Jean Barraqué. Sonate pour piano

French composer Jean Barraqué (1928-1973) was one of the most important representatives of serial music. The Jean Barraqué Archive centres around materials on the Sonate pour piano written from 1950 to 1952, which the Akademie der Künste was able to acquire while preparing a critical new edition of this work. Numerous sketches show the development and compilation of the basic construction elements. A draft containing the almost complete sonata is of particular significance, even if it does not always correspond with the definitive progression, and its particell-style notation make up to four staves of the multi-layered construction particularly easy to identify.


born on 17 January 1928 in Puteaux (Hauts-de-Seine) – died on 17 August 1973 in Paris

1940-1943 musical instruction at Maîtrise Notre-Dame de Paris, 1946-1947 private counterpoint and harmony instruction under Jean Langlais. 1948-1951 attended Olivier Messiaen’s analysis course at the Paris Conservatoire, where he met Karel Goeyvaerts, Pierre Boulez and Michel Fano. 1951-1954 studied at the Groupe de Recherches de Musique Concrète of the R.T.F.. 1952-1956 friendship with Michel Foucault, through whom he became familiar with the novel Der Tod des Vergil by Hermann Broch, which would have a decisive impact on his further work. 1957 record recording of the Sonate pour piano, which had not been performed previously, by Yvonne Loriod, 1960 première of delà du hasard under the direction of Pierre Boulez. Through André Hodeir ad Gunther Schuller, from 1961 the publication of Barraqué’s work was managed by the Florentine publishing house of Aldo Bruzzichelli. 1961-1970 research associate at C.N.R.S.. 1973 died of a brain haemorrhage. 1993 publishing rights taken over by Bärenreiter-Verlag.

Archive and collection

Outlines, drafts and corrections for the six main works Sonate pour piano (1950-1952), Séquence (1950/1955), delà du hasard (1959), Chant après Chant (1965-1966), Le Temps Restitué (1956/1968), Concerto (1962-1968); printed music; correspondence, among others with Pierre Boulez, André Hodeir and Olivier Messiaen; biographical documents; press.

History of the holdings

Correction documents and outlines and drafts for Sonate pour piano were respectively donated by Bärenreiter-Verlag in 2012 and the Association Jean Barraqué in 2019. An extensive partial bequest was added to the holdings in 2015.