Contemporary / musique contemporaine

SMCQ | À la croisée des pianos 2 : Contrasts and Classics of the Contemporary Repertoire in the Spotlight

by Elena Mandolini

From November 3 to 5, the SMCQ presents a veritable piano marathon. A series of eight concerts will be presented in the concert hall of the Conservatoire de musique et d’art dramatique de Montréal, making this a not-to-be-missed event in contemporary piano. The PAN M 360 team attends the event and shares their impressions with you throughout the three days.

The second event in the series of eight presented by the SMCQ featured two pianists, Viktor Lazarov and Philippe Prud’homme. Having been active for some time, the qualities of these two performers are already well known, and they were able to reaffirm them in a program that was apparently very personal to them.

Viktor Lazarov began with Bolero in Dark Red by Snežana Nešić, a work with a very contemporary language, exploring the sonic potential of the piano. The second piece was a complete contrast. Waltz, by Leon Miodrag Lazarov Pashu, composed in 2008, recalled the waltzes of the Romantic era, with its bewitching theme and powerful rubato passages. Two works with completely opposite idioms, but which showed a great variety of 21st-century works. Lazarov did full justice to both works, demonstrating his versatility as a pianist.

For his part, Philippe Prud’homme also offered a journey through compositional styles for the piano from the second half of the twentieth century to the present day. His recital also highlighted the extent to which contemporary composers are striving to expand the sonic possibilities of the piano. His program included “classic” works from the contemporary piano repertoire, by François Morel and Silvio Palmieri, as well as Francis Battah. Here too, Prud’homme’s playing stands out for its contrasts of nuance and tone. His expressive playing is remarkable, and he clearly takes great pleasure in sharing these pieces, which have been with him for several years now.

This second concert in the À la croisée des pianos series was all about contrasts. This skilfully-constructed program demonstrated the wide variety of the current piano repertoire. It promises to be a most interesting weekend!

To find out about upcoming concerts in the À la croisée des pianos series, click HERE.

For the complete SMCQ season, click HERE.

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