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9.4.06

Alain Planès, Music and Painting

Alain Planès, pianistHere's another account of an interesting concert by Alain Planès, from Jean-Louis Validire (Alain Planès entre musique et peinture, March 11) in Le Figaro (my translation):

Beginning on Monday, the pianist, who is a major interpreter of Debussy, will present concerts at the Châtelet that will explore relationships with Baudelaire. If one need not associate music with images or color, it is clear on the other hand that artistic creation is not independent of the epoch in which it is produced. With Jean-Michel Nectoux, who has just published a book evoking the ties that Debussy had with painters and sculptors (he had treated the same subject when he was interested in Debussy's literary alter ego, Mallarmé), the pianist Alain Planès has put together a series of three concerts. [...]

"Every musician owes it to himself to know everything about the period and the formation of the works he is interpreting. That is part of my work, which is more than a simple face-to-face with my keyboard," [Planès] explains. Knowledge and culture can draw attention to aspects of the work through a process of maturation. "When I play, I feel more and more like a medium," Planès estimates, as a way to describe the altered state in which he translates the musical notes. "Pictorial images and knowledge are thus brought together."

"Great art is a continuous chain," he claims, refusing the notion of a tabula rasa. "Everything that one criticizes Boulez for is false. He came out of the Second Viennese School and did not destroy everything to bring it back. He invented a way by other paths, which is the very essence of genius," argues the performer. [...] "My interpretation of Debussy certainly comes more from contemporary music than from the music of Debussy's era. Music is an art that transforms itself perpetually and which is therefore evolving."
I found only one review (L’œil dans l’oreille, March 14), by Simon Corley for ConcertoNet.com. It's a very funny review, filled with words that are normally used by art critics, applied by Corley, with a wink, in italics.

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