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A man with a formidable intellect as Boulez can discuss musical topics especially the inner depths of orchestral sound like no one else, quite literally. If you happen to be conversant in French and German, as well as English, well there is no shortage of fascinating reflections on the great modernist works of this century: Debussy,Berg,Schoenberg,Varese,Webern,Berio. Boulez knows each with a ferocious intimacy. These interviews are quite old, 1986 .Mr.Vermeil visited Boulez at his state-like home outside Baden-Baden,long a refuge for Boulez from the late Fifties, although now he's a mandarin not a bohemian serialist, as he once arrived. Vermeil is good at tracing many categories, Chapter headings and parts I found fascinating were "Choosing Works", "Rehearsing", "On Gestures", "Colleagues". There's more but it seems Mr.Vermeil never gets down deep into the discourse of the subject. He stays on the surface which is all right with me. We need anything today discussed on modernist music, a dead,dying language yet institutionalized,all which makes historical sense. Well it has been Boulez who has kept it (music)alive, extending its implications, much like Habermas might find agreeable. I guess what I'm looking for is "Boulez in rehearsal" what he focuses upon, his pace, his structure of the rehearsal, what musical problems are attacked first, orchestral balance, tempi,quality of sonority. And we never get that with Vermeil firing the questions. In this English translation however it includes a reprint from a seminar in New York at Carnegie Hall in 1993 with the Cleveland Orchestra,by seasoned new music writer Paul Griffiths. Mr.Griffiths I like very much, for he brings us right through onto to stage, close to the rehearsal proceedings with apprentice conductors. And Boulez has them try out their chops(technique) on "Chronochromie" by Messiaen and "Jeux" by Debussy, two problematic scores. "Jeux" you have a nuanced line o! f changing timbres. Also Boulez never discusses the real live composers who he admires, Ligeti,Berio,Birtwistle, I thought he might discuss their work and bring us up-to-date on the state of aesthetic strategy. I thought the French if nothing else are incestuous on their own cultural products and ideamaker/mongers. Boulez hardly mentions the young composers who have worked with him at IRCAM in Paris, the multimillion dollar center. Composers, Dufourt,Bonnet or Manoury are quite interesting,quite evocative and powerful in their works.Yet Vermeil asks no questions on the Parisian new music scene. I thought that would be a first hit. Still Vermeil did cover soemwhat untrodden ground with Boulez. I would equally thank Amadeus Press who translated it,wrenching it out of French mothballs for eternity.