Selection of works "small is beautiful"

These times of social distancing are conducive to the discovery of the beautiful in forms that are sometimes less grandiloquent than the canonical repertoire.

Small is beautiful.

Over the years, the artists of our publishing houses often excelled in using these innovative, delicate, and nevertheless colourful formats, such as the string orchestras or chamber orchestras in the "Mozart" formation.

They also knew how to make the ensemble their own with "one per voice", following Schoenberg's famous opus 9, and even explore the charms of arrangements of works from the repertoire.

We share with you this week this expressive palette as a gift in these times of change which will soon signal our collective return to the concert halls and opera houses.

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Joan Magrané Figuera - "Wandrers Nachtlied II"

— The younger generation to which you belong has developed a keen interest in the vocal repertoire. Your catalogue already includes several vocal works and you are about to create a new one for the Ensemble Musicatreize. Could you explain to us what, in your case, has led you to develop such an interest in singing?

 As a composer and amateur, I have always been very interested in all things related to the expressive side of music, which is, I believe, its freest and liveliest aspect side and, ultimately, its most human. It is obvious that there is no instrument more human than the voice, an instrument intimately linked to our own selves. I am specifically interested in the sung voice and, more precisely (due to my love - that is to say, my interest and respect - for Franco-Flemish polyphony) by multiple sung voices, the ensemble of voices.

 You have chosen to set to music a text by a "contemporary" of Beethoven, his elder by several decades, but not just any contemporary, Goethe. Why? What qualities of the second Wanderer Nachtlied spoke to you?

 As I mentioned the human aspect of music, it’s precisely this aspect that interests me in poetry and any other form of art. Goethe's figure and work are, in this sense, exemplary and paradigmatic. In addition, in this little nocturnal poem, he makes reference to the great theme of the place of mankind in the face of nature, an essential position that we, in our modern lifetyle, often forget and neglect in a way that is, I think, very irresponsible. Schubert’s song, one of the composers who touches me the most, also uses this poem and so does Liszt’s version (so austere, so moving, so intelligent) which has long fascinated me.

 —  What role does the famous Bagatelle, known as the "Letter to Elise", play in the overall form of the work? How do you treat it?

 My piece is structured around an "A". It is from an initial and solitary "A" that a whole slow polyphony for 8 voices unfolds. The first six notes of Beethoven's famous bagatelle are heard, played together as a chord, when the poem refers to the birds right in the middle of the structure. After a climax, everything closes in little by little on the "A", in the same way as Beethoven’s work. In short, my work is a sort of arch that uses its central section to sound in harmony the masterful notes from Bonn.

— Could you tell us about your project for the Ensemble Intercontemporain. Where are you in the writing stage of this project? What is it like working with the plastic artist Julie Beauvais? What is the projected timeline for this project?

 It is not yet a public project and for this reason I cannot talk too much about it. But it's a grand project that we've been considering for several years and I'm about to write the first note of the score. If all goes well it will see the light in the first months of the 21/22 season...

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Philippe Manoury - "Anticipations"

Co-sponsor along with the Bayerischer Rundfunk orchestra, the Porto Symphony Orchestra will perform the world premiere of Philippe Manoury's new symphonic work at the prestigious Casa da Musica in Porto on 17 April. The increasingly numerous admirers of the composer, to whom we owe the Köln Trilogy, without a doubt the greatest orchestral adventure of the past few years, will be impatient to discover this new work conducted by Baldur Brönnimann.
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Pascal Dusapin - "Macbeth Underworld"

An “Underworld” more visible than ever: despite the current circumstances and the cancellation of the French premiere at the Opéra Comique, Pascal Dusapin’s latest opera “Macbeth Underworld”, a musical drama of our time about illness, death and the desire for redemption, will be visible on all screens wherever you are in the world, thanks to the joint efforts of the Théâtre de La Monnaie and the Éditions Salabert. “Macbeth Underworld” marked the opening of the season at the Théâtre de La Monnaie, sparking a unanimous enthusiasm from the experienced music lovers of the great Brussels institution, ever faithful to the artist and to his world, and from critics.

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Philippe Manoury - "Zwei Jahrhunderte später ..."

Two hundred years after the crazy challenge undertaken by the publisher Diabelli who, at the time, drew the attention of the musical world to Vienna, its bubbling artistic creativity and the whimsical mood of its creators, it is now the turn of the Austrian pianist Rudolf Buchbinder to pay homage to Ludwig van Beethoven’s legendary Variations. Philippe Manoury, whose attachment to the Beethovenian corpus is well known, declared himself ready for this challenge that we will discover on 3 March in the luxurious setting of the Musikverein.

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Yan Maresz - "Tendances"

The Printemps des Arts de Monte Carlo is, as we know, a privileged moment of sound discovery and escape: faithful to its vocation, it will offer to the combined talents of the composer Yan Maresz, the violinist Hae Sun Kang, and the Les Folies Françoises ensemble from Orléans (Patrick Cohën-Akenine) a light Mediterranean setting for the premiere of the swaying work “Tendances”. Always rigorous, but also sensitive to the sudden impulses of a musical imagination nourished by the best references of modern music genres, Yan Maresz will present on 18 March at the Musée Océanographique de la Principauté the latest opus to date from a catalogue that is both compact and unique in its exigency.

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Pascal Dusapin - Residency at BOZAR

The BOZAR draws a portrait of the composer Pascal Dusapin. An important residency for this gifted musician, master of all genres, who has established a long-standing and privileged relationship with Belgium and La Monnaie.

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Blai Soler - Off the String

The musical new year will officially start on 6 January at the Kölner Philharmonie with a performance by the Ensemble Modern conducted by Franck Ollu, and the world premiere of Off the String, Blai Soler's latest work written for Jagdish Mistry's violin and the soloists of the famous Frankfurt ensemble. Discover the elegant and inspiring world of the Spanish composer, now a resident of London for several years whose orchestral work Sol has brightened numerous European symphonic repertoires these recent years.


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Ivo Malec, one of the greats has gone

A brilliant and intransigent personality, Ivo Malec will be missed. The publishers Durand Salabert Eschig are proud to have accompanied such a master, such a demanding creative artist and inspiring professor, throughout his career which saw him celebrated by some of the greatest musicians of our time. His memory and his music will stay with us for many years.

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