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Absolute Modernity

Paul Driver, 26 September 1991

Gabriel Fauré: A Musical Life 
by Jean-Michel Nectoux, translated by Roger Nichols.
Cambridge, 646 pp., £45, April 1991, 0 521 23524 3
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Pierre Boulez 
by Dominique Jameux, translated by Susan Bradshaw.
Faber, 422 pp., £25, March 1991, 9780571137442
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Stocktakings from an Apprenticeship 
by Pierre Boulez, translated by Stephen Walsh.
Oxford, 316 pp., £40, August 1991, 0 19 311210 8
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... That, in a nutshell, is modalism – or rather, the combination of modal and tonal usages. As Jean-Michel Nectoux recounts, Fauré was lucky enough to receive an education at Louis Niedermeyer’s enlightened school that not only insisted on the lasting importance of the ancient modes but interpreted conventional tonal procedures with a wide latitude ...

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