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Video exclusive: Boulez for 7 cellos

This is the piece we told you about that Slava Rostropovich commissioned from Pierre Boulez for Paul Sacher’s 70th birthday in 1976. The set of 12 Slava commissions has only just received its UK premiere, soloist Rebecca Herman, conductor Ben Palmer.

Feast your ears.


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  1. Sebastian Black says:
  2. Sebastian Black says:
  3. Mark Stratford says:

    = It has only just received its UK premiere

    No, I went to the UK premiere at the Guildhall School of Music in the early 80s !

    The piece was done twice.that night.

    Also Barenboim’s ensemble did it at last year’s Proms

  4. Mark Stratford says:

    = It has only just received its UK premiere

    Universal Edition website lists about 15 UK performances including Dartington, Wigmore Hall, Aldeburgh & South Bank

  5. jim sillan says:

    another piece of moderism that should be in the toilet

  6. Stephen says:

    I’m not especially conversant with or enamored of Boulez. But this piece was riveting.
    A couple of things stood out for me- the interplay between ensemble and soloist for sure but more than that was the sense of an old form, as structure. It seemed that a lot of attention was paid to all the motives and counterpoint which would be understandable in the context of our musical heritage. If I listen a couple of moren times I can be more specific.
    It held together as a whole and the extended techniques did not intrude for their own sake but rather fit into the fabric.
    The finale which felt rigorously contrapuntal was a superior technical achievement for the players.
    Thank you for sharing this.

  7. Barbirollo says:

    I think Barenboim & Co. performed this very piece at Columbia earlier this year, as part of a larger tribute to Edward Said.

    The performers, like the piece, were exquisite!

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