Stephanos Thomopoulos /// Iannis Xenakis – the piano works ///
/// cd release /// mars 2015 /// label timpani ///
The music of iconoclast modern composer Iannis Xenakis has now been mostly released on disc. There are a few firsts, though, in this new disc that features for the first time Xenakis’ complete works for solo piano. Stéphanos Thomopoulos has delved into the archives to dig out some early pieces of the so-called pre-stochastic period completed while the composer was studying composition in the years 1949-52. He adds the early trio Zyia for soprano, flute and piano to his exploration of Xenakis’ juvenilia. On the rest of the disc Thomopoulos presents excellent readings of Xenakis’ four major piano works: Herma, Evryali, Mists and À.R.
Stéphanos Thomopoulos is the first pianist in France to have completed a Doctorate in performance at the Paris Conservatoire. The title of his thesis was Performance Issues regarding the xenakian piano : from concept to instrumental language. His doctoral work has brought him to participate in concerts and conferences about Xenakis in New York, Montreal, Paris, London, Belgrade, Leipzig, Athens, Monaco, as well as to publish an article in the volume Performing Xenakis, next to personalities such as Milan Kundera, Michel Tabachnik and Irvine Arditti (Pendragon Press 2010).
Being sensitive to phenomena of light, especially natural ones: lightning, clouds, fires, sparkling sea, sky, volcanoes… Being much less sensitive to plays of light in films, even abstract ones, theatre and opera sets.
Preferring natural spectacles away from Man. Preferring the dizziness created by the abyss of the star-studded sky, when plunging our head in it, forgetting the earth where our feet stand. Or else the surrealism of dreams in which two clairvoyant moons simltaneously climb in the black sky. In fact, everything that, in light, is close to music by its most abstract sides: forms, movements, intensities, colours, expanses… Imagining them, combining them, knocking them together, making them evolve like luminous landscapes of galaxies and intra-stellar gases illuminated by young blue suns, or then in gigantic movements, blown up by explosions of supernovae. Luminous music for the eyes, symmetrical to sound music for the ears.
Xenakis, ‘Polytopes’, Festival d’automne, Paris 1972-1982