Edgar Varèse - Density 21​.​5

from by Eduardo González

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Density 21.5 was written in 1936 and revised in 1946. The piece was composed at the request of Georges Barrère for the premiere of his platinum flute, the density of platinum being close to 21.5 grams per cubic centimeter. It is the only example of Varèse's mature music that does not require electronics or substantial performing forces and it is one of the very few true masterpieces among the limited repertory for unaccompanied flute. It immediately predated a period during which Varèse produced little music; it was, in fact, the last work of any consequence the composer wrote until after World War II. The composer's energies during this interval were directed primarily toward the development of his ideas regarding the spatialization of sound. According to the composer, Density 21.5 is based on two melodic ideas – one modal, one atonal – and all of the subsequent material is generated from these two themes. Despite the inherent limitations of writing for an unaccompanied melodic instrument, Varèse expertly explores new areas of space and time, utilizing registral contrasts to effect polyphonic continuity. An important work whose principles proved highly influential, Density 21.5 aptly demonstrates both the singular creative powers of its creator and the expressive and technical possibilities of the instrument.


from Flautisimo!, released February 2, 2015



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Eduardo González Mexico City, Mexico

The outstanding talent of flutist Eduardo Gonzalez has placed him without a doubt as one of the most distinctive Mexican musicians of his generation. With performances in Mexico and abroad, he has shared the scene with artists of the stature of Plácido Domingo and Andrea Bocelli. His interest to promote contemporary music has encouraged composers to honor him with the dedication of their work. ... more

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