Marc Monnet - Release of the record

Marc Monnet - Release of the record "En Pieces"

The works for piano that make up the collection (book I and II) En pièces by composer Marc Monnet was recorded by pianist François-Frédéric Guy on the Odradek label. The disc will be available on 24 February 2021.

Read a few words from François-Frédéric Guy on the work of Marc Monnet:

It is often tempting to reduce contemporary music to a single genre of music that is austere, impenetrable and unplayable. In the public mind, it is associated with music from the 50s to the 70s in the 20th century. This is why I prefer to call it the music of our time, which is as diverse and varied as the music of the past, if not more! And when in 2012 I premiered the first book of En pièces by Marc Monnet at the Strasbourg Musica Festival, I immediately thought of the diversity and creativity that can be found in each of the pieces and in his music in general. This is what I look for when I approach a new work and what I want to share with the listeners of this recording: the Unheard, what I would call “the not yet said”. The title is already provocative in itself – “en pièces” can be understood as “cut to pieces”, which can be scary, or as a succession of “pieces”, of musical works forming a whole. But behind this title are actually two scores separated by ten years and very different in style. The first book was written in 2006. Above all, the iconoclastic, extreme in his approach to piano playing, and above all unclassifiable character of Marc’s music is evident throughout, as well as a rare freedom of tone. Nonetheless, all music, even the most original and off the beaten track, often connects us, despite the composer, to the repertoire of the past, as if that composer were the unconscious continuator of a great musical whole. I personally feel a threefold ancestry to this first book (while being original and unique): that of Debussy in the organisation of two sets of short and varied pieces, some dazzling and others meditative and even dark, each one with a title explaining the character of the work; then that of Prokofiev and his famous Visions Fugitives, also in turn poetic and ferocious. Finally, the early Boulez, from 1945, of Notations for piano, in themselves slightly inspired among others by the two aforementioned composers! The composition of the second book, meanwhile, spans 2010 to 2015 and its style evokes a world of darkness, night and subconscious. We have often discussed with Marc the last pieces of Liszt, truly timeless and elusive UFOs which fascinate him, in particular Am Grabe Richard Wagners; as well as Robert Schumann’s last period, stricken with madness, that of Gesänge der Frühe. Did he not also write a cycle called Chants de l’aube? What strikes me is the “mise en abyme” and the risk of obscurity that he takes and which I find exciting and daring. Intentionally less demonstrative than the first book, it ultimately derives from it, and I figure then that the title of this second book could become En Lambeaux. For me, it was a real physical challenge to be able to record these dazzling works of considerable technical difficulty, that put the performer in front of an extreme experience of attacks, speed, but also of extreme slowness bordering on some sort of neurasthenia and irrationality that one must try to translate musically. Making the irrationality of our unconscious rational and musical: what a challenge! En pièces is a journey through unknown territories, which puts the performer and the audience on alert and in danger. Exciting, provocative, varied, playful at times; disturbing and deadly elsewhere, it is a bit like a trip on the ghost train of the funfair of our childhood where we loved to be terrified and screamed and shouted.... But here, is it really a game or will we end up “in pieces”?

François-Frédéric Guy

Here is the list of works on the disc: 

En pièces, Premier livre (2006)

01. I. éclats
02. II. glissades
03. III. en devenir
04. IV. comme si de rien n’était
05. V. de la résonance
06. VI. extrême
07. VII. Où est-ce?
08. VIII. rythme - éclats
09. IX. l’autre voyage (étude sur les sonorités d’après Imaginary Travel)
10. X. mouvement de l’âme
11. XI. pour la mort d’amour
12. XII. incompréhensible

En pièces, Deuxième livre (2010)

13. I. du mouvement, de la résonance, du silence
14. II. jeux d’eau
15. III. chant obscur
16. IV. fulgurance
17. V. berceuse
18. VI. suspension
19. VII. balancement onirique
20. VIII. vertical et mouvant
21. Lettre à Albertine (2018)

More information...

listen to extracts from the disc:


Watch the interview we conducted in 2008 with François-Frédéric Guy about Marc Monnet's En pièces: