Gérard Grisey was not only a formidable accordion virtuoso; he was one of the most influential composers of the late 20th century, whose innovative approach to sound, harmony and time shaped a new musical language known as spectralism.

The book 'The Life and Music of Gérard Grisey'.

Born in Belfort, France in 1946, Grisey studied with Messiaen, Dutilleux, Stockhausen and others, before winning the Prix de Rome in 1972. He founded the ensemble L’Itinéraire with Tristan Murail and other composers, and taught at the University of California, Berkeley and the Conservatoire de Paris.

Grisey died in 1998, at the age of 52, after suffering an aneurysm, leaving behind a rich and diverse body of work that explores the nature and perception of sound, from solo pieces to large-scale orchestral cycles. His music is characterised by a meticulous attention to the acoustic properties of sound sources, a refined sense of form and structure, and a poetic imagination that draws on various literary and cultural references.

The composer’s last completed work, Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil (Four Songs for Crossing the Threshold), is a poignant meditation on death and transition,...