Philip Glass embarked on his Études for piano in 1991, a project that continued over the years to reach a total of twenty works in 2012. A gala performance of the resulting Intégrale des Études pour piano was held at the Philharmonie de Paris on 17 and 18 May 2019, during which Philip Glass himself performed the first two studies before yielding the piano stool to nine other distinguished pianists to complete the performance: Timo Andres, Anton Batagov, Célimène Daudet, Aaron Diehl, Thomas Enhco, Nicolas Horvath, Katia Labèque, Marielle Labèque and Maki Namekawa.
Followers of the Grand Piano label will in particular recognise from that list the name of Nicolas Horvath. His 5-volume Glassworlds for the label comprises all of Glass’ piano works, an undertaking outdone in stamina only by his live, 12-hour recital of the complete works in 2016, also held at the Philharmonie de Paris, which attracted a cumulative audience of some 14,000 people.
Performing alongside the composer himself at this latest event proved a memorable occasion for Horvath:
“I presented the composer with copies of the 5 Glassworlds volumes together with Glass Essentials, the selection I recorded on LP. He was amazed by the totality of what we had recorded, including some pieces he couldn’t believe we had turned up. He also kindly autographed all my scores and books of his works.”