Piano -- Piano

Luc Ferrari

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Piano -- Piano Review

by Dan Warburton

These six piano pieces span the career of French composer Luc Ferrari, the earliest, the "Suite pour Piano," dating from 1952 (and reflecting the influence, albeit refracted, of Bartók and Hindemith), the latest, "Comme une Fantaisie Dite des Réminiscences," for two pianos, from 1991. Ferrari writes for the instrument with consummate aplomb (and is no slouch as a pianist himself, having studied the instrument with the legendary Alfred Cortot), and pianists Christine Lagniel and Michel Maurer evidently relish performing the music. From the offbeat distortions of Baroque (in the "Suite") and sonata forms (the revealingly titled "Antisonate") to the exquisite miniatures, at times minimal and motoric, at times deliciously impressionistic, of the "Fragments d'un Journal Intime," Piano -- Piano is a rich and rewarding portrait of a composer known more for his groundbreaking electronic works. Ferrari's sly sense of humor is evident throughout, even in the arch serialism of "Visage I" (indeed, Ferrari must be, along with his friend Mauricio Kagel, the only composer to have made Darmstadt-style serialism fun -- even funny -- to listen to). The "reminiscences" of "Comme une Fantaisie" consist of fragments of J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, and are integrated seamlessly into the work's larger structure with as much affection as compositional mastery.

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