Qigang Chen, Tristan Murail, Michele Reverdy, Gilles Tremblay


Ensemble Parallèle



"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 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, 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
Conductor Nicole Paiement has been the Artistic Director of Ensemble Parallèle since 1993. With this professional ensemble, Paiement has recorded and performed many world premières. She is also the the Artistic Director of the BluePrint Project - a concert series which is dedicated to building New Music in the San Francisco Bay area. Since 1999, Paiement has also been the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Conservatory New Music Ensemble. Under her baton, the Ensemble has quickly gained recognition in the Bay Area as a dynamic New Music ensemble promoting, recording and commissioning works of living composers. Paiement is the Director of Ensembles at the University of California Santa Cruz where she conducts the orchestra, chamber singers and the full opera productions. Paiement is an active guest conductor, with recent engagements that include the conducting of a world première opera in Seoul, Korea. Other recent guest-conducting engagements include the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Suwon Philharmonic orchestra, Seoul Contemporary Opera Company, Ensemble Kochi of Japan, Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra, Minneapolis Chamber Orchestra, Ottawa Symphony and San Francisco Contemporary Chamber Players.

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



Concerto pour Orchestre (1994)

Attracteurs etranges (1992)

QIGANG CHEN (b.1955)
Instants d'un opera de Pekin (2000)

Croissant, for String Quartet (2001)

MSR Classics