Needless to say, virtuosity mixed with moments of pure poetry are on full display in this recital: between Liszt, Ravel and Balakirev, Bertrand Chamayou tackles no less than the most transcendent pages of the repertoire, for an odyssey to the limits of the piano. Yet another gift offered to our audiences by an exceptional artist.
Liszt published his two Franciscan Legends in 1866, the second of which was dedicated to his patron Saint Francis de Paula, offering a pianistic tableau of the raging sea. Fantastic winds and swells clash in chorus, symbolizing the undaunted march of the saint, whose spirituality triumphs over chaos. At times erratic and whimsical, with a Coda to the second movement considered one of the most demanding passages in the romantic piano repertoire, Schumann’s Fantaisie op. 17 encapsulates all the "moods" of the composer, tormented by his lost love for Clara. Even more formidable is the hallucinogenic world of Gaspard de la nuit, in which Ravel concentrates the unbridled and morbid imagination of Aloysius Bertrand: the undulations of Ondine and the lugubrious knell of the Gibet are followed by the sarcastic leaps of the gnome Scarbo, in an apotheosis unequalled in virtuosity. In terms of technical limits, Balakirev thought to have achieved them, not in the beautiful works in which he pays homage to Chopin, but in Islamey (1870), legendary score in which the frenetic dances of the Caucuses explode in a maelstrom of rhythms, forms and sounds, before thunderous octaves chant the final furia.
Piano Bertrand Chamayou
Illustration © Lorenzo Mattotti
Legend n° 2: Saint-François de Paule marchant sur les flots
Fantaisie, op. 17
Gaspard de la nuit
Mikhaïl Glinka/ Mili Balakirev
Mazurka n° 2
Islamey, fantaisie orientale