Pianists corner

Anca Elena in Personal Piano Project – Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jésus – #13

Anca Elena in Personal Piano Project

Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus

#13 – Noël

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Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus by Olivier Messiaen

“At the origins, this work had to accompany the poems of Maurice Toesca, La Nativité, a project for radio. Playing Vingt Regards sur l`Enfant – Jésus, I imagined the words which could follow the music, the voice of the actor reading the poems, the atmosphere of Christmas, people after the 2nd World War listening it to the radio like a ray of hope after so much craziness of destruction.

The violence is present also in this cycle, a terrible and extremely one. Jesus himself was a victim of it. In Regards we find the chaos before the creation, but also the tenderness of the motherhood, the image of a sweet sleep of Child Jesus, the wonderful freedom and joy of birds… And after all, in the end, Messiaen shows us the Christian window for peace and freedom, which is love.”

Anca Elena.

Anca Elena and Pianists Corner offer you a rendezvous every two weeks. Each rendezvous will contain one Regard. The first episode will be released first week of December.

#13 – Noël

Les cloches de Noël disent avec nous les doux noms de Jésus, Marie, Joseph …

The Christmas bells say with us the sweet names of Jesus, Mary, Joseph …

Olivier Messiaen.

“Red, violet or orange bells, huge or minuscule, far away or very close, they all are singing the purest joy of Messiah’s birth. The opening of Noël is a celebration of rhythm and color in Messiaen’s style and so many different ways to treat piano possibilities as percussion instrument are proving a childish curiosity to see which are its limits.

The middle part shows us the miracle of inner peace… The song of heart is whispered, the blessing of motherhood and the holiness of the Child are there, in front of us, in our emotional memory.

Performing Noël it’s like conducting a chamber orchestra, every instrument should be a sparkling soloist, every of them should have space and something different to tell in a story with carols, snow and the Christmas tree.”

Anca Elena.

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Find all the episode of the series on Pianists Corner the App

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Personal Piano Project

Petr Laul – Complete Scriabin Project

Petr Laul plays the complete piano works of Scriabin

In this year 2022, we celebrate the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Alexander Scriabin. Anniversary whose celebrations began in 2021, since Scriabin has the privilege of being born in 1871 or 1872 according to the Julian or Georgian calendars.

This end of 2021, Petr Laul has set himself the incredible challenge of recording the entire work for solo piano (works with opus numbers). This represents 65 opuses and around 200 pieces.

Pianists Corner is happy to echo this exciting pianistic adventure.

The entire Petr Laul Playlist is accessible on the Pianists Corner app (Just search for “Petr Laul”).

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Shortcuts to the text :

It is customary to present Scriabin’s works according to 3 periods:

  • The first period which goes until 1903 where the influence of Chopin, Liszt or Wagner is very sensitive.
  • The second period from 1903 to 1910, transitional period where symbolism becomes more and more present.
  • The third period from 1911 to his death (1915), where he evolved towards a modernist movement.

First period (1886-1903) :

Opus 1 is a waltz. How not to see a tribute to Chopin.

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Opus 2 consists of a study, a prelude and an impromptu

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First set of mazurkas

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From the 1st movement of the first sonata

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First set of nocturnes

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The first sonata is still strongly marked by the influence of Chopin

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First set of etudes

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After an injury to his right hand which paralyzes him, Scriabin reinforces his work with the left hand which results in the writing of the prelude and the nocturne of opus 9

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New tribute to Chopin the 24 preludes of opus 11

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The second sonata is for some of maritime inspiration.

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After his concerto for piano and orchestra opus 20, Scriabin returns to writing for solo piano

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The third sonata is nicknamed “States of the soul”

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Opus 24 is a piece for orchestra “Rêverie”

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The first performance of the symphony No.1 opus 26 took place in Moscow on March 29, 1901 under the baton of his piano teacher Vasily Safonov

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Second period (1903-1910) :

The second symphony Opus 29, was created on January 12, 1902 in Saint Petersburg, under the direction of Anatoly Lyadov.

The fourth sonata is generally considered to be the beginning of Scriabin’s middle period due to the newly mystical sonorities and tonal ambiguity of the first movement.

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First set of poems

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The third symphony, opus 43, was premiered in Paris on May 29, 1905, under the direction of Arthur Nikisch

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Opus 45 consists of an album leaf, a poem and a prelude

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Opus 49 consists of an etude, a prelude and a reverie

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Opus 50 was not used by Scriabin. Maybe because of a superstition.

The 4 pieces of opus 51 are: “Fragilité”, “Prélude”, “Poème ailé” et “Danse languide”

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Opus 52 consists of two poems and an enigma (central piece)

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Created on November 18, 1908 in Moscow, the fifth sonata breaks with the classical form and has a single movement.

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The Poem of Ecstasy (op. 54) was premiered on December 10, 1908 in New York under the direction of Modest Altschuler.

Opus 55 is not used by Scriabin, again perhaps due to superstition

Opus 56 consists of 4 pieces: Prélude, Ironies, Nuances and Etude

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Opus 57 consists of 2 pieces: Désir and Caresse dansée

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Opus 59 consists of 2 pieces: Poème and Prélude

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Third period (1911-1915) :

With the sixth sonata and the symphonic poem Prometheus (op. 60), Scriabin enters his last period, turned towards a modernist current.

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The seventh sonata is also known as the “Messe blanche”

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The ninth sonata is also known as the “Messe noire”. This title is not by the composer.

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The tenth and final sonata is often called “Les insectes”.

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Opus 74 is Scriabin’s last work.

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Many thanks and congratulations to Petr Laul for sharing all of his performances.

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Personal Piano Project

Anca Elena in Personal Piano Project – Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jésus – #12

Anca Elena in Personal Piano Project

Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus

#12 – La parole toute-puissante

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Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus by Olivier Messiaen

“At the origins, this work had to accompany the poems of Maurice Toesca, La Nativité, a project for radio. Playing Vingt Regards sur l`Enfant – Jésus, I imagined the words which could follow the music, the voice of the actor reading the poems, the atmosphere of Christmas, people after the 2nd World War listening it to the radio like a ray of hope after so much craziness of destruction.

The violence is present also in this cycle, a terrible and extremely one. Jesus himself was a victim of it. In Regards we find the chaos before the creation, but also the tenderness of the motherhood, the image of a sweet sleep of Child Jesus, the wonderful freedom and joy of birds… And after all, in the end, Messiaen shows us the Christian window for peace and freedom, which is love.”

Anca Elena.

Anca Elena and Pianists Corner offer you a rendezvous every two weeks. Each rendezvous will contain one Regard. The first episode will be released first week of December.

#12 – La parole toute-puissante

Cet enfant est le Verbe qui soutient toutes choses par la puissance de sa parole …

This Child is the Word who sustains all things through the power of His voice …

Olivier Messiaen.

It is one one of my favorite Regards. La parole toute-puissante is a flow of God’s speaking on a huge scale. Practically it is a duo between the divine voice, that means terrible accents and intonations, large neumas, mistical decî-tâlas, a sort of bird’s speaking put under magnifying glass, and an obsessive tam-tam on same numbers or a rhythmical pattern. God has imagination like we humans, have, but he is alone and unique, and that is terrible. In the end we feel the loneliness of the religious dictator, his power, the immense space of his presence. 

In the same time, this piece is a proof of the power of spoken word, the magic of letters which precede music, this is why it should be always be used right.

Anca Elena.

____________________

Find all the episode of the series on Pianists Corner the App

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Personal Piano Project

Anca Elena in Personal Piano Project – Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jésus – #11

Anca Elena in Personal Piano Project

Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus

#11 – Première communion de la Vierge

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Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus by Olivier Messiaen

“At the origins, this work had to accompany the poems of Maurice Toesca, La Nativité, a project for radio. Playing Vingt Regards sur l`Enfant – Jésus, I imagined the words which could follow the music, the voice of the actor reading the poems, the atmosphere of Christmas, people after the 2nd World War listening it to the radio like a ray of hope after so much craziness of destruction.

The violence is present also in this cycle, a terrible and extremely one. Jesus himself was a victim of it. In Regards we find the chaos before the creation, but also the tenderness of the motherhood, the image of a sweet sleep of Child Jesus, the wonderful freedom and joy of birds… And after all, in the end, Messiaen shows us the Christian window for peace and freedom, which is love.”

Anca Elena.

Anca Elena and Pianists Corner offer you a rendezvous every two weeks. Each rendezvous will contain one Regard. The first episode will be released first week of December.

#11 – Première communion de la Vierge

Après l’Annonciation, Marie adore Jésus en elle … mon Dieu, mon fils, mon Magnificat! – mon amour sans bruit de paroles …

After the Annunciation, Mary adores Jesus within her … My God, my Son, my Magnificat! – my love without the sound of words …

Olivier Messiaen.

Contemplation of Holy Virgin Mary pregnant… A divine peace is surrounding her presence… While waiting for the birth of Child Jesus, she has a vision of Him in light – a quote of La Vierge et l´Enfant. Time stops, everything is surreal but also true, when we can understand the sense of  eternity. The most significant moment of the piece is when she can perceive the heartbeat of her Baby / Battement du Coeur de l`Enfant. Messiaen goes over his limited experience as human to a very realistic moment of a feminine experience, through the power of grace. The final brings the same peace and silence of the beginning…

Anca Elena.

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Find all the episode of the series on Pianists Corner the App

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Personal Piano Project

Anca Elena in Personal Piano Project – Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jésus – #10

Anca Elena in Personal Piano Project

Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus

#10 – Regard de l’Esprit de joie

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Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus by Olivier Messiaen

“At the origins, this work had to accompany the poems of Maurice Toesca, La Nativité, a project for radio. Playing Vingt Regards sur l`Enfant – Jésus, I imagined the words which could follow the music, the voice of the actor reading the poems, the atmosphere of Christmas, people after the 2nd World War listening it to the radio like a ray of hope after so much craziness of destruction.

The violence is present also in this cycle, a terrible and extremely one. Jesus himself was a victim of it. In Regards we find the chaos before the creation, but also the tenderness of the motherhood, the image of a sweet sleep of Child Jesus, the wonderful freedom and joy of birds… And after all, in the end, Messiaen shows us the Christian window for peace and freedom, which is love.”

Anca Elena.

Anca Elena and Pianists Corner offer you a rendezvous every two weeks. Each rendezvous will contain one Regard. The first episode will be released first week of December.

#10 – Regard de l’Esprit de joie

Danse véhémente, ton ivre des cors, transport du Saint-esprit … la joie d’amour du Dieu bienheureux dans l’âme de Jésus-Christ …

“Violent dance, joyous sound of horns, rapture of the Holy Spirit … the joyous love of Blessed God in the Soul of Jesus Christ …”

Olivier Messiaen.

God is joy, this is one of signs of His presence. Regard de l´Esprit de Joie opens up with a “barbarian” dance in neumes, early manifestation of divine union. The joy is lifting up, passing from the foggy spirals of darkness and ignorance, then through a hunting song with jazzy accents and massive virtuosity in chords and, finally, to the Theme of Joy resonating on Christian bells, moment of intense mystical ecstasy. Despite of his theological mottoRegard de l´Esprit de joie is one of the most free and anti-dogmatic work. It seems that we are in front of a new religion which put together the lights of all religions.

Anca Elena.

____________________

Find all the episode of the series on Pianists Corner the App

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Personal Piano Project

Anca Elena in Personal Piano Project – Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jésus – #9

Anca Elena in Personal Piano Project

Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus

#9 – Regard du Temps

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Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus by Olivier Messiaen

“At the origins, this work had to accompany the poems of Maurice Toesca, La Nativité, a project for radio. Playing Vingt Regards sur l`Enfant – Jésus, I imagined the words which could follow the music, the voice of the actor reading the poems, the atmosphere of Christmas, people after the 2nd World War listening it to the radio like a ray of hope after so much craziness of destruction.

The violence is present also in this cycle, a terrible and extremely one. Jesus himself was a victim of it. In Regards we find the chaos before the creation, but also the tenderness of the motherhood, the image of a sweet sleep of Child Jesus, the wonderful freedom and joy of birds… And after all, in the end, Messiaen shows us the Christian window for peace and freedom, which is love.”

Anca Elena.

Anca Elena and Pianists Corner offer you a rendezvous every two weeks. Each rendezvous will contain one Regard. The first episode will be released first week of December.

#9 – Regard du Temps

“Mystère de la plénitude des temps; le temps voit naître en lui Celui qui est éternel …”

“The mystery of the infinity of Time; Time sees born in itself the One who is Eternal …”

Olivier Messiaen.

Passioned about time research, Messiaen creates an abstract, severe, enigmatic work like a metaphysical painting, Regard du Temps. This short piece is build entirely on exposure of two themes which are shown completely only in the second part of the piece – till then they appear only on fragments. First idea is like a dance, based on a denkhî rhythm, the second is a triple canon with an exotic and mysterious color, like a percussion study.

Anca Elena.

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Personal Piano Project

Anca Elena in Personal Piano Project – Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jésus – #8

Anca Elena in Personal Piano Project

Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus

#8 – Regard des hauteurs

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Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus by Olivier Messiaen

“At the origins, this work had to accompany the poems of Maurice Toesca, La Nativité, a project for radio. Playing Vingt Regards sur l`Enfant – Jésus, I imagined the words which could follow the music, the voice of the actor reading the poems, the atmosphere of Christmas, people after the 2nd World War listening it to the radio like a ray of hope after so much craziness of destruction.

The violence is present also in this cycle, a terrible and extremely one. Jesus himself was a victim of it. In Regards we find the chaos before the creation, but also the tenderness of the motherhood, the image of a sweet sleep of Child Jesus, the wonderful freedom and joy of birds… And after all, in the end, Messiaen shows us the Christian window for peace and freedom, which is love.”

Anca Elena.

Anca Elena and Pianists Corner offer you a rendezvous every two weeks. Each rendezvous will contain one Regard. The first episode will be released first week of December.

#8 – Regard des hauteurs

“Gloire dans les hauteurs … les hauteurs descendent sur la crèche comme un chant d’alouette …”

“Glory in the Heights … the Heights descend to the manger like the song of a lark …”

Olivier Messiaen.

Blackbird (Merle noir)

Regard des hauteurs is the first work where Messiaen uses almost exclusively the birds’ song. The Christian signs are missing, the birds being God’s expression is his purest form. The “speaking” of the best musicians of the world is full of imagination, freedom and freshness. Messiaen studied their formulas directly from nature, discovering a large variety of rhythms and melodic lines. We are listening: Le rossignol / The nightingaleL’alouette / The larkLa grive musicienne SongThrushLa fauvette des jardins / Garden Warbler and Le merle noir / Blackbird .”

Anca Elena.

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Personal Piano Project

Anca Elena in Personal Piano Project – Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jésus – #7

Anca Elena in Personal Piano Project

Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus

#7 – Regard de la Croix

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Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus by Olivier Messiaen

“At the origins, this work had to accompany the poems of Maurice Toesca, La Nativité, a project for radio. Playing Vingt Regards sur l`Enfant – Jésus, I imagined the words which could follow the music, the voice of the actor reading the poems, the atmosphere of Christmas, people after the 2nd World War listening it to the radio like a ray of hope after so much craziness of destruction.

The violence is present also in this cycle, a terrible and extremely one. Jesus himself was a victim of it. In Regards we find the chaos before the creation, but also the tenderness of the motherhood, the image of a sweet sleep of Child Jesus, the wonderful freedom and joy of birds… And after all, in the end, Messiaen shows us the Christian window for peace and freedom, which is love.”

Anca Elena.

Anca Elena and Pianists Corner offer you a rendezvous every two weeks. Each rendezvous will contain one Regard. The first episode will be released first week of December.

#7 – Regard de la Croix

“La Croix lui dit: tu seras prêtre dans mes bras …”

“The Cross said to Him: You will be a priest in my arms …”

Olivier Messiaen.

Christ Crucified, Eglise Saint-Sulpice, Paris © Raphael Wertheimer

“A stone and stable work made on the pillars of the Theme of Star and Cross, full of painful harmonies in the ‘sigh’ rhythmical pattern, Regard de la Croix is the last expression of resistance in front of human destiny, the image of the purest sacrifice, but also the acceptance from the beginning till end.”

Anca Elena.

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Personal Piano Project

Anca Elena in Personal Piano Project – Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jésus – #6

Anca Elena in Personal Piano Project

Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus

#6 – Par Lui tout a été fait

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Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus by Olivier Messiaen

“At the origins, this work had to accompany the poems of Maurice Toesca, La Nativité, a project for radio. Playing Vingt Regards sur l`Enfant – Jésus, I imagined the words which could follow the music, the voice of the actor reading the poems, the atmosphere of Christmas, people after the 2nd World War listening it to the radio like a ray of hope after so much craziness of destruction.

The violence is present also in this cycle, a terrible and extremely one. Jesus himself was a victim of it. In Regards we find the chaos before the creation, but also the tenderness of the motherhood, the image of a sweet sleep of Child Jesus, the wonderful freedom and joy of birds… And after all, in the end, Messiaen shows us the Christian window for peace and freedom, which is love.”

Anca Elena.

Anca Elena and Pianists Corner offer you a rendezvous every two weeks. Each rendezvous will contain one Regard. The first episode will be released first week of December.

#6 – Par Lui tout a été fait

“Foisonnement des espaces et durées; galaxies, photons, spirales contraires, foudres inverses; par «lui» (le Verbe) tout a été fait … à un moment, la création nous ouvre l’ombre lumineuse de sa Voix …”

“Abundance of space and time; galaxies, photons, contrary spirals, inverted lightning: by Him (The Word) was Everything made … in an instant, creation reveals to us the luminous shadow of His Voice …”

Olivier Messiaen.

© Raphael Wertheimer

“A vision of the Creation, Par Lui tout a été fait is a dodecaphonic fugue, a celebration of the birth of the Universe and the basic energies of nature. 

All counterpoint European tradition is filled with Indian rhythms, a large variety of percussions, mathematics, modern theories of science and theology.

We can listen three cyclic themes of Vingt Regards sur l´Enfant-Jésus :  Theme of God, Theme of Love, and Theme of the Chords in a crazy work full of virtuoso passages.”

Anca Elena.

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Personal Piano Project

Anca Elena in Personal Piano Project – Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jésus – #5

Anca Elena in Personal Piano Project

Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus

#5 – Regard du Fils sur le Fils

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Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus by Olivier Messiaen

“At the origins, this work had to accompany the poems of Maurice Toesca, La Nativité, a project for radio. Playing Vingt Regards sur l`Enfant – Jésus, I imagined the words which could follow the music, the voice of the actor reading the poems, the atmosphere of Christmas, people after the 2nd World War listening it to the radio like a ray of hope after so much craziness of destruction.

The violence is present also in this cycle, a terrible and extremely one. Jesus himself was a victim of it. In Regards we find the chaos before the creation, but also the tenderness of the motherhood, the image of a sweet sleep of Child Jesus, the wonderful freedom and joy of birds… And after all, in the end, Messiaen shows us the Christian window for peace and freedom, which is love.”

Anca Elena.

Anca Elena and Pianists Corner offer you a rendezvous every two weeks. Each rendezvous will contain one Regard. The first episode will be released first week of December.

#5 – Regard du Fils sur le Fils

“Mystère, rais de lumière dans la nuit – réfraction de la joie, les oiseaux du silence – la personne du Verbe dans une nature humaine – mariage des natures humaine et divine en Jésus-Christ …”

“Mystery, rays of light in the night – refraction of joy, the birds of silence – the person of the Word made flesh – union of the human and divine natures in Jesus Christ …”

Olivier Messiaen.

Autel de l’église de la Trinité, © Raphael Wertheimer

“There is something hypnotic in that piece, something huge and very stable, the eternity itself. Regard no. 5 is growing up on only one theme, the Theme of God, played very slowly from the beginning till end. Just one theme for a single piece ! No development, only birds over it which are singing freely. The birds of silence appear like a rhythmical canon sounding as Chinese bells – in first section. Three tâlas compose every plan, repeated obsessively, in a pedal. In the second section the birds are really speaking in a wonderful ‘oiseau’ rhetoric.

Memorizing this piece was a challenge, everything and nothing was the same… Till I understood that it is a work of rhythm and colour. Going more on this way, I discovered a temple of beauty! So I had to let the music to exist freely, without my obvious implication. I was just an observer, listening the vibrations of sounds and their mysterious power.”

Anca Elena.

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Personal Piano Project

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