Eric Montalbetti, Trois études après Kandinsky

Eric Montalbetti, Trois études après Kandinsky

Composed in 1990, the Trois études après Kandinsky were inspired by an early reflection on abstraction as a form of expression of oneself and one’s feelings.

The cycle draws its inspiration from three paintings by Kandinsky, going in reverse order from the painter’s own stylistic journey. In the end, the three études form the portrait of a single artist:

  • Deux traits noirs (1930)
  • Jaune Rouge Bleu (1925)
  • Lyrique (1911) 

“First, there was the reserve of Deux traits noirs (1930), where the piano music rolls from one end of the keyboard to the other, encircling tapered forms. Five years earlier, there was Jaune Rouge Bleu (1925) and the sinuous curve of its colour gradations as well as the drama of its clashes and contrasts. In Lyrique (1911), where the figuration begins to soar bit by bit, in those places that take off as the heavens open onto a new space, there appears the horseman, or rather, his extremely stylised version. Taking from the material in common with that of the first étude, Deux traits noirs, the composer imparts a different sense to the epic of Lyrique. His piano lashes out and overlaps its colours.”

Franck Mallet, liner notes, published by Alpha Classics

This is what they’re saying in the press:

“At the Muziekgebouw, Guy showed his versatility through a beautifully constructed programme that began with Beethoven’s Eroica Variations and ended with Brahms, and had two world premieres in between... Even more fascinating are the Trois études après Kandinsky by Eric Montalbetti (b. 1968), a stunning world premiere because Montalbetti wrote the work in his youth before setting it aside for almost thirty years. The score proved to be three abstract miniatures, full of life, whose central movement – a journey from darkness to light – ends with radiant lyrical tremolos.”

Article by Joep Stapel, NRC 08/02/2018

Concert date 

7 February 2018, François-Frédéric Guy, Amsterdam Muziekgebouw, Holland

Website of the composer ➡️

Photo ©: The Bird, painting by Wassily Kandinsky