Gérard Pesson - Festival d'Automne



Choruses of the living and the dead, Gérard Pesson's transcriptions are so many exercises in admiration: Ravel, the "frail, mysterious, modest and grating" brother; Scriabin, whose piano, incandescent, if not hallucinated, appeals to the verb, that of Constantin Balmont or Ossip Mandelstam with which Pesson sets his songs; Mahler, whose Adagietto of the Fifth Symphony is adorned with verses by August von Platen; in the Popular Songs, the poems of Philippe Beck are analogically deduced from the tales of the Brothers Grimm, perpetuating their sweet and cruel games; and even a work in creation, a thrène in homage to a friend who died too soon. Between these pieces for choir, whose immediate smoothness Pesson intends to break, the sweet timbre of his voices, intrude a few instrumental pieces punctuating the concert: an unmeasured prelude for piano, in homage to the composer and harpsichordist Froberger; two short pieces, bare, for cello, like an archipelago of sounds for the evening; and the Catch Sonata, transcribing not music, but the Fort-Da of reel play described by Freud, the grasping of an idea that refuses, in silence, the remoteness or the whiteness of obliteration.


Gérard Pesson,
Musica Ficta, extrait Un tribut à Johann Jakob Froberger, for piano (right hand), with clarinet and cello
Maurice Ravel/Gérard Pesson,
transcriptions for choir : Ronsard à son âme and Shéhérazade (La Flûte enchantée et L’Indifférent
Alexandre Scriabine/Gérard Pesson,
transcriptions for choir Preuve par la neige (Si j’étais lune, Verbe divin, Quand la lune paraît, Ton image
Gérard Pesson,
Trois Pièces brèves for cello, extraits (no. 1 et no. 2) 
Chants populaires, extracts (La force de l’homme est le point ; Une peau est seule
Catch Sonata, extracts (movements 1 and 2), for clarinet, cello and piano
Création for voice, clarinet and choir
Texts, Jean D’Amérique
Commissioned by the Festival d’Automne in Paris
Gustav Mahler/Gérard Pesson,
Kein deutscher Himmel, transcription for choir of the Adagietto of the Fifth Symphony

​​​​​Anne-Claire Baconnais, soprano
Lise Baudouin, piano
Pablo Tognan, cello
Bogdan Sydorenko, clarinet
Les Métaboles
Ensemble Multilatérale 
Léo Warynski, direction



Friday, September 22 2023 - 8:00 pmGérard Pesson Festival d'Automne - Église Saint-Eustache, Paris

"To be awake still while the master sleeps." With these words, Gérard Pesson defines transcription. Chiselling irony and distance from the original, he brings life back, not without melancholy, to the imaginary lands of Ravel, Scriabin or Mahler. Listening is modified, illusorily suspended by a memory that is both forgetful and creative.