Roland Auzet

(b. 1964)

mode 189/92

Roland Auzet: Percussions(S)


mode 189-192 Roland AUZET: Percussion(s) – Series inactuelles. Includes works by Iannis Xenakis, Gerard Pape, Edmund  Campion, Darius Milhaud, Alain Bancquart, Karen Tanaka, Carlos Roque Alsina, Yoshihisa Taira, and Pierre Jodlowski. 3 CDs plus video DVD and 500-page book.

In stock

Roland Auzet: Percussions(S)

CD 1

Iannis XENAKIS (1922-2001)
Psappha (1976)   (12:33)
for percussion solo

Omega (1997)   (4:04)
for percussion solo & orchestra
Ensemble FA
Dominique My, conductor

Kassandra (1987)   (21:43)
for bass voice & percussion
Nicholas Isherwood, bass

Rebonds A & B (1988)   (6:10, 5:01)
for percussion solo

Gerard PAPE (b.1955)
Funeral Sentences (1988)
for percussion & voice
Janet Pape and Armelle Orieux, sopranos
Alain Bancquart, conductor
I     (2:59)
II    (2:51)
III   (2:38)
IV   (5:12)
V    (3:33)

CD 2

Edmund  CAMPION  (b.1957)
Losing Touch (1994)   (11:15)
for vibraphone & electronics (IRCAM)
first recording

Darius MILHAUD (1892-1974)
Concerto de chambre pour marimba et 9 instruments (1952)
(transcription of “Concerto pour marimba, vibraphone et orchestre”
by Alain Bancquart)

Animé   (4:46)
Lent   (7:52)
Vif   (4:40)
Ensemble FA
Dominique My, conductor
first recording of the Bancquart transcription

Carlos Roque ALSINA  (b.1940)
Themen (1974)   (14:41)
for percussion & string orchestra
Ensemble Musique Aujourd’hui
Jean-Marie Adrien, conductor
first recording

Yoshihisa TAÏRA (1937-2005)
Convergence (1971)   (11:28)
for marimba solo

Pierre JODLOWSKI (b.1971)
MECANO 1 et 2 (2004)
for percussion & motors
MECANO 1 percussion – machine (toms)   (6:37)
MECANO 2 percussion – machine (métal)   (3:35)

CD 3

Roland AUZET  (b. 1964)
OROC.Pat (1997)   (9:35)
for zarb & live electronics (IRCAM)
first recording

Karen TANAKA  (b. 1961)
Metallic Cristal (1995)   (9:26)
for percussion & electronics
first recording

Alain BANCQUART  (b. 1934)
“Amour grand terrible champ crtique” (2003-4)
for percussion & electronics (CCMIX)
I     (1:56)
II    (6:00)
III   (8:10)
IV   (34:27)
first recording


Iannis XENAKIS (1922-2001)
Psappha and Rebonds A & B
for percussion solo
Filmed by Jacques Goldstein
(NOTE: these are different performances from the CD recordings)
2-sided DVD in both NTSC and PAL

A new concept of a musical textbook with 3 CDs and a video DVD in a deluxe slipcase edition.

INACTUELLES is a unique collaboration between Mode and the Parisian art-book store Tschann, to combine CDs and/or video DVDs of musical performances with an informative musical textbook. This is a true Franco-American collaboration, the slipcase and book printed in France with the CDs and DVDs printed and manufactured in America.

INACTUELLES is a concept that is neither a CD nor a book, but rather a way to present a particular musical topic or composer in a thorough way. Without being constrained to CD sized packaging, INACTUELLES is presented with a large and authoritative book, musically illustrated by the accompanying CDs and/or DVDs.

“INACTUELLES” translates as “UNTIMELY”: a collection of CDs/DVD/book that represents the most original in recent new music without concessions to style. That which is truly original – a unique approach to composing musical sound – transcends fashion, technical and aesthetic concerns and becomes  “timeless”… Inactuelles.

“ROLAND AUZET : PERCUSSION(S)” is the first volume of INACTUELLES: an incredible survey of music for solo percussion (with or without ensemble) in the 20th and 21st century – performed by the great French percussionist Roland Auzet.


  • Recordings of 13 works, including 7 world premieres.
  • 3CDs and a DVD of studio recordings by virtuoso French percussionist/composer Roland Auzet, comprised of works:
    > for percussion solo (Xenakis, Taïra)
    > for percussion and voice (Xenakis, Pape)
    > for percussion and ensemble (Xenakis, Milhaud, Alsina)
    > for percussion and electronics (Auzet, Bancquart, Campion,
    Jodlowski, Tanaka)
  • A DVD of Auzet’s performance of Xenakis’ Psappha and Rebonds by filmmaker Jacques Goldstein.
  • Performers include vocalists Nicholas Isherwood, Janet Pape and Armelle Orieux, Ensemble FA, Ensemble Musique Aujord’hui, conductors Jean-Marie Adrien, Alain Bancquart and Domnique My.



  • A book (in English and French) by French musicologist Pierre-Albert Castanet, Percussion(s): Gesture and Spirit, which discusses the history of percussion music including interviews with Auzet about interpretation and performance of percussion music, especially the works and the composers recorded in this set.
  • Preface by Pierre Boulez.
  • Postface by master American percussionist Steven Schick.


Roland Auzet

Mode 189-192 (CD, DVD & Book)

Mode Records boss Brian Brant has always been a man obsessed with formats. He was a pioneer in presenting New Music on DVD and now combines audio, visual and printed matter (the latter provided by the French publisher Tschuann) in a new Mode series called Inactuelles. Each slipcase-box will focus on a composer or theme, and this first installment surveys innovative music for percussion played by French percussionist Roland Auzet.

At the heart of this set sits Iannis Xenakis, which seems only proper. The DVD documents Auzet’s performances of Psaphha (1976) and Rébonds (1988), and the visuals greatly increase our understanding of how Xenakis’s music demands physicality and dainty precision. In  the book, Auzet describes Xenakis’s importance as a conceptualiser of percussion music as “launching the debate of form and content. Percussion is not rhythmical, not folkloric, is not exotic.” In other words Xenakis liberated percussion from being a colouristic effect, and found an approach to pitch and rhythm that matched square pegs with square holes.

The earliest piece included, the 1952 Concerto De Chambre for marimba and nine players by French neoclassical composer Darius Milhaud, desperately tries to slot square pegs into round holes. Milhaud’s melodic pomp would have idiomatic purpose on a string or wind instrument, but plods inelegantly against the marimba’s brittle attack. But even when Xenakis uses percussion in a more representational way, as in his 1987 Kassandra for bass voice and percussion, an extra scene added to his theatrical piece Oresteia, the thunderous ritual of his writing feels authentic: material and structure are interchangeable.

Edmund Campion’s Losing Touch (1994) for vibraphone and electronics begins with an electronic treatment of the vibraphone that transforms its wobbly tones into tiny glissandi figures that are put into a duologue with the ‘live’ vibraphone. Karen Tanaka’s Metallic Cristal (1995) also involves electronics, this times deployed to transform base metal percussion into kaleidoscopic timbres; other composers like Carlos Roque Alsina and Yoshihisa Taïra, use conventional techniques. Most intriguing, however, is Pierre Jodlowski’s Mecano (2004) which embeds motors and metronomes inside a battery of percussion instruments. The music ticks like a faulty mechanical object as the real-time percussionist adds a humane dimension – the grain of percussion redefined.
— Philip Clark, The Wire, December 2008


Roland Auzet profile
Alain Bancquart profile
Gerard Pape profile
Steven Schick profile
Karen Tanaka profile
Iannis Xenakis profile profile/discography