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Track(s) taken from CDA67366

Pièce pour le tombeau de Paul Dukas


Steven Osborne (piano)
Recording details: September 2003
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: October 2004
Total duration: 3 minutes 55 seconds


'There is much to savour in Osborne and Roscoe's performance, captured in typically superlative Hyperion sound' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The precision and muscular virtuosity of Osborne's and Roscoe's playing is exactly what breathes life into the explicitly 'visionary' character of the work … the performance is lucid in conception and illuminating in its realization. Never laboured, it's marked throughout by a sense of ease, as well as by a sure sense of structure, of rhythmic detail, and of the diverse function and significance of each of the many layers in its complex 'mix'' (International Record Review)

'This performance gets the balance between the blistering, ecstatic intensity and the static moments of contemplation exactly right, presenting all the rhythmic and harmonic layers with perfect clarity, while Osborne's accounts of the three earlier solo pieces are a real bonus' (The Guardian)

'Roscoe's piano handles most of the thematic material and the piano's lower reaches; Osborne supplies the iridescent details. Clarity and rhythmic precision cannot be faulted' (The Times)

'These pianists have a marvellous accord in Messiaen's amazing, clangorous, rapturous, visionary jamboree. Only a pile-up of adjectives, to which should be added coruscating and addictively dithyrambic, could do justice' (The Sunday Times)

'Played with an ear-tweaking sensitivity and gripping sense of theatre. Exceptionally fine sound, and exemplary notes from Nigel Simeone, complete an outstanding release' (Classic FM Magazine)

'The playing of these two wonderful pianists is flawlessly gauged and concentrated, with Osborne's high-speed, lucid playing in the finale, as it shifts into overdrive in its final section, out of this world' (The Herald)

'Osborne and Roscoe play with dazzling splendour' (Manchester Evening News)
Paul Dukas died in 1935. Henry Prunières, the editor of La Revue musicale, asked a group of Dukas’s friends and former pupils to write short works to be published in a memorial volume. ‘Le tombeau de Paul Dukas’ was published as the musical supplement to La Revue musicale in May–June 1936; it included Messiaen’s striking homage to his teacher, entitled simply Pièce, along with works by eight other composers (among them Falla, Rodrigo and Florent Schmitt). Messiaen wrote his contribution for the ‘tombeau’ before returning to Paris for the start of the new academic year in October 1935. Many years later, he described its musical language:

My piece is quite simple: it uses mode 3 in its first transposition, whose orange, white and gold light perpetually falls onto a long dominant seventh. It is static, solemn and stark, like a huge block of stone.

The piece was first performed at the Ecole Normale on 25 April 1936, in a concert which included all nine contributions to ‘Le tombeau de Paul Dukas’. The pianist was another Dukas pupil, Joaquín Nin-Culmell (1908–2004); a few months later Messiaen played his own piece, as well as those by Rodrigo and Falla, at a concert in Lyon on 11 January 1937.

from notes by Nigel Simeone © 2004

Paul Dukas mourut en 1935. Henry Prunières, éditeur de La Revue musicale, demanda à un groupe parmi les amis et anciens élèves de Dukas d’écrire de courtes pièces pour les faire paraître dans un recueil publié à sa mémoire, «Le tombeau de Paul Dukas», en supplément de La Revue musicale de mai–juin 1936. On y trouve l’hommage saisissant de Messiaen à son professeur, simplement intitulé Pièce, aux côtés des œuvres de huit autres compositeurs (parmi lesquels figurent Falla, Rodrigo et Florent Schmitt). Messiaen écrivit sa contribution pour le «tombeau» avant de revenir à Paris pour le début de la nouvelle année scolaire, en octobre 1935. Bien des années plus tard, il décrit ainsi son langage musical:

Ma pièce est très simple: il s’agit d’un mode 3 dans sa première transposition, dont l’éclairage orangé, blanc, et or, tombe perpétuellement sur une longue septième de dominante. C’est statique, solennel, et dépouillé, comme un énorme bloc de pierre.

Cette œuvre fut créée à l’Ecole Normale le 25 avril 1936 dans un concert où figuraient les neuf contributions au «Tombeau de Paul Dukas». Le pianiste était un autre élève de Dukas, Joaquín Nin-Culmell (1908–2004). Quelques mois plus tard, Messiaen interprétait sa propre pièce, ainsi que celles de Rodrigo et Falla, lors d’un concert à Lyon le 11 janvier 1937.

extrait des notes rédigées par Nigel Simeone © 2004
Français: Isabelle Battioni

Paul Dukas starb 1935. Der Redakteur der Revue musicale, Henry Prunières, bat eine Gruppe von Dukas’ Freunden und ehemaligen Schülern, jeweils ein kurzes Werk zu schreiben, die zusammen in einem Gedenkband veröffentlicht werden sollten. „Le tombeau de Paul Dukas“ erschien 1936 als Notenanhang zur Mai–Juni-Ausgabe der Revue musicale. Dieser Anhang enthielt neben Arbeiten von acht anderen Komponisten (unter ihnen Falla, Rodrigo, und Florent Schmitt) Messiaens beeindruckende Huldigung an seinen Lehrer unter dem einfachen Titel Pièce. Messiaen schrieb seinen Beitrag für den „tombeau“-Band, bevor er zum Beginn des neuen Studienjahres im Oktober 1935 nach Paris zurückkehrte. Viele Jahre später beschrieb er die musikalische Sprache dieses Stücks:

Mein Stück ist ziemlich einfach: Es verwendet den 3. Modus in seiner ersten Transposition, dessen oranger, weißer und goldener Schein ständig auf einen langen Dominantseptakkord fällt. Es ist statisch, feierlich und schmucklos wie ein riesiger Steinblock.

Das Stück wurde zum ersten Mal am 25. April 1936 in der Ecole Normale in einem Konzert aufgeführt, in dem alle neun Beiträge für „Le tombeau de Paul Dukas“ zu hören waren. Der Pianist war ein weiterer Dukas-Schüler, Joaquín Nin-Culmell (1908–2004). Ein paar Monate später am 11. Januar 1937 spielte Messiaen in einem Konzert in Lyon sein eigenes Stück sowie das von Rodrigo und Falla.

aus dem Begleittext von Nigel Simeone © 2004
Deutsch: Elke Hockings

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