“ The piano is inventive and right in the expression of sensuality and sonic pleasure, the two elements that prevail in this music... Playing with a subtle range of nuances, ample and fluid at the same time..."
Entre Belgrade et Paris
Récital de piano du soliste français Pascal Gallet à Kolarac
" The whole first part of the recital by French pianist Pascal Gallet, was in the spirit of Ivan Jevctic's piano music. Pascal Gallet belongs to that generation of artists in their forties, which owes its international reputation to its interpretations of contemporary music. His works, whose temperament is perfectly suited to Pascal Gallet's pianism, composed between Belgrade and Paris over a period of 20 years, bear the strong mark of his personality divided between two environments. Jevtic's piano sonata, strong and full of meaning, bears the imprint of a search for a particular way of expression. The French pianist has managed to describe in a very suggestive way the turbulent states of mind that balance between determination and nostalgia, which is moreover the key to his success in his interpretations of contemporary music. The culminating phases of the sonata are highly developed as well as the moments of introspection, interpreted by nuancing the sound and the phrase, which represents the expression and the relationship to the particular instrument: the piano does not moan, does not bang violently, it speaks and sings. Le monde d'enfant, childlike, tender and frank, described in Quatre morceaux pour piano(2000-2001) recalls the purity of childhood. They are created in the form of miniatures, in simplified and clear strokes, free of drama, tension and dissonance; in diatonic scales. Interpreted with a lot of imagination, these miniatures have successfully gained a characterization in various contrasts. Jevtic's Atmospheres (1984) sometimes sounds like an impressionist work, at times perfectly programmed, like the beat of the rain on the roof of a Parisian mansard, but also like the feeling of desperate loneliness in the world far away from other people. In the second part of the programme, Pascal Gallet gave free rein to his other nature by playing the works of Chopin (Nocturne in C minor, Scherzo si mineur) then Debussy, two preludes from the first notebook (le petit berger, la cathédrale engloutie) and he ended the programme with one of the "Dix regards sur l'enfant Jésus" by Olivier Messiaen, the icon of contemporary French music. He chose the cycle of the kiss of the child Jesus. It cannot be said that richness in the interpretation of the classical part of the programme was missing, yet Gallet feels at ease in contemporary music because he feels it, develops it, entering the world of composers, and this is the area where he can't be better than he is. In his interpretations of Chopin and Debussy he shows a certain distance; one does not feel Chopin's romanticism but rather his realism, he leaves Debussy in small dynamic relationships and he diminishes the impression of it. He interprets Messiaen as if he were his close friend. It is a great success that one of our composers should arouse such great interest in a foreign artist, without it being his works for trumpet already well known in the world, or his concerts or his vocal music. Now his piano opus presented by an internationally renowned pianist to the Serbian public, very satisfied, grateful, but few in number, has entered the world music scene. Two encores and a splendid and impressive interpretation of Manuel Falla have confirmed the virtuosity of Pascal Gallet's pianism. "
Concert du pianiste français Pascal Gallet
Musique de trouble et de recherche
" Due to its renovation, the programme for this spring's "gradska kuca" concerts will take place in the synagogue and will continue with a piano recital, extremely interesting offering the opportunity to meet a well-known French artist, Pascal Gallet. This concert deserves the attention of the audience, not only because of the splendid, international and renowned soloist, but also for the attractive programme he has offered, around Debussy, Chopin and Messiaen as well as our esteemed composer Ivan Jevtic, who has been living and working in France for several decades. Pascal Gallet is one of the spearheads of the solo pianists of his generation. He studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris in the class of Pierre Sancan and later studied with Yvonne Loriot and Pierre Réach. He began his concert career at the end of the 80s, winning numerous prizes in prestigious competitions. He then performed successfully in concerts that attracted large audiences throughout Europe and the American continent. He plays a wide range of concerts from Bach piano works to 20th century music with which he displays an exceptional affinity that is sublimated by his interpretations of Messiaen, Manuel de Falla and Joachim Turina, (his interpretations of Turina compare with the performances of the Spanish pianist Alicia de Larrocha). In the opening of the concert his interpretation of Scherzo No. 1, the Nocturne in C minor and Frederic Chopin's Op. 48, played in a very personal way, revealed a powerful musical temperament, a splendid technique, sometimes expressed with too much emphasis, and an exceptional richness of sublime, carefully nuanced tone colours. This sense of illuminating the tone structures in a delicate and subtle manner is brought out in Gallet's interpretations of Debussy's Prélude, le petit berger et la cathédrale englue (The Little Shepherd and the Sunken Cathedral). The first part of the recital ends with the engaged, elegant and sometimes vehement accents described by the interpretation of Messiaen's composition, Kisses from a Child. The second part of this exceptional evening of Franco-Serbian music was dedicated to the piano music of Ivan Jevtic, opening with the interpretation of his Piano Sonata written in the early 1980s. This music of turbulence, of research where the dissonant torrents of sound intertwine with meditative and transparent cuts and with slow and repetitive micro-patterns, which multiply and spread out to the infinity of a mirror. This music sounded fresh and impressive in Pascal Gallet's suggestive, clear, and vibrant interpretation. The programme continued with four pieces for children's piano - the miniatures, whose form is simplified, whose melody is clear and recognizable and whose unpretentious workmanship is almost touching thanks to its clearness and purity of inspiration appearing as a particular lyrical interplay. The recital ends with an impressive and complete interpretation of Jevtic's Opus Atmospheres, a detailed and layered work of a free structure sometimes a little dark, of a heavy tone, and muffled drama, of a quiet reflection that shows us the other, more introverted, part of the composer's expression. "
With the Sonata n°1 and the Piano Concerto, the pianist establishes himself as one of the best specialists of the French composer.
To play Jolivet's First Sonata or Piano Concerto, it is better to have good hands. While more virtuosic works can be found in the piano repertoire, Jolivet's writing is no less complex, especially since it requires the performer to alternate playing modes to adapt to the changing climates of the music.
Talking about the First Sonata while avoiding any musical jargon is not an easy thing to do. With its subterranean references to Bartók's work, its complex musical fabric and its particular energy, it can lend itself to all kinds of metaphors. This is an advantage and a disadvantage. Advantage: it is safe to evoke it from oneself (what it produces). Disadvantage: the comment is bound to miss its object (in music, one should avoid confusing effect and cause).
That being said, Jolivet is anything but an obscure composer and his compositions are meant to sound. One cannot put aside the quasi-joy that this music produces, precisely because it functions both on the terrain of language (the structure that directs us) and on a more archaic energy (the sound continuum that grabs us). This is particularly evident in the First Sonata, but it is also true of the Concerto.
However, when listening to this record, we tend to talk about climate and energy to the detriment of form. The reason, it seems to me, lies in the very physical aspect of this music, which, by a contamination effect, leads the listener to lose his temporal references. Thus, the quasi-suspension of time in the second movement of the Sonata creates a curious state in those who have followed, short of breath, the implacable march that preceded it. And this state-which is very much in symbiosis with the music-has something to do with those waking dreams that mingle with the silence of words the shapeless images that have seized us.
The Piano Concerto was composed a few years after the Sonata. At its premiere in Strasbourg, it caused a small scandal, a scandal that is, to tell the truth, quite incomprehensible today. The work strikes once again by its dramatic progression, a progression that reserves for the piano a role that is both central and peripheral. Formidably expressive and of an implacable formal construction, it deserves to be played more often... Many thanks to Pascal Gallet for this rare and remarkably performed disc.
In the middle of the second concert of the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the audience heard the rarely played piano concerto by André Jolivet. At the recently acquired Bechstein piano, Pascal Gallet proved to be an incredibly virtuoso and powerful soloist.
The program itself was already remarkable, but the inauguration of the new Bechstein piano raised the Second Philharmonic Concert to the level of excellence. The quality was exceptional, but it was not easy; André Jolivet's Piano Concerto is indeed a rare pearl.
Works by Maurice Ravel and Pierre Tchaikovsky framed this concerto, and the almost complete audience of the Mercatorhalle greeted this courageous initiative with great applause. The "Alborada del gracioso" from the piano cycle "Miroirs" in an orchestral arrangement by Maurice Ravel was particularly convincing. Under the direction of Jonathan Darlington the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra brought out every detail. The complex structures were clearly understandable, the delicate instrumental solos were well presented, the Spanish colour was beautifully rendered, and the brilliant parts had an extraordinary effect.
Then came the piano concerto by André Jolivet, who had composed it in 1950, inspired by music from outside Europe. One thus finds in the first movement the influence of Central African music, in the second, that of the Far East and in the finale Polynesian influences. The percussive character of the composition is to be noticed.
No less than eight percussionists took part in the concert, and the piano itself, which appears only in rare solos, is put to the service of percussion. The work is very rhythmically conceived and requires a great deal of effort on the part of the performers. Pascal Gallet, who has acquired a reputation as a specialist in the difficult repertoire, mastered the solo part with brio, playing with incredible and powerful virtuosity, in perfect symbiosis with the orchestra. It is unusual to inaugurate a concert piano in this way, as there is no trace of complacency in Jolivet.
This is why the inauguration was more like a test of resistance. The virtuosity left nothing to be desired and the public was pleased with the choice. The Bechstein piano also has other qualities and can render clearly lyrical accents, as Pascal Gallet showed in a long off-program piece. A piano piece by Olivier Messiaen shone by its transparency: special sounds could be heard in the middle of the chords.
Several Grieg, Turina and Jolivet (complete piano recordings) have aroused the curiosity of music lovers.
With this recital Pascal Gallet will inevitably be faced with stiff competition. Let's beware of it because from the very first bars of the Nocturne op. 48 N°1, he imposes a very personal vision of the Polish composer. In this funeral programme with a slow rhythm but without any monotony, he constructs each narrative with a real suppleness of touch and subtly combines softness and strength while avoiding any overload (polonaise op. 44).
There is in this relevant approach a willingness to tell Chopin's story, but with a certain distancing from the emotional content of each page (trio of the funeral march of op. 35). Instead of saying or affirming, Pascal Gallet suggests!
The firm continued its homage to André Jolivet, an outstanding composer whose work remains little-known to this day. The fact that Jolivet has a great fascination for the physical-sound element will surprise no one: the composer has always claimed it and this aspect is immediately perceptible. But this particular approach cannot be understood without mentioning his research on primitive music. Such is the case with "Ritual Dances", which possess, in their own way, the power of attraction of music linked to incantation or magic. Although this explicit reference cannot serve as the only reading grid, it is nonetheless valuable for the other works in the programme. For Jolivet seems to be calling for a world where music assumes both an experience of being and a reflection on being. A world without category, governed by a very ancient order where all imaginary relationships would form a coherent whole. It is probably not by chance that these piano pieces oscillate between a very great proximity and a quite astonishing poetic distance. Thus, when Jolivet does not seek to give substance to the ritual, he plays the evocation card, with all that this implies of lost objects and inaccessible lands. Pascal Gallet's interpretation is exceptional in that it gives voice to these two aspects of a work that is difficult to define. It is also exceptional for the poetry and humour that he manages to distil, for the images that he provokes and the sensations that he gives us...
Will the hour of André Jolivet, who would be one hundred years old this year, finally ring out? Pascal Gallet's complete works for piano could well contribute to this. Indeed, this second volume confirms the promises of the first one. The soloist is not satisfied with simply restoring the sometimes wild power of the music, he preserves the mysterious and dreamy part of it, thanks to a very colourful playing and a very subtle differentiation of the sound planes which, in the Ritual Dances, give a foretaste of all that orchestration will bring. The Second Sonata, with its perfectly dominated eruptions, both thought and felt, shows that Jolivet is not only a magician of sounds, but also an architect heir to the great tradition. Recorded for the first time, the collections of miniatures that are Trois temps, the Pièces pédagogiques and the Chansons naïves, which oscillate between austerity and facetiousness, are the icing on the cake.
This second volume of Jolivet's piano pieces is of documentary value as it contains world premieres. The Ritual Dances are happily rendered by Pascal Gallet. The soloist brings out the black magic of these pieces. No less fascinating is the 2nd Sonata, which sometimes approaches abstraction... An electric energy runs through this major page.
From the tension of primitive rhythms to the tenderness of childhood, there is a world that Jolivet has never ceased to explore and to which Pascal Gallet adapts wonderfully.
Jolivet's music had a hard time making its mark, too modern in its time, too difficult for the performers. It took the composer's centenary to awaken sleeping hearts to begin discovering all the spells he brings to light in his strange explorations. But they do not give themselves up to all those who question them. For that, they need Pascal Gallet's communicative conviction and his breathtaking virtuosity. Whether he tackles the magic of the Ritual Dances or the barbaric vertigo of the terrible 2nd Sonata, he seems to gloat in this demanding music as if he had been born with it. This 2nd disc of André Jolivet's complete piano music, undertaken for the year of this French composer, is a success that will make history.
Pascal Gallet in Jevtic's concerto: Above fashionable trends.
The highlight of the evening, which was to fulfil our hopes, and which offered us the most beautiful artistic event, was the Concerto No. 3 for piano and string orchestra by one of the best and best-known Serbian composers of the middle generation Ivan Jevtic, who asserts his works all over the world, creating non-stop and fully on the way from Paris to Belgrade.
Presenting himself in each work "from the outside" and remaining "from the inside" always recognizable by his own self, Jevtic instantly establishes through each intonation an intimate communication with the audience, charming by the beauty of the themes that "breathe", that "speak" by a clear (luminous) drawing and by the ability to write for a soloist in the context of the string instruments by directly realizing the interaction between the work and the performer.
As a result of the harmonic simplicity of a Byzantine chord structure, the generous melodic character of the liturgical melody and even the oriental influences and Balkan rhythms of a strong temperament, Jevtic's music, which often exudes the breath of a widely understood folk structure, is surely above the fashionable tendencies that manifest themselves (present themselves) also as "ours" and therefore expressly personal.
It is with great pleasure that we have followed the interpretation of the excellent French soloist of the young generation Pascal Gallet.
A performer of a soloist role, an artist of a sound culture, exceptional, refined, who has, in this composition of a logical sequence, of a clear and unique facture and form, managed to find a brilliant, almost Tarantellic spirit, as well as ethereal dispositions, in a flowing and playful way, precisely "characterful" but always without any artifice, he illuminated with ease (facility) the details by making all the ideas flow into a confirmed musical expression.
Understandable, eloquent and superior in his technique, as well as in his slightly toccata-like strokes in octaves, and also in the tenderly, almost religiously sung and deeply conceived modal themes, and in sculpting them in an almost mystically exotic atmosphere, Pascal Gallet shared with the orchestral musicians his élan and spiritual approach, most effectively in the rhythmic and playful moments in the slender prestissimo of the final movement.
It is unfortunate that he did not meet more than once with the orchestra, which would have allowed the making of an excellent recording destined for a lasting audition.
Here is the first part of André Jolivet's complete works for piano, an event that can only delight lovers of 20th century music.
Humanist and committed, Jolivet has composed music that is both avant-garde and accessible, nourished by the most diverse sources, but always focused on the spirit of fraternity and communion among men. Often known for a few major works, the French composer's musical production is teeming with original, high-quality pieces that are still ignored to this day. Thus, the listener will happily discover a Barbaric Romance of great maturity in a fifteen-year-old composer. An Viejo Camello under an ironic cake-walk coat, Dances for Zizou naïve and Dadaist, or a Sidi Ya-Ya in which Varèse's influence and his conceptions of resonance are revealed.
It was also around the strange power of six objects offered by his master Varèse that Jolivet composed his Suite for piano Mana in 1935. As for Cosmogonie (1938), it symbolically inscribes music in its integration within the cosmos.
Pascal Gallet is literally breathtaking in this recording. This soloist has energy to spare, drawing the listener into a surge of communicative vitality. Whether vehement, light, serious or contemplative, he knows how to transcribe with conviction the many facets of an electric music that aims to serve the human being in the broadest sense of the term. We look forward to the following volumes...
“... The French soloist Pascal Gallet offers us a balanced programme which he approaches with a sympathetic blend of energy and poetry. The B minor sonata opus 7 finds under his fingers an impeccable balance and an indispensable breadth. Gallet knows how to avoid any detrimental thickness or heaviness and to bring out the virile and poetic resources of this masterpiece. The Funeral March for Rikard Nordraak conceals a high emotional charge that the soloist rightly emphasizes. The Grieg inspired by Norwegian folk music appears here in Scènes opus 19 where Pascal Gallet plays with no apparent difficulty with contrasts, rhythms, colours and feelings".
“…...This disciple of the Catalan soloist Teresa Llacuna is a fan of her entire programme, virile, nervous and of an appreciable ardour (notably in the Liszt bubbling of "Stormy Clouds"). He is to be thanked, however, for having chosen the beautiful and rare "Funeral March" for Rikard Nordrak, a poignant work in which folk influences and cries of despair are mixed together".
“For his fourth recording, Pascal Gallet tackles pages of Chopin that are not subject to error. He shows a great deal of poise and elegance in the Mazurkas. A subtle charm nimbles Mazurkas and Nocturnes. In the Fantasy in Fm, he doses poetic sense and epic feeling with a skillfully measured pianistic power. The Polonaise in F# m is built with unity..."
Michel Le Naour
"Pascal Gallet offers us a Chopin programme conceived in the manner of a recital. Two large-scale works, the 1st Scherzo and the Fantasy, surround shorter pieces from the Mazurkas, the Nocturnes and a Polonaise. The piano sings, the dynamics are skillfully balanced, the touch is clear and frank... Pascal Gallet's entire playing is certainly talented..."
“An excellent solist like Albenitz and Granados were, Turina entrusted the piano with a high-flying production. Little performed except by a few soloists such as Alicia de Larrocha, her work holds a mystery, a poetry, a lyricism that its clarity of writing and luminosity make all the more seductive. The soloist Pascal Gallet is no stranger: a previous Chopin disc had revealed him to be committed and sensitive. In the Turina cycles he has chosen, he knows how not to fall into local colour and folklore in order to rise to dreamlike dimensions. Sometimes impressionism is not far away!.”
Michel Le Naour