enfer, a complex piece of musical theatre dedicated to the memory of Arthur Rimbaud and composed in 1991 for the centennial of the poet's death. This work, over 100 minutes long, was written for two actors, three singers, seven musicians (clarinet, alto saxophone, tuba, harp, piano, and two percussions), tapes (including traditional Ethiopian music and field recordings from that area), and electroacoustic devices.
With this version, Henri Pousseur shows how the deep impression left by a work in constant mutation can take different guises. The Rimbaud pictured in this flux is neither the promising teenager, nor the striking genius, nor even the desperate man struggling in vain in an empty landscape; it is an appeased hybrid breathing the ebullient air of the final times.
The Belgian composer Henri Pousseur (born 1929 in Malmédy) studied at the Academies of Music in Liège and in Brussels from 1947 to 1953. He was closely associated with Pierre Froidebise and André Souris. He encountered Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Luciano Berio and thereafter devoted himself to avant-garde research. Beginning around 1960, he collaborated with Michel Butor
on a number of projects, most notably the opera Votre Faust
(1961-68). Pousseur has taught in Cologne, Basel, and in the United States at SUNY Buffalo, as well as in his native Belgium. From 1970 until his retirement in 1988 he taught at the University and Conservatory of Liège where he also founded the Centre de recherches et de formation musicales de Wallonie.
See also: Marianne Pousseur
; Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles