Pascal Dusapin -

Pascal Dusapin - "Piano works" cycle

Following the resounding success of his residency with the two orchestras of the Maison de la Radio in 2018-19, Pascal Dusapin will be the central figure of the Radio France Présences festival next February.

Composer and pianist Jean-Frédéric Neuburger will premiered the full Piano Works cycle by Pascal Dusapin on 3 February 2021 at Studio 104 in Maison de la radio.  

A few words from the composer about his piano cycle: 

Following my 7 Etudes (composed between 1998 and 2002), the Piano Works is a new cycle that has followed me for almost 15 years. Indeed, after my studies, I composed greatly for the solo piano, and then one day I cast everything aside because nothing seemed right anymore. It was therefore necessary to find another point of view, so to speak, to change the lens. This cycle now has five pieces which all bear a name taken from a very conceptual book by the German artist Stefan Brüggemann entitled "Showtitles", given to me by my daughter Alice, with 2182 royalty-free titles designed to name more or less whatever you wish... As I leafed through it, I noticed that it suggested to my imagination all kinds of possible configurations.

It all started with no.1091, Piano Works which suddenly suggested to me the entire project. No.60, Did it again, commissioned by the Munich ARD competition in 2017, applied itself perfectly to my own questions: how to write once again for the solo piano? This first piece carries within it all of the possible variations of the same simple musical material. The second is aptly named Next Piece and reveals a sequence previously introduced in Did it again. These first two pieces of the cycle were conceived together. They are undoubtedly very different but multiple underlying harmonic networks bring them together. The third was written and commissioned by Le Louvre at the request of the painter Pierre Soulages for his January 2020 exhibition. Black letters seemed an ideal title.

Black Letters is indeed a piece whose harmonic blocks at the beginning resembles the broad strokes of the Outrenoir, the famous colour by Pierre Soulages. The fourth and fifth pieces, commissions by Radio France for the Présences festival, are named respectively Repetition cancels memory, referring directly to its method of composition which reiterates all the ideas of the first three works (though everything is concealed...), and When not to stop whose musical flow, we will perceive when listening, is without ambiguity.

In recent years I have focused on composing large orchestral works and operas, as I still do today. But I have always written chamber music "on the side", what I like to call my satellites or my travel works. And as time went by, though I had long been suspicious of this instrument that upset me so much during my teens, the piano has become increasingly important to me.

These new works are therefore reflections, explorations, catalysts and sometimes even outflows from other, larger works. I don't have a piano in my studio, but I finally learned by writing for it that I loved it. And though I am still at odds with the instrument, I am not finished with it...

Pascal Dusapin

Pascal Dusapin - Piano works (full cycle)
for piano
World premiere: 3 February 2021
Studio 104 - Maison de la Radio
Jean Frédéric Neuburger, piano

See the video we made for the creation of Piano works N ° 3 "Black Letters":

More information about Piano works n° 3 Black Letters

Click here to see the full festival program.