3 December 2016

Gérard Grisey - Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil

There seems to have been a good reaction, in number of downloads at least, to Grisey's Les Espaces Acoustiques posted here a few weeks ago, and I hope that posting music like this here is not only of interest to regular visitors, but also attracts others who may become equally interested in some of the other music posted here.

So here is Gérard Grisey's most famous piece, Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil (1997-8), a meditation through four songs - from Christian, Egyptian, Greek and Mesopotamian cultures - on the passing from life to death. I don't hear any morbidity here, or sentimentality, instead a beautiful, rarefied contemplation, on the cusp of Liebestod.

I recorded this from France Musique earlier this year, and it is a remarkably assured performance. Don't hesitate if you get the chance to see this in concert!

Gérard Grisey

Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil, pour soprano et grand ensemble

Barbara Hannigan : soprano 

Ensemble Intercontemporain

Conductor : Susanna Mälkki

2008 Agora Festival, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
7th June, 2008


Tantris said...



david_grundy said...

I like.

Anonymous said...


the link doesn't work.
I am very curious to hear the music.
If there is any problem to public the link, please, can you send me the link to my email address?
Thank you very much!

All the best from Berlin

Wiebke Hoogklimmer

Tantris said...

Hi Wiebke - it may be that you haven't copied all of the above link into your browser. Here is a tiny url which should also work;


I hope this works, and do let us know what you think of the music.

(The 'download of the week' link below certainly doesn't seem to work, but that's not my link).

Ben.H said...

Just heard this piece live in London on the weekend. Extraordinary music - thanks for sharing this recording.

lc said...

what's next?
Luigi Nono and the "Nacht" that was dedicated to his work some time ago?
that'd be swell.
in any case, thanks for the Grisey fest!

Tantris said...

I did record SWR2's 9 hour Luigi Nono marathon, and very good it is too. One piece from 1983, 'Guai ai gelidi mostri' struck me as particularly outstanding. An early piece from 1960, 'Sarà dolce tacere' was also remarkable for the way it seemed to prefigure much of the later work.

However I'm not sure now much of the material is already commercially available. 'Prometeo', for example, and some of the other pieces, are certainly available on the col legno label, and hence I won't upload those. Is there a particular piece that you are interested in that isn't available commercially?

lc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lc said...

thanks for your response, Tantris.
it turns out that I don't know much about Nono's work.
I thought that after discovering some Berio's (the SEQUENZAS and SOLO WORKS boxset), I would turn to other Italian composers from the same generation, namely Maderna and Nono.
I actually tried to record the marathon but my old iMac provoked so many "skippings" that I finally gave up on it.
anything you are able and willing to share (I perfectly understand your self-restrictions) will be most welcome.
thanks again.

Tantris said...

Hi lc,
The piece I mentioned above, 'Guai ai gelidi mostri', is available on the Neos label, alongside another superb piece, 'Quando stanno morendo';


Cheers, T

carlipops said...

Hi Tantris,

I was at the general rehearsal for this concert and it was absolutely shattering. But I couldn't get to the concert itself...

I would like so much to hear this recording but rapidshare is telling me the download limit has been reached.

Any chance you could upload it again?

Bodhi Amol said...

Hello,the link is expired,please let me hear it -maybe at megaupload,it seems to last longer...

carlipops said...

...one more go maybe - any chance you could upload it again? It would mean a lot. (Yes, really!)

Wiebke Hoogklimmer said...

Hi Tantris,

it is very pity. Till yet I couldn't hear the music. There is a message, that the download limit has been reached.....

All the best


Yours Truly said...


is there any chance to get the quatre chants reposted again? I missed out on this performace. Woudl you be so kind as to post this performance again?
Thanks a million!

GGG said...

I hsve been trying to get the score of this wonderful piece.. but with no success - do you have any idea on how to get it?

Ernst Grgo Nebhuth said...

I know someone who is working for a company which edits scores.
I'll ask him during the next few weeks.

Tantris said...

I finally found the CDR with this recording, at the bottom of a box that has been in storage for several years. Here is a new rip & link;


Anonymous said...

merci a zillion for this. msj

chrisc said...

Thank you very much for ressurecting this post Tantris. Is there any chance that you might do the same for the "espaces acoustiques" post ?

Ernst Grgo Nebhuth said...

Thank you, Tantris.
This time I'll dl this version of this wonderful Grisey composition.

Tantris said...

Chris - I've also uploaded the recording of Les Espaces Acoustiques again.

Ernst - I hope you enjoy this - Barbara Hannigan is one of the great singers & musicians of our time, and I think this is amongst her best recordings - surprising it has not been released commercially.

Unknown said...

Is there still a working link to listen to this composition?
Thank you very much!

Ernst Grgo Nebhuth said...


francisco santos said...