Edouard Michael - Edward Michael (1921-2006)

A great composer to re-discover

 

DiscographY :  

Chamber musik, CD produced by René Gailly : Isabelle Aubier piano, Anne Loubris soprano, Eric Mélon, violin, Didier Poskin cello
The Pleiades (Les Pleiades) for soprano and piano
Five antique steles (Cinq stèles antiques) for the white keys of the piano
The enchanted boat (La barque enchantée) for piano
The legend of the stream fairy (La légende de la fée d'un ruisseau) for piano
Sonata
for violin and piano
Song of hope (Chant d'espérance) for cello and piano

The Pleiades
Cycle of eight songs of moving beauty for soprano and piano, which takes place like a voyage in the heights of philosophical reflection.
The Pleiades: a choice illustrating the interest that the composer has always shown for things touching the Cosmos .The work is based on poems by Houseman which attracted the composer because of their mysterious atmosphere. The music develops and maintains a captivating atmosphere which evokes many existential questions.
For each melody, the composer uses very different colours, almost orchestral, yet the whole cycle forms such a coherent piece that nothing can be added or taken away.
We cannot talk here of an a melody and accompaniment, as the writing for voice and piano is of equal importance .

Five antique steles
The modal writing evokes calm and balance. Nevertheless, the music is dense and complex, which is not always the case in modal compositions. These twelve minutes of music represent a real tour de force on the musical level, as the interest is constantly renewed although the composer has used only the white keys of the piano. This work was composed for either the piano or the Celtic harp.
The perfect balance of the triangle of melody, rhythm and harmony is realised especially in Dithyramb, The Dance of the Unicorn, and the Rite of Marsyas.
The slow pieces (Delphic Song, Threnody of Adonis) bring to the listener strange feeling of interior continuity. The writing calls for much use of the pedal, which adds to the character of the work.

The enchanted boat
A marvellous theme, music full of tenderness and gentle nostalgia. We find gain the composerŐs attraction for fairy tales, a memory of his childhood in the East.

The legend of the stream fairy
A very poetic piece where the composer uses certain oriental colours in an innate and highly personal manner .

Sonata for violin and piano
This sonata is a masterpiece of construction and intensity, following on from the great sonatas by Beethoven, Saint-Saens, Franck, DukasÉ
Concerning the writing for violin, it should not be forgotten that Edward Michael was himself a virtuoso on the instrument.
The work is in cyclical form (as in the sonatas of Franck and Debussy, a process used in the general form as well as in the individual movements.
In the first two movements a mysterious and tragic atmosphere seems to speak to us of another world, while the third movement completes this impression with a moving and passionate theme.

Song of hope Đ a poem for cello and piano
This deeply expressive work is very demanding for the two performers. The piano part is not just an accompaniment for the cello, but a real concerto part, while the cello part is very intense. It is a rare realisation of independence and fusion of the two players.
The whole of the work, with its very Eastern character, expresses an intense elegiac and sad aspiration. Like symphonic poems, the music tells us a story. The first movement (molto largo) evokes the nostalgia for a distant and forgotten country, plunged in a mysterious mist.
The second movement, highly dramatic, expresses, in an epic manner, the force and engagement of a legendary hero as well as an increasing impulsion towards the light of a world beyond time.

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