PHILIPPE LEROUX (b.1959): AMA, MATTHEW CHAMBERLAIN (b.1990): Rejected Ballet Music, ELLIOTT CARTER (1908-2012): Two Thoughts About the Piano, ANNIE HUI-HSIEH (b.19??): Radius, MAËL BAILLY (b.19??): Or not prepared, IANNIS XENAKIS (1922-2001): Evryali.
Catalogue Number: 05W070
Label: B Records
Reference: LBM 031
Description: A nicely varied program including some première recordings and several works written for this performer. Leroux studied with Messiaen, and greatly admires Debussy, and the influence of both is detectable in the background of AMA, which explores material derived from harmonic analysis of the piano's overtones in sonorous patterns of repeating motifs. Chamberlain's piece uses simple, gentle glowing chords, in non-functional sequences to produce a kind of minimal texture with occasional, brief, eruptions of passion. Hui-Hsin Hsieh's Radius is a ravishing kaleidoscopic mosaic of shimmering, luminous gestures produced directly on the strings as well as the keyboard, like a mobile constructed of pieces of stained glass. Maël Bailly’s Or not Prepared is a playful take on the virtuosic pianist, in two short movements, spinning roulades of contemporary piano gestures of every kind, on and sometimes off the keyboard, around pitch centres - an obsessively repeated note in the first, more broadly implied in the second. The old guard is represented by Elliott Carter, whose hyper-energetic scherzo Intermittences and the dazzling toccata Caténaires possess such a measure of youthful verve that it seems inconceivable that they were written just shy of his hundredth birthday, and Xenakis, whose complex construction Evryali, with its arborescences, stochastic clouds and set theory sequences, combine, as so often in this composer’s work, into thrilling tumult and a level of visceral excitement seldom encountered in the repertoire. Claudia Chan (piano).