musique contemporaine

SMCQ | À la croisée des pianos 4 : Moritz Ernst Continues The Cycle

by Alexandre Villemaire

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 attended the event and shared their impressions with you throughout the three days.

German pianist Moritz Ernst continues the presentation begun the day before of Sandeep Bhagwati’s great piano cycle Music of Crossings. Composed of 36 fragments, this second part featured twelve of them. The sequence of fragments offered in the program offered a good balance between exuberance, lightness, drama and lyricism. Using 4 compositional vectors (choice of pitches, internal dramaturgy of the music, texture of both hands and finger articulation) organized in different ways, each piece was accompanied by a poem – most of the time in Bhagwati’s own hand – which lent relief to its musical meaning. For example, fragment 26 “espèce de mouche” (fly species), with its velocity in the upper register, creates a buzzing sound reminiscent of a swarm of insects, while fragment 19 “diabellissimo” (for Ludwig van Beethoven), with its heavy chords in the lower register and frenetic notes above, perfectly evokes the ebullient and intemperate character of the German composer, to name but a few. The detachable, independent nature of each of the fragments creates a sound narrative in which the audience is drawn in and feels invested in the sound universe unfolding before them, apprehending which window is about to open before them. The mood in the Conservatory Concert Hall was one of absorption and engagement as the story unfolded. The audience’s interest in what lay ahead was also sustained by the concentration and intensity of Moritz Ernst, perfectly in tune with his sensitive and dynamic interpretation.

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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