Pierre Boulez (b. 1925), French composer, conductor, and music theorist, is regarded as a leading composer of the post-Webern serialist movement who also embraced elements of aleatory and electronics. As a child Boulez demonstrated a formidable aptitude in mathematics, but left for Paris in 1942 to enroll in the Paris Conservatoire. His studies there often ran into difficulties, as he was rapidly developing revolutionary – "Praise be to amnesia" – attitudes towards all things traditional. But two decisive influences during those years helped to shape his musical personality. The first was Messiaen's famous analysis course, the other was René Leibowitz, who introduced him to serial music, where Boulez found "a harmonic and contrapuntal ……..From Allmusic
AndanteWithout further ado, allow me to resurrect what has been out of circulation for nearly two decades. To this day, it remains downright puzzling but still profoundly beautiful.
Pierre Boulez's masterpiece, Pli selon pli, is a portrait of Mallarmé, whose Surrealist approach is aptly mirrored by Boulez's post-serialist musical language. The verse is a succession of vivid, picturesque, even sinister images unfolding cheek-by-jowl and making no linear sense — it's a series of non sequiturs, inviting you to contemplate the poetic images both alone and in juxtaposition with each other. This verse can engage listeners on a highly personal level, because no two encounters with its imagery are likely to yield anything close to the same reaction. Boulez's natural mode of expression could hardly be more distant from functional, essentially predictable harmony, so his music lends itself to Mallarmé's poetic cognitive dissonance—particularly given the composer's keen sense of color and proclivity for ejaculatory solos, duets and (for lack of a better word) instrumental collisions.