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Latest from Alexandre Tharaud

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Autograph (Encores), A. Tharaud

(released on November 19, 2013)
We were early adopters of pianist Alexandre Tharaud here at Ionarts. I have covered two of his local recitals for the Post, in 2012 and 2008 (plus one with Jean-Guihen Queyras in 2010), and we have reviewed most of his recordings over the years with high praise. The French pianist, who practices only in his friends' apartments, is leading a "private domain" at the Cité de la Musique and Salle Pleyel through November 22. Marie-Aude Roux has an article about it (Alexandre Tharaud joue du piano partout, sauf chez lui, November 14) for Le Monde (my translation):
Alexandre Tharaud planned the program around his own discography, sorted out from the screening of a documentary, Alexandre Tharaud, le temps dérobé, directed by Raphaëlle Aellig-Régnier. The filmmaker followed the pianist over the course of two years, from Kuala Lumpur to Montreal, to film what one never sees or very little: the backstage, life between concerts. "In spite of the audiences, we lead a solitary life," he says. "I am alone on the plane, on the train, in my bed (well, not always!), and I am taking advantage of this invitation to surround myself with friends and to stay for two weeks in Paris."

So Alexandre Tharaud has brought together his friends: the flamenco singer Alberto Garcia for a "flamenco Scarlatti" concert, his friends from Le Bœuf sur le toit in 2012, some from performance (tenor Jean Delescluse) and from the recording studio (the chanteuse Juliette). He entrusted the pianist Frédéric Vaysse-Knitter with Outre-mémoire, the project of the Antillais-French composer Thierry Pécou and artist François Boclé, about the enslavement and treatment of black people. He will be "content" with three recitals on November 17 (Couperin-Bach-Rameau, Schubert-Chopin, and Ravel-Satie); with Ravel's G major concerto, which he has not yet recorded in spite of his great love for this music; as well as a Bach concerto. There will also be the third concerto of Beethoven, a composer he had not played before he made the soundtrack for Michael Haneke's Amour.
Three recitals this Sunday? "J'aime les marathons," says Tharaud. His next disc is Autograph, to be released next week, is a selection of "petites madeleines," encore pieces by twenty-two composers (more on that soon). After this residency at the Cité de la Musique, he will take a vacation of three months, during which he will move into a new apartment, with a view of the Seine. He will still not have a piano at home, which he offers as advice to many young musicians. Most important, he says, is not to play on a beautiful piano, because it does not encourage you to work.

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