Gilbert Amy (1936)

Gilbert Amy’s articles, few in number and written over the course of his entire career from 1958 to 2012, would have remained dispersed had Pierre Michel not edited an anthology of the composer’s main texts and interviews (Amy… un espace déployé, Millénaire III, 2002). Including tributes to Barraqué (the strictly musical homage to Guézec in Un désastre obscure seems far more sensitive), Boulez, and Messiaen as well as notices devoted to his own works, the richest reflections of Amy’s writings are found in a few more developed articles.

While Amy’s writings do not show the same capacity for abstraction as those of Boulez, they are inspired by the way the latter always take care to place his reflections in a historical context. Amy’s articles are mostly those of a pragmatist who, even when starting from a general question—be it musical material, open form, space, or form—returns to his own experiences and works. As a result, most of his writings create a sort of composer’s “diary” that accompanies his music and places his musical decisions in context. The invaluable interviews with Clément Rosset (France Culture, 1996, included in Pierre Michel’s anthology) make it possible to effectively connect Amy’s different positions.

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