AUTOUR DE MESSIAEN
Qigang Chen, Tristan Murail, Michele Reverdy, Gilles Tremblay
NICOLE PAIEMENT, conductor
SAN FRANCISCO CONSERVATORY NEW MUSIC ENSEMBLE
"Recording quality and performance standards are high throughout this disc...Listeners interested in contemporary music are recommended to sample the works by reverdy and Chen in particular...it is refreshing to hear that none [of the composers featured] has merely aped [Messiaen's] style."
Fanfare - July / August 2007
"Clarity, both in texture and intent, is...one of the predominant elements that unites all four works, from the opening of Reverdy's Concerto pour Orchestre, whose delicate volume level and crisp performance by the San Francisco New Music Ensemble often belies the music's inner density...Aided here by some splendid performances, these composers elegantly raise their diverse source material into a different realm [from Messiaen's] entirely."
Gramophone - Awards Issue 2006
"[Reverdy's Concerto for Orchestra] is delightful...excellent performances directed by Nicole Paiement..."
Turok's Choice - October 2006
"... the one thing each composer has in common is a carefully refined approach, idiomatically sympathetic to the instruments and with only occasional forays into the ‘avant-garde’...One of the most memorable and substantial works on this disc is Michèle Reverdy’s Concerto pour Orchestre. Beginning and ending quietly with flute solos, the piece is constructed around the idea of "[giving] everyone a voice", and indeed there is some delightfully contrapuntal wind writing, percussion both delicately colourful and punchily rhythmic, chamber-like strings: this is surely highly rewarding music to perform, let alone to experience as an audience. Ideas and sequences are presented, developing and weaving into textures of ever-increasing complexity. Rhythmic ostinato takes over in a central section around which variations build to a climax which is a little like an accelerated moment from ‘Oiseaux exotiques’. This climax could well be the end of the piece, but there are another ten minutes in which another organic movement is allowed to grow out of some gorgeous low percussion sounds and extended bass clarinet and bass flute conversations. The piece is somehow dark without being at all gloomy, and I found it a fascinating musical journey...
Tristan Murail is a name some will have seen as Ondes Martinot player in many works by his teacher, Olivier Messiaen... Attracteurs étranges is a work for cello solo which explores the instruments range through... fractal patterns to which Murail applies poetical analogy to create an interesting... study....
Instants d'un opéra de Pékin is a piano solo written for the Messiaen Contest in Paris in 2000. Chen uses famous instrumental extracts from the Beijing Opera... After a mystic opening, a more openly rhythmic character introduces a ‘theme and variations.’ The resulting virtuoso elements turn up some fun, if rather eclectic moments, superbly performed by multiple-prizewinning pianist Mick McCray.
This is an interesting collection of pieces, showing how many and varied are some of the voices which have emerged from the Parisian ferment which orbited one of the greatest names of 20th century music... All of the performances have been carefully prepared and professionally performed, and anyone interested in exploring some new and engaging repertoire will find much to enjoy in this recording."
MusicWeb International, August 2006
"[Reverdy's Concerto for Orchestra] is fun to hear...[Qigang Chen's work] is an attractive event...All in all... an interesting and well-performed excursion into the world of new music"
American Record Guide - September/October 2006
Founded in 1968, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s New Music Ensemble is dedicated to the performance of late 20th century works and new works of the 21st century. The Ensemble has commissioned and premiered many new pieces by prominent American composers.
Ensemble Parallèle focuses on the performance and recording of lesser-known works of the 20th century and the music of today. In its repertoire selection, the Ensemble attempts to bridge the gap between the recent past and the present, providing audiences with historical insight that helps them appreciate the musical language of today, which is at the root of the Ensemble’s mandate. As suggested by its name, the Ensemble focuses on collaborations with other art forms that increase the accessibility to and visibility of contemporary music. Since its formation, the Ensemble has presented many world and American premières and has commissioned several composers of various countries.
"The painting's central flame represents God as the Mystery of Love. It swirls at the top into the shape of a heart made of three flames in one: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost." Jacqueline Pinel-Tremblay
AUTOUR DE MESSIAEN
MICHELE REVERDY (b.1943)
Concerto pour Orchestre (1994)
TRISTAN MURAIL (b.1947)
Attracteurs etranges (1992)
QIGANG CHEN (b.1955)
Instants d'un opera de Pekin (2000)
GILLES TREMBLAY (b.1932)
Croissant, for String Quartet (2001)