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After the great emotion of the Premiere of La Journée de l’Existence in Moscow on February 17, we announced two concerts in April: the first in Paris, on the 13th, at the Médiathèque of the National Superior Conservatory of Music and Dance, entitled « Tribute to Solange Ancona », the second in Basel, Gare du Nord, on the 20th: « The Eternal Stranger ».
Here is what Marie Chartus-Vicheney says about the first concert: « I had the pleasure of attending the Parisian concert, presented by Martine Joste. I was able to congratulate Pierre-Emmanuel Hurpeau, a student at the Conservatoire, for his accurate and sensitive interpretation of the Prélude op. 38 from my grandfather. He showed me his enthusiasm for his music, a sign of his « eternal modernity! »  »
Solange Ancona, composer who died in 2019, had Olivier Messiaen as revered master. She was also very close to Ivan Wyschnegradsky as well as Giacinto Scelsi. The Prelude op. 38 for piano by Wyschnegradsky was surrounded by several works for various solo instruments by Solange Ancona, as well as a Movement from the Quatuor pour la Fin du Temps by Olivier Messiaen. All the works in this tribute concert, organized by the Médiathèque Hector-Berlioz, were performed with remarkable skill by students from the National Superior Conservatory of Music and Dance in Paris.
Marie Chartus-Vicheney also shares her impressions of the Basel concert on April 20: « Although I was not present at the Basle concert, it could not have been « foreign » to me, in the insofar as it reproduced, in a reduced format, the magnificent homage paid in Bern last year to my grandfather, by the Duo of pianists Huber/Thomet, and which I had attended. The splendid poster of the concert was already present in Bern, placarded all over the city. »
The program for these two successive concerts included, by Ivan Wyschnegradsky, the entire 24 Preludes op. 22 for two pianos a quarter-tone apart, with the excellent pianists André Thomet and Susanne Huber. These Preludes are frequently played in excerpts but rarely, apart from two discographic versions, in their entirety. During the intermission, the musicologist Roman Brotbeck developed the composer’s ultrachromatic vision. His lecture was accompanied by projections of ultrachromatic drawings by Ivan Wyschnegradsky. A very beautiful chronological frieze 9m long, already exhibited in Bern, retracing the life of the composer, from his childhood in St Petersburg, to his last years in Paris was presented: a whole life devoted to the research and development of microtonal music.
The second part of the concert included the two Transparencies op. 35 and 47 for Ondes Martenot and two pianos tuned 1/4 tone apart, performed by the Duo Huber/Thomet and the ondist Nathalie Forget. The pianists had completed these two concerts dedicated to the work of Ivan Wyschnegradsky with two creations by young composers, the Kosovar Elnaz Seyedi and the Iranian-German Anda Kriezu.
You will find below the poster for the Basel concert as well as two short videos of a rehearsal of both Transparences, with the pianists André Thomet, Susanne Huber and the ondist Nathalie Forget.
We thank them all very warmly for having organized and participated in this new and important TRIBUTE to Ivan WYSCHNEGRADSKY.
The board of the Association Ivan Wyschnegradsky
May 2023

Rehearsal (excerpt) of the april 20th concert in Basel (Gare du Nord). Transparences by Ivan Wyschnegradsky. André Thomet and Susanne Huber, pianos Nathalie Forget, Ondes Martenot

Rehearsal (excerpt) of the april 20th concert in Basel (Gare du Nord). Transparences by Ivan Wyschnegradsky. André Thomet and Susanne Huber, pianos Nathalie Forget, Ondes Martenot


19/11/2023 - Aalborg (Denmark): Préludes op. 22, Etude sur le Carré magique sonore op. 40, others - Read

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I could have been a poet, a philosopher or a musician. I chose music: I am therefore a composer.’

Ivan Wyschnegradsky, born in Saint Petersburg in 1893, lived in Paris from 1920 until his death in 1979. Admired by numerous composers, amongst whom we can mention Olivier Messiaen, Henri Dutilleux, Bruce Mather, Alain Bancquart and Claude Ballif, Ivan Wyschnegradsky is recognized by the musical world as one of the pioneers in 20th century music.

Ivan Wyschnegradsky, 1979 - Photo René BlockPhoto René Block (1979)

Ivan Wyschnegradsky's 1/4 tone piano, which in 1927 he had ordered from the August Förster manufacture, first was in the home of Claude Ballif, to whom he had bequeathed it. Since 2009 it belongs to the Paul-Sacher Foundation in Basel. The piano has been fully restaured in 2018 by Pierre Malbos on Dagobert Koitka's request. It has been shown and played for the first time in public in the Haus zur Zwischen Zeit gallery, during several concerts in Basel from january 2018 to september 2019, in the L’Esprit de l’Utopie festival. If you wish to see it, would you please send an email to Simon Obert, at the Paul-Sacher Foundation in Basel: simon.obert@unibas.ch.

Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra op. 17 Sarah Gibson, Thomas Kotcheff, Vicki Ray, Steven Vanhauwaert, conductor Donald Crockett Concert on 16 juin 2019, San Francisco, Other Minds Festival 24.


Association Ivan Wyschnegradsky - last update 12 may 2023