16 pages, on 8 large folio single leaves (c.55.5 x 34cm), 56-stave paper ("Registre C.D.R. No.7"), in a paper wrapper inscribed by Markevitch in pencil ("Les Doubles, Boulez"), [1957-1958], creasing at central horizontal folds, browning to the final page
Doubles (1958) represents Boulez's answer to Stockhausen's celebrated Gruppen (1955), a large-scale work where the vast forces are separated spatially into three orchestras, each requiring a separate conductor. Jonathan Goldman compares this use of the spatial dimension in music to the growing interest in stereophonic music reproduction at this time. This manuscript full score of Doubles is divided vertically into three groups on the staves, and these groups are arranged spatially on the stage and around the audience:
1) [on the left] "Cuivre 3", strings & harp, "Cuivre 1", strings, "Bois 2", muted strings;
2) [in the middle] 4 double-basses, xylophone, "Bois 1", vibraphone, celesta, violins;
3) [on the right] muted strings, "Bois 3", strings, "Cuivre 2", strings & harp, "Cuivre 4";
The arrangement of the instruments is different to that described by Hirsbrunner for Figures, Doubles, Prismes, Boulez's expansion of Doubles. This is the form in which Boulez developed Doubles further in the following decade, firstly as a ten-minute work in 1964 and then as a fifteen-minute one in 1968, but which he never brought to a conclusion. Conceived by the thirty-two-year-old composer at the height of his early fame, following Le marteau sans maître, Doubles was his first draft of a work for large orchestra: its "début", as he puts it in his dedication inscription to Markevitch. Although the work is in a sense unfinished, and the music breaks off abruptly at the end, it accords with the full score of 'Doubles' (reproduced from another manuscript) in Figures, Doubles, Prismes (Vienna: Universal, 1960s).
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