Pour un pianiste

Although just recently released, the music on this disc dates from 1974. Fortunately, it sounds as fresh as if it had been written yesterday. I’ve heard many pieces from the sixties and seventies with instrument and electronics that I don’t like—pieces in which the instrument (often piano) plays the spiky, quasi-serial sounding stuff that’s been (unfairly) labelled “academic,” but which is really just tedious. Pour un pianiste is quite definitely not one of those pieces. For 1974, it’s really quite remarkably unique in its treatment of the piano. For one, there’s none of the ordinary piano sounds mixed with slightly treated piano sounds. Or ordinary piano sounds mixed with other ordinary piano sounds for that matter. Without ever sounding like any thing but a piano, this piece never sounds like any piano on earth. While requiring virtuoso playing from M. Frémy, on both prepared and unprepared pianos, the piece never sounds showy. It’s all solid, good music. I don’t want to give the impression that it’s a nice tame piece, though. It’s not. It’s a wild, harsh, sharp-edged beauty that will thrill no matter how often you play it.

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