BRICE PAUSET (b.1965): for solo piano: 3 canons, 5 canons, 7 canons, 9 canons, Persepctivae Sintagma for Piano and Electronics (w/Benjamin Lévy [IRCAM Computer Music Production]).
Catalogue Number: 09T077
Reference: WER 7365 2
Description: The precision and clarity, and strict structure, of canons is a recurring preoccupation of Pauset's; aside from these four sets for solo piano, composed over a period of several decades, he has produced cycles of works in the form for orchestra and various chamber ensembles. His æsthetic viewpoint has changed dramatically over the years; the 1989 set of three are spare, austere pieces in which the structure is very apparent. A few years later, the set of five is already more expressive and pianistically flamboyant; here the composer explicitly acknowledges the historical significance of canonic writing by referring throughout to phrases of Ockeghem (though these are not audible as such). The 7 and 9 are much more pianistically virtuosic, especially the Neuf Canons, written over the six years up to 2010, when the 7 (serially organized after the material from the earlier 3, strictures from which the composer then sought to free himself!) were composed. The 9 seek to explore the limits of pianistic virtuosity, à la 'new complexity', but also the resonant characteristics of the instrument; the introduction of "moments of discrepancy, eccentric “monsters” in sound that seem to ask questions of the music itself" as the composer puts it - extravagant pianistic gestures, in other words - makes these later pieces more exhilarating and, frankly, more interesting, other than from an academic viewpoint. In Perspectivæ syntagma, a computer generates a response in real time to differences between the mathematically exact score and the performance, spatially distributed. This generates an additional layer of counterpoint to the canonic content of the piano part. 2 CDs. Nicolas Hodges (piano).