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Vivier: Shiraz / Bregent: Les Variations Paralleles

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Michel-Georges Bregent (1948-1993): Les Variations Paralleles (1986) for piano and Ondes Martenot [44:51] / Claude Vivier (1948-1983): Shiraz (1977) for piano [13:44]

Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Label: Disques Pelleas
  • Run Time: 59 minutes
  • ASIN: B009QYL6G8
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,218,676 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Discophage TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 22, 2013
Claude Vivier's Shiraz for solo piano is obviously going to be the main attraction and tantalizer of this disc, and Disques Pelleas thought so too, since they give it the generic title "Shiraz", although Vivier's piece is only 13:44 in duration. And, I am afraid, to get to the Vivier you'll have to wade your way through 44 minutes of what is possibly the greatest junk I've ever heard in contemporary music - it beats Babbitt by far, and Rolf Yttrehus had a few moments that were so outlandishly grotesque that it made it fun (see my review of The Music of Rolv Yttrehus - Symphony No. 1; Gradus ad Parnassum; Music for Winds, Percussion, Cello & Voices; Angstwagen for Soprano and Percussion): Michel-Georges Brégent's Variations parallèles (1986).

Lest you think an antagonist of contemporary music is speaking, on the contrary: I'm a true believer.

Apparently the processes are highly elaborate - although the liner notes, by pianist Louis-Philippe Pelletier himself, aren't entirely clear about what they are. It starts with a choral treated as if by a sub-par Rachmaninoff - so much so that I first thought Brégent, whom I'd never heard about, was some obscure early 20th century Canadian composer, an inferior equivalent of MacDowell, but not so: then start the variations. "Parallel" because they are written for both piano and Ondes Marenot - the latter's part is so unplayable that it was MIDI-computerized for the recording, and Pelletier over-dubbed his part.
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