cant argue with the performance herein,at least what the fingers do, the mind? is different! it is flawless technicaly, the D Major Partita, and the 'French Suites' are favorites, pairing this illuminating content with Boulez is a bit interesting,and off-center simultaneously; in that we listen to both,and are thereby influenced by both, the durational frames exceed, traverse each other, overlap into each other, this is a post-modern appraisal of the listening experience,parametrical,or linear?, you decide? yet both aesthetics are if not literally worlds apart, then conceptually, I see no comparison on any level, unless you'd like to argue that these Boulez pieces are in fact quite inconsequential, the 12 'Notations' have made the rounds of many pianists, who find their value performable, yet the Brendels and Schiffs, Axes,and Luganskys have little time for Boulez's piano,these pieces where there in the young budding moments of modernity personifying the young excited activist Boulez, indebted in some ways to Messiaen,but also Webern looking at new "times" new "spaces" as Bachelard has told us, a new 'poetics' of "space""places", environs,"habitations" of time every pianist should know; yet Pierre had his these pathways and paradigms to explore, he had his "hieratique", the deep penumbral mysteries of occupied Paris,spatial and contracted, impacted; concentrated moments, and expansive ones, free in space in time, again much like Webern had taught us; Boulez however represented the violence endured, "tres vif" with the raw glissandi and cluster thumps, incredibly strident and mandatory in gesture, these discreet, well-proportioned moments we would hardly ever see again, despite Boulez's ways of traversing different "times", where his creative compositional work doesn't necessarily function in linear time,the 'trace' of content Derrida might of said; but Boulez can look/gaze backwards to find, to locate and develop new meanings and gestures. He did quite profoundly with the orchestration of these 'Notations',making nice studies for working orchestras to learn modernity,something they still find arduous,lumbering their way through the repertoire if forced;Boulez did not orchestrate all of them; well five or six of them anyways. Fray's playing is sometimes too clean, and impeccable,do you want that? to an extent, but you also want the pianist to convey that he is questionaing what in fact he is playing; perhaps here Fray within the Michelangeli, Pollini ways philosophies of the piano solo; (the image of Glenn Gould is also wrong, for Gould really didn't like Boulez, he saw him as a competitor intellectually, and left little for Gould to speak about at least for the issues surrounding modernity, Gould had almost nothing to say that sparkled of originality anyways for modern music),
the 'Incises'played here is the older shorter version, there is a 2001 Version twice as long, more developed, but questionable if needed.The materials seem forced and to an extent unneccesary; I think the piece is too short however in this recording, a mere 3.33 length, it is like a one-movement etude or prelude, far too short to be worth anything.And again Boulez projected this quite interesting piano solo into a larger ensemble situation,"Sur Incises" 3 pianos, 3 harps and percussion, you can see it on youtube, or buy the DVD.