Ensemble InterContemporain


Active: 1976 -
Based in Paris, Ensemble Intercontemporain is one of the leading performance organizations devoted to new music, and is closely associated with composer/conductor Pierre Boulez, a leader of the European musical avant-garde establishment. Boulez developed the idea of the Ensemble during the planning stages for IRCAM (The Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique). IRCAM was established by the French government as an international Read more center for experimental music, to further pursue the explorations that Boulez, Iannis Xenakis, Bruno Maderna, and Luciano Berio had been carrying out with either government, broadcasting organization, or university assistance.

IRCAM was planned to have the latest in computer and electronic music technology, and to be located underneath the new Georges Pompidou Center in Paris. Boulez, whose public pronouncements concerning the present and future of music tend to be absolutist, concluded that the advances of the twentieth century called into question the nineteenth century institution of the symphony orchestra. He proposed to establish a more flexible structure designed to play new works, which are often quite variable in instrumentation. His suggestion, patterned on the recent success of the London Sinfonietta (founded in 1968 to play twentieth century music), was for an in-house ensemble. He decided on its size and instrumentation by referring to the works of Austrian composer Anton Webern. Accordingly, Boulez proposed a 31-member group containing all the instruments needed to perform the chamber works of Boulez, as well as important works by Igor Stravinsky, Webern, and Arnold Schoenberg.

In 1976, Michel Guy, the French Minister of Culture, approved the plan for the Ensemble Intercontemporain, and the organization was quickly formed. Boulez, who has been in charge of the Ensemble since its inception, invited 31 players to make up the Ensemble. The Ensemble uses an innovative staffing plan where members sign to long-term contracts, but they are required only two-thirds of the normal working time. The rest of the time remains at the musicians' discretion, affording them the opportunity to refresh themselves with different musical activities that the busy members of standard full-time orchestras often don't have time for. Furthermore, Ensemble members often function as a soloists within the group. Smaller sub-groups of the Ensemble are often billed as "Soloists of Ensemble Intercontemporain."

Organizationally, Ensemble Intercontemporain is not a part of IRCAM, although it usually performs there and is widely regarded as an IRCAM's group. In the first twenty years of its existence, the Ensemble performed over 1,400 different works, including 200 world premieres, of which 115 were specifically commissioned for the group.

The Ensemble's emphasis is certainly on new works, but it saves a place in its schedule for works considered "classics" of the twentieth century. The Ensemble has recorded frequently, including works by iconoclastic American composer Frank Zappa (1940-1993), in an album called The Perfect Stranger, although Zappa complained that it was under-rehearsed and inaccurate. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 57 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Pintscher: Bereshit / Ensemble Intercontemporain
    Label: Alpha Productions   Catalog: 218 Release Date: 11/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Matthias Pintscher
    Performer:  Loic Chevandier,  Frank Scalisi,  Lucas Lipari-Mayer,  Dimitri Vassilakis  ... 
    Conductor:  Matthias Pintscher
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble InterContemporain
    CD: $18.99
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  • 2.
    The Originals, Vol. 2
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002534902 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Helmut Walcha,  Nathan Milstein,  Géza Anda,  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Eugen Jochum,  Wolfgang Schneiderhan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $142.49
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  • 3.
    Cheung: Dystemporal
    Label: Wergo   Catalog: 73432 Release Date: 08/26/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anthony Cheung
    Performer:  Anthony Cheung
    Conductor:  James Baker,  Susanna Mälkki
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Talea Ensemble,  Ensemble InterContemporain
    CD: $18.99
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  • 4.
    Pinchas Zukerman: Complete Recordings on DG, Decca, & Philips
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002514302 Release Date: 07/22/2016   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Midori,  Daniel Barenboim,  Marc Neikrug  ... 
    Conductor:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Daniel Barenboim,  Charles Dutoit,  Pierre Boulez  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $78.99
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  • 5.
    Grammont Selection 8
    Label: Musiques Suisses   Catalog: 147 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Max E. Keller,  John Menoud,  Alessio Sabella,  Peter Schneider  ... 
    Performer:  Alexander Ott,  Wolfgang Rudiger,  Walter Ifrim,  Karolina Ohman  ... 
    Conductor:  Kaspar Zehnder,  Jonathan Stockhammer,  Matthias Pintscher,  Fabrizio Ventura  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Aventure (Germany),  Collegium Novum Zürich,  Ensemble InterContemporain  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 6.
    Bartok, Ligeti  / Ensemble Intercontemporain
    Label: Alpha Productions   Catalog: 217 Release Date: 10/30/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  György Ligeti,  Béla Bartók
    Performer:  Jeanne-Marie Conquer,  Hidéki Nagano,  Sebastien Vichard,  Dimitri Vassilakis  ... 
    Conductor:  Matthias Pintscher
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble InterContemporain
    CD: $27.49
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  • 7.
    Stravinsky Complete Edition [30-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002398272 Release Date: 10/23/2015   Number of Discs: 30
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Felicity Palmer,  Ian Caley,  Phyllis Bryn-Julson,  John Tomlinson  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Riccardo Chailly,  Claudio Abbado,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra,  BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $191.98
    CD: $182.99
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  • 8.
    Pierre Boulez: The Complete Erato Recordings
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 2564619048 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Igor Stravinsky,  Pierre Boulez,  Luciano Berio  ... 
    Performer:  Pierre Amoyal,  Peter Serkin,  Simon Estes,  Ann Murray  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ensemble InterContemporain,  BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $84.49
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  • 9.
    Pierre Boulez - 20th Century
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002250902 Release Date: 02/10/2015   Number of Discs: 44
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Alban Berg,  Harrison Birtwistle,  Pierre Boulez  ... 
    Performer:  John Tomlinson,  John Aler,  Krystian Zimerman,  Leif Ove Andsnes  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Martyn Brabbins
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Chorus,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $279.49
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  • 10.
    Borowski: Fagottkonzert, Wandlung, Klavierkonzert & Chergui
    Label: Wergo   Catalog: 6412 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Boris Borowski,  johannes boris borowsi
    Performer:  Pascal Gallois,  Florent Boffard
    Conductor:  Bruno Mantovani,  Scott Voyles,  Manuel Nawri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble InterContemporain,  Ensemble Aventure,  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 11.
    Pierre Boulez: The Complete Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301333 Release Date: 11/24/2014   Number of Discs: 67
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Alexander Scriabin,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Alban Berg  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Dönch,  Isabel Strauss,  Walter Berry,  Fritz Uhl  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Anton Webern
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Camerata Singers,  Schola Cantorum New York  ... 
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  • 12.
    Pierre Boulez Conducts Schoenberg
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 42957 Release Date: 01/01/2014   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg
    Performer:  Siegmund Nimsgern,  Kenneth Bowen,  Ian Partridge,  Paul Hudson  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Singers,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 13.
    Erato - 50 CD Collection
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 46441 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Maurice André,  Pierre Pierlot,  Paul Hongne,  Jacques Chambon  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Jean-François Paillard,  Frigyes Sándor,  Kent Nagano  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ens.,  Paillard Chamber Orchestra,  Vienna Soloists  ... 
    On sale! $299.98
    CD: $230.49
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  • 14.
    Pierre Boulez: The Complete Works [13-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001836502 Release Date: 07/23/2013   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Pierre Boulez
    Performer:  Sophie Cherrier,  Pierre-André Valade,  Emmanuelle Ophčle,  Pierre-Laurent Aimard  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Diego Masson,  Roger Desormičre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble InterContemporain,  BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Singers  ... 
    CD: $98.49
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  • 15.
    Ligeti: Atmospheres
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001767302 Release Date: 12/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  György Ligeti
    Performer:  Gerd Zacher
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Helmut Franz,  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble InterContemporain,  North German Radio Chorus Hamburg,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 16.
    Yann Robin: Vulcano, Art of Metal I & III / Billard, Malkki, Ensemble Intercontemporain
    Label: Kairos   Catalog: 13262 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Yann Robin
    Performer:  Alain Billard
    Conductor:  Susanna Mälkki
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble InterContemporain
    CD: $18.99
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  • 17.
    Boulez Conducts Stravinsky
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001660502 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Hugo Wolf
    Performer:  Christopher Hanulik,  Franklin Cohen,  David McGill,  Michael Sachs  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra Chorus  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 18.
    Milano Musica Festival Vol 5 - Francesconi, Fedele, Verrando
    Label: Stradivarius   Catalog: 33891 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Luca Francesconi,  Ivan Fedele,  Giovanni Verrando
    Performer:  Enrico Dindo,  Jens McManama,  Jean Christophe Vervoitte
    Conductor:  Roberto Abbado,  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble InterContemporain
    CD: $17.99
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  • 19.
    Pierre Jodlowski: Drones; Barbarismes; Dialog/No Dialog
    Label: Kairos   Catalog: 13032 Release Date: 08/09/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pierre Jodlowski
    Performer:  Pierre Jodlowski,  Sophie Cherrier
    Conductor:  Susanna Mälkki
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble InterContemporain
    CD: $18.99
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  • 20.
    Unsuk Chin: Fantaisie Mecanique; Xi; Akrostichon-wortspiel; Double Concerto
    Label: Kairos   Catalog: 13062 Release Date: 05/10/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Unsuk Chin
    Performer:  Piia Komsi,  Samuel Favre,  Dimitri Vassilakis
    Conductor:  Patrick Davin,  David Robertson,  Kazushi Ono,  Stefan Asbury
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble InterContemporain
    CD: $18.99
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  • 21.
    Alberto Posadas: Oscuro Abismo De Llanto Y De Ternura; Nebmaat; Cripsis; Glossopoeia
    Label: Kairos   Catalog: 13112 Release Date: 03/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alberto Posadas
    Performer:  Christophe Grindel,  Jeremie Dufort,  Nathalie Shaw,  Stephane Puc  ... 
    Conductor:  François-Xavier Roth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble InterContemporain
    CD: $18.99
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  • 22.
    Hector Parra: Hypermusic Prologue
    Label: Kairos   Catalog: 13042 Release Date: 05/11/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Hčctor Parra,  Spoken Word
    Performer:  Charlotte Ellet,  James Bobby
    Conductor:  Clement Power
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble InterContemporain
    CD: $29.99
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  • 23.
    American Clarinet - Carter, Reich, Sandroff, Adams
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 67133 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Howard Sandroff,  Elliott Carter,  Steve Reich,  John Adams
    Performer:  Franck Rossi,  Alain Damiens,  André Trouttet
    Conductor:  David Robertson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble InterContemporain
    CD: $13.99
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  • 24.
    Jarrell: Cassandre / Malkki, Bas, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Et Al
    Label: Kairos   Catalog: 12912 Release Date: 05/12/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Jarrell
    Performer:  Astrid Bas
    Conductor:  Susanna Mälkki
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble InterContemporain
    CD: $18.99
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  • 25.
    Manoury: Fragments Pour Un Portrait, Partita No 1 / Malkki, Desjardins, Et Al
    Label: Kairos   Catalog: 12922 Release Date: 05/12/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Philippe Manoury
    Performer:  Christophe Desjardins
    Conductor:  Susanna Mälkki
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble InterContemporain
    CD: $18.99
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