I listened to this modest masterwork again after some time, and it is incredible the ultimate sonoric clarity achieved here. The IRCAM musicians who are the in-house band there under the Ensemble Intercontemporain always bring this razor sharp sound to anything they record, Listen to their Ligeti or Birtwistle, and you will discover again this same affinity for this sharpness. Schoenberg's music,his orchestrations has a tendency toward the impacted dense sound.Well darkly brooding gestures,yet there is an affinity for the flagellations of sound, treating sound with sharp surgeon-like instruments.The Piano piece Opus #11 attests to this. Boulez has referred to these orchestration problems in the interviews with Jean Vermeil. Here all the fine wind sonorities are well defined, well balanced, and sculpted. Even the lower register reedy sounding flute is heard,penetrating through the dense counterpoints. The "Passacaglia" I've never heard it again with such clean relief,where you can distinguish the various entrances. Usually this movement has satisified itself with simple unarticulated darkness in the lower octave of the piano is where it starts,barely perceptible tones there when intertwined together. But this "Pierrot" reaches for the extremes in volume as well, Schafer screams when necessary transforming this what can be introspective cabaret music into simply an impassioned dramatic invention,I will not say concert aria, for the structures here betray that. The piano to,as in the opening, the incessant ongoing eighth-note motion is penetrating,tickly,yet dangerously menacing, not a Mozart tinkle but a razor sharp one. The rhythmic gestures as well reveals Boulez again with his desired fast tempi. This does create more impetus for the overall timbre to be and remain sharp and focused. Boulez takes out all the (what can be) sappy melodrama out of this to. His Schoenberg is indeed one with a 20th century modernist vision, one that looks beyond the transition period of the early years of this century.Not Brahms as Solti might have preferred. It is a deeply disturbing vision,that of Boulez, but one that reflects realistically the state of time,either now or then prior to the massive Wars, and the darkest pages of the human spirit awaiting everyone.