. . . fabulous and compelling bow to a modern master . . . a fabulously lucid account of the tangled, challenging "Dérive 2" . . . ["Le Marteau Sans Maître"]: By my reckoning, this is Boulez's fifth recording of the work that defines his own music better than any other; it's perhaps more expressively flexible than earlier ones, but just as precise, and Summers makes a compelling soloist.
. . . a lasting musical tribute to the composer . . .
. . . [Daniel Barenboim's West-Eastern Divan Orchestra] proves that staggering virtuosity can and should be fostered around the world. Indeed, for lovers of Boulez, or lovers of sheer virtuosity, this is an essential new release . . . a fascinating overview of Boulez's aesthetic, given excellent performances and recording quality . . . [in "Mémoriale"] Barenboim leads flutist Guy Esched -- who plays flawlessly -- and the eight-piece ensemble of strings and horns masterfully . . . the present disc is admirable for its breadth and the mastery on display from the young performers . . .
. . . convivial performances of latter-day Boulez . . . ["Messagesquisse"] is expressed as a jaunty lollipop, complete with big ending . . . ["Le marteau sans maitre"] is a supremely relaxed and idiomatically confident performance by young musicians . . .
. . . fascinating music in excellent performances . . . the dedication and precision that Barenboim brings to these complex, cerebral works is apparent . . . [on "Le marteau sans matre"] alto Hilary Summers performs with the requisite breathy, dark, haunted timbre . . . There is such an amazing and unpredictable wealth of sound and mood found within these works that this collection serves quite well to illustrate the range of voice and variety of ideas that Boulez created over the years . . . a very important collection . . .
. . . ["Derivé 2" is] the highlight of this superb tribute . . . ["Le Marteau sans maitre"] is conducted with age-defying vigour by Boulez himself and exquisitely sung by Hilary Summers . . . crystalline beauty and an underlying lyricism . . . "Derivé 2" is simply breathtaking: in compositional scope and its precise yet fluid performance by the 11 virtuoso soloists under Barenboim's taut direction.
["Le marteau sans maître"]: Considering the performances alone, this is a fantastic recording. Add to it that this is an orchestra made up of young musicians in an ensemble with admirable intent, and the recording is that much more impressive. Barenboim conducts an energetically perambulant performance of the 49-minute "Dérive 2", for 11 instruments. Jussef Eisa's virtuosity is immediately evident in his live recording of "Dialogue de l'ombre double" . . . Hassan Moataz El Molla contributes a clear and elegant reading of "Messagesquisse" . . . flexible and colourful interpretations . . .
. . . [Boulez] gets quite the tribute here with more than two hours of music, including "Le Marteau Sans Maître." That score might frighten some young musicians; here, the contralto Hilary Summers and members of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra are fearless.
. . . zum ganz überwiegenden Teil werden wir Ohrenzeuge einer intensiven und ausgefeilten Präsentation. Es ist erfreulich, über welch hervorragendes Verständnis die Musiker für diese anspruchsvolle Musik verfügen und dieses sowohl technisch meistern als auch musikalisch ausdrucksvoll intonieren . . .
. . . Barenboim has designed a valuable homage to his friend Pierre Boulez. They perform with enthusiasm on a very high technical level, thus allowing the listener to experience and savour major works of one of the most important composers of the last decades.