Jean Barraqué, Séquence (1950-1955), Joséphine Nendrick, Soprano

(...) What surely helped reinvigorate Barraqué as an artist and as a human being was his relationship with Michel Foucault, whom he had met in March, 1953. At Foucault's instigation, Barraqué replaced the original texts of the 1950 songs (an extract from the Song of Songs and poems of Baudelaire and Rimbaud) with extracts of Nietzsche's verse; he also remade the original piano accompaniment of the work which was to become "Séquence" for an ensemble of violin and cello with keyed instruments (piano, harp, celesta doubling glockenspiel; xylophone doubling vibraphone) and unpitched percussion, and linked the three numbers to make "Sequence," which he completed in 1955. The songs thus become a kind of invisible opera, in which the singer, instead of addressing the listener as the voice of the work, seems to be in dialog with it. Barraqué's lyricism, potent in this piece, comes about through a constant questioning. The work was given its first performance on 10 March 1956 by Boulez's Domaine Musical outfit. (...)

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