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SOLAL, Martial (b. 1927)

WORKS FOR PIANO AND TWO PIANOS

VOYAGE EN ANATOLIE • JAZZ PRELUDES • EXERCICE DE CONCERT • 11 ETUDES • BALLADE FOR 2 PIANOS


  • Eric Ferrand-N'Kaoua, piano
  • Martial Solal, piano

European jazz legend Martial Solal is an imaginative and creative thinker for the piano, and one never straightjacketed by music genres. Voyage en Anatolie is a kind of survey of Jazz, with 13 brilliantly linked variations. The Jazz-Preludes and Études explore piquant harmonies through innovative pianistic figures, whilst the Exercice de concert offers a stunningly transcribed improvisation. Solal himself plays the first piano part in the Ballade for two pianos.

Tracklist

Solal, Martial
1
Voyage en Anatolie (Journey to Anatolia) () * (00:05:37)
 
Jazz Preludes (c1990) (00:15:00 )
2
No. 1. — * (00:01:46)
3
No. 2. — * (00:01:29)
4
No. 3. — * (00:01:54)
5
No. 4. — * (00:03:12)
6
No. 5. — * (00:02:20)
7
No. 6. — * (00:02:03)
8
No. 7. — * (00:02:22)
9
Exercice de Concert (Concert Exercise) (1994) (00:05:30)
Wetzel, Pascal
9
Exercice de Concert (Concert Exercise) (1994) (00:05:30)
Solal, Martial
 
11 Etudes () (00:20:45 )
10
No. 1. La Nonchalante (The Nonchalant) * (00:01:35)
11
No. 2. La Syncopee (The Syncopated) * (00:01:20)
12
No. 3. La Jazzifiante (The Jazzyfying) * (00:01:29)
13
No. 4. La Joyeuse (The Joyful) * (00:01:52)
14
No. 5. La Charmante (The Charming) * (00:02:05)
15
No. 6. La Calme et agitee (The Calm and Agitated) * (00:03:37)
16
No. 7. La Chantante (The Singing) * (00:01:49)
17
No. 8. La Motorisee (The Motorized) * (00:00:56)
18
No. 9. La Tonique (The Tonic) * (00:01:45)
19
No. 10. La Trepidante (The Thrilling) * (00:01:51)
20
No. 11. La Lancinante (The Haunting) * (00:02:29)
21
Ballade for 2 Pianos (1985) (00:06:50)
* World Première Recording
Total Time: 00:53:51

The Artist

Ferrand-N’Kaoua, Eric

French pianist Eric Ferrand-N’Kaoua was born near Paris in 1963. He studied with Madeleine de Valmalète from an early age and soon entered the Conservatoire National Supérieur, where he obtained first prize with distinction in piano when aged only fourteen, soon followed by a first prize in chamber music.

EFN’K has premièred works by Thierry Lancino, Philippe Racine and Christopher Culpo. His eclectic repertoire and his interest in jazz allow him to blend Bach’s Goldberg Variations, or Liszt’s transcription of the Symphonie fantastique with jazz-inspired pieces in the same recital.

What I find so inspiring and fascinating about Martial Solal’s music is the sheer breadth of imagination with which he approaches the piano. Probably the most amazing improviser of our time, he combines a highly individual style with incredible technique. But he is also an inspired composer—one who relentlessly pursues his own original and demanding course.

Solal has said that he always wanted to write or invent music—jazz, initially, as he created both original works and arrangements for his first band, back in the 50s. He also began writing for the silver screen, composing the soundtracks for such classics as Jean-Luc Godard’s À Bout de Souffle (Breathless), Orson Welles’ The Trial and, more recently, Bertrand Blier’s Les acteurs (Actors).

In developing an innovative and unclassifiable compositional style, however, he has won the admiration of musicians beyond the world of jazz, worked with such eminent figures as Marius Constant and André Hodeir, and received commissions from a wide range of orchestras and other ensembles. His concertante works (he has written several concertos, including three for the piano and a triple concerto for piano, trombone and double bass) often feature improvisatory passages in dialogue with the fully composed material—something that comes as naturally to him as breathing. Indeed the very titles of his works often allude to this desire to build bridges between the two worlds: Échanges for piano and strings, Alternances, Coexistence, Cohabitation

A “Composer of the moment”, to borrow the title of a volume of interviews with French journalist and producer Xavier Prévost [Compositeur de l’Instant], Martial Solal is purely and simply a musician of today looking towards tomorrow. Without rejecting the past, he has no time for nostalgia. Too elegant ever to repeat himself, as a born showman, he is horrified by the very idea of being bored or boring.

Eric Ferrand-N’Kaoua
English translation by Susannah Howe

Reviews

ClassicsToday.com

“Effortless facility and thoroughly idiomatic mastery of jazz phrasing and time keeping” – ClassicsToday.com