12 Notations - 12 Notations
The twelve miniatures form the first work that Boulez recognized as fully valid and included in his catalog of works. There are 12 pieces of 12 bars each, which, in the tradition of Olivier Messiaen , are built very irregularly. The work was probably written after Boulez 'lessons with René Leibowitz , as it shows clear traces of the twelve-tone technique . The series is as - b - es - d - a - e - c - f - cis - g - fis - h . The manuscript has been lost and it only survives in the form of a few partially incomplete photocopies. On February 12, 1948, the piece was premiered by Yvette Grimaud. From 1978 to 1997, Boulez worked on the work under the titles Notations I – IV andNotation VII for orchestra and greatly expanded it. 
The work was published in 1985 in the Universal Edition Vienna (UE 18310, 11 pages).
The sentences and their names:
- 1. Moderate - Fantastic
- 2. Very lively. Strident
- 3. Quite slow
- 4. Rhythmic
- 5. Soft and improvised
- 6. Fast
- 7. Hieratic
- 8. Moderate to very lively
- 9. Distant. Calm
- 10. Mechanical and very dry
- 11. Scintillant
- 12. Slow - powerful and harsh
On the aspect of “notation” or “notation”, Boulez expressed himself comparatively cryptically: “We must see notation above all as a means and not as a principle of the creative process. I would say that in the phrase 'noted structure' the structure is the primary element, while the qualifying adjective refers only to the coding process of that structure. In any case, one cannot understand the actual coding process as the message that is to be transmitted, even if one can assume that the coding is capable of influencing this message. " 
The orchestral versions
- Notations I-IV for large orchestra 1978–1980 (Universal Edition 1984).
- Notations I . Orchestra instrumentation: 4 flutes (4th also piccolo), 3 oboes, English horn, E flat clarinet, 2 B flat clarinets, A clarinet, bass clarinet in B flat, 3 bassoons, double bassoon - 6 horns, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, tuba - 6 Percussionist, timpani, celesta, 3 harps - 1st violin (9 stands), 2nd violin (8 stands), viola (7 stands), cello (6 stands), double bass (5 stands).
- Notations II . Orchestral scoring: 4 flutes (4th also piccolo), 3 oboes, English horn, Eb clarinet, 2 Bb clarinets, A clarinet, bass clarinet in Bb, 4 bassoons (4th also contrabassoon) - brass as above - 8 percussionists, timpani , 3 harps, piano - strings as above.
- Notations III . Orchestral scoring: wood as notations II - brass as above - percussion and timpani as above, celesta, 3 harps - strings as above.
- Notations IV . Orchestral scoring: wood as notations I - brass as above - percussion and timpani as above, celesta, 3 harps, piano - strings as above. Premiere: Orchester de Paris / Daniel Barenboim, Paris, June 18, 1980.
- Notation VII for large orchestra 1997
Boulez suggests the order I, VII, IV, III, II or I, III, IV, VII, II for a complete performance.
- Theo Hirsbrunner: Pierre Boulez and his work , Laaber-Verlag, 1985, pp. 33–41
- Pierre Boulez in the booklet for CD ECM NEW SERIES 1606 (449 936-2)