Rituel in memoriam Bruno Maderna

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Rituel in memoriam Bruno Maderna (1974–75) is a composition for large chamber ensemble in eight groups by the French composer Pierre Boulez. It was first performed in London, 2 April 1975, by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Boulez.[1]

The work was written after the death of Boulez's fellow composer Bruno Maderna, and Boulez describes it as "A ceremony of memory, in which there are numerous repetitions of the same formulas, in constantly changing profiles and perspectives".[2] The work makes use of multiple groups of musicians (each with different instruments), widely separated across the performance space, as in many of Maderna's works (e.g. Quadrivium, 1969). There are eight groups, each one featuring different instruments, with every group but brass conducted by a percussionist keeping the individual tempo of the group; thus the groups have a rhythmic independence of each other, though there is a larger scale organization directed by a primary conductor.[3]

Boulez based the tonal structure of Rituel largely on a set of seven tones, corresponding to the number of the letters in the name "Maderna".[4] These are the same pitches used in the row of …explosante-fixe….[5]


  1. ^ Jameux 1991, 351.
  2. ^ In the program booklet for the second part of the IRCAM concert series Passage du XXe siècle (Sept.–Dec. 1977): 5, cited in Blumröder 1982, 184.
  3. ^ Jean-Pierre Derrien, CD inlay booklet for Notations, Figures-doubles-prismes, Rituel, Naïve MO 782163 (Lyons, 2002).
  4. ^ Blumröder 2006; Jameux 1991, 355–56.
  5. ^ Campbell, Edward (2010). Boulez, Music and Philosophy, p.206. ISBN 978-0-521-86242-4.


  • Beiche, Michael (1981). "Serielles Denken in Rituel von Pierre Boulez". Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 38:24–56.
  • Blumröder, Christoph von (1982). "Formel-Komposition—Minimal Music—Neue Einfachheit: Musikalische Konzeptionen der siebziger Jahre." In Neuland Jahrbuch 2 (1981/82), edited by Herbert Henck, 183–205. Bergisch Gladbach: Neuland Verlag.
  • Blumröder, Christoph von (2006). "Stationen der Neuen Musik seit 1950". Unpublished lecture, Musikwissenschaftliches Institut der Universität zu Köln, 9 May.
  • Jameux, Dominique (1991). Pierre Boulez. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-66740-9.