Concours de piano d’Orléans

Concours international de piano d’Orléans has selected a list of recent piano works for the semi-finals of the 63rd Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition.

The Works

Beat Furrer, Eine Studie für Klavier – 2011
7 min. – Ed. Bärenreiter Verlag
Commissioned by the Busoni Competition 2011

Mark Andrè, „iv 11“ für Klavier solo – 2011
4 min. – Ed. Edition Peters
Commissioned by the Busoni Competition 2011

Toshio Hosokawa, Etude 1-2 Lines for piano – 2011
4 min.- Ed. Schott Music
Commissioned by the Busoni Competition 2011

Charles Wuorinen, Etude for Chords and Dynamic balance – 2011
4,30 min. – Ed. Edition Peters
Commissioned by the Busoni Competition 2011

Rebecca Saunders, Shadow – Study for solo piano – 2012
9 min. – Ed. Edition Peters
Commissioned by the Busoni Competition 2012

Jacques Lenot, Dramatis Personae – 2007
7 min. – Ed. L’Oiseau Prophète
Commissioned by the Concours d’Orléans 2012: Effigies, for piano and string quartet

Philippe Hersant, Le Carillon d’Orléans – 2016
14 min. – Ed. Durand-Salabert-Eschig / Universal Music Publishing Classical
Commissioned by the Concours d’Orléans 2016

Hector Parra i Esteve, Cell (Arch for Hystérie) – 2016
9 min. – Ed. Durand-Salabert-Eschig / Universal Music Publishing Classical
Commissioned by the Concours d’Orléans 2018: Au cœur de l’oblique – pour piano solo

Pascal Dusapin, Black Letters – 2019
10 min. – Ed. Durand-Salabert-Eschig / Universal Music Publishing Classical
Commissioned by the Concours d’Orléans 2020

Patrick Burgan, Intervalles 
13 min. – Ed. Jobert
Commissioned by the Concours d’Orléans 2002

Études

The idea of the étude or study for solo piano – by no means an exercise, but a challenging concert work focussing on a single technical or expressive area – has its roots in the early 19th century. The Études of Chopin and Liszt are mainstays of the piano repertoire, performed by every advanced student. Many composers have subsequently been attracted to the genre, including Rachmaninoff, Debussy, Bartók, Stravinsky – and of course Busoni – but interest waned after the second world-war, and in recent years though there have been remarkably few etudes for piano composed. The exception is György Ligeti, whose three books of Études for piano composed 1985-2001 have proven popular among pianists.

My intention in commissioning 12 composers for my Studies Project was to take on the challenge of Ligeti’s Études, provide alternatives to those oft-played pieces, and encourage the composers of today to revisit the genre. The first group of pieces (Finnissy, Francesconi, Rzewski and Mundry) were commissioned by Philharmonie Luxembourg and first performed there by myself in June 2010. The second group of pieces (Pauset, Wuorinen, André, Hosokawa, Sørensen, Furrer) commissioned by the Busoni Foundation with funding provided by the Siemens Foundation, and their first performances here and now in Bolzano.

These kind of group-commission projects are fraught with difficulties, both practical and musical. I have been hugely fortunate to have the support of a group of far-sighted organisations, including the Busoni Foundation (with particular thanks to its director, Peter Paul Kainrath) and the Siemens Foundation for Music. Without them the practical obstacles could never have been surmounted.

At the same time, I am lucky to have found a group of composers who have all responded to the challenge with works of great interest and quality, each in their different way. From André’s gnomic utterances to the rich complexity of Finnissy or Pauset, from the different poetries of Sørensen, Mundry or Wuorinen to the brilliances of Rzewski, Francesconi or Furrer, via Hosokawa’s melodies, all the composers have given both pianist and audience a fascinating and beautiful challenge: my thanks to them all.

I hope the competitors and audience here find these new pieces as stimulating as I have!

Presentation by the curator of the project Nicolas Hodges of the commissioned works for the Busoni Competition 2011.

The cooperation with Concours d’Orlèans lasts since 2017:

  2017 list of contemporary works

  2019 list of contemporary works