THIERRY PÉCOU (b.1963): L'Oiseau innumérable for Piano and Orchestra, Outre-mémoire, variances for Piano, Petite Livre for Clavier, Après Rameau, une sarabande? for Piano.
Catalogue Number: 07K098
Label: Harmonia Mundi
Reference: HMC 901974
Description: Pécou's exhilarating concerto begins with a lively discourse between a vigorous piano line that twists and turns above denser, active orchestral material, sometimes colliding with it, sometimes moving independently of it. The brief second movement, almost entirely a piano solo, increases the motoric drive - more a Prokofiev-like toccata than minimalism a such - which abruptly ceases to make way for the mysterious, limpid slow movement. The finale is energetic, with increasing density of piano texture. Aside from Prokofiev, Messiaen comes to mind in the dissonant, coloristic harmony favored by the composer, and his fondness for cross-rhythms. Outre-memoire is a reflection on the Atlantic slave trade, and employs elements of African ritual music, dispersed among furious pounding outbursts of mechanistic savagery and somber, reflective melodies. The Petit Livre can actually be played on any keyboard, and was inspired by small 17th-century organs the composer encountered in Italy. He achieves a modern synthesis of stylistic gestures appropriate to early keyboard instruments, here played on several harpsichords, clavichords and positive organ. Alexandre Tharaud (piano, positive organ, épinette, clavichord), Ensemble orchestral de Paris; Andrea Quinn.