28-29.08.21, “Stilleven” for Solo Violin, world premiere. Sion (Switzerland), Tibor Varga International Violin Competition

28 candidates were selected by the international Jury, out of 124 registered, who will compete on Aug 28 – 29 at the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition (Sion, Switzerland).

https://sion-concours.ch/the-sion-festival-2021-between-tradition-and-transgression/

One the first round, the works of Paganini, Bach and Petrossian are in the program.

The candidates of the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition 2021 will have to show rigour and combine the expressiveness necessary to their art with an irreproachable instrumental technique. Indeed, the competition is demanding and it is first of all in solo that the musicians will have to perform, during the first round. These bare-bones performances, without any pianistic or orchestral support, are particularly formidable, leaving the participants “without a net”. It will certainly be exciting for the audience to listen to the sound of each musician and to measure the artistic autonomy of each of them. It will be good, however, not to forget the degree of difficulty of such an exercise. The compulsory piece, of great richness, has been commissioned to Michel Petrossian by the Competition and will be premiered on this occasion – an elegant and stimulating way of reminding us of the importance of the contemporary repertoire in the maturation of an artist.

The score is available on the website of Gravis Edition, Berlin https://www.editiongravis.de/verlag/product_info.php?info=p2576_Stilleven.html

Still Life with Oysters, a Rummer, a Lemon and a Silver Bowl - Museum Boijmans Van BeuningenPRESENTATION BY THE COMPOSER

« Stilleven » (« Still life » in Dutch) is inspired by the « Still Life with Oysters, a Rummer, a Lemon and a Silver Bowl » by Willem Claeszoon Heda, a Dutch Golden Age artist from Haarlem who devoted himself exclusively to the painting of still life.

The astounding accuracy and purity of his drawing and the extreme economy of his palette full of subtle nuances but quasi-monochrome, lend a strange flavor of modernity to Heda’s painting.

But every detail in it has a rhetorical function and a spiritual meaning.

For exemple the inverted silver bowl symbolizes the vanity of wealth and its uselessness in unveiling the mystery of life, a lemon peeled in spiral signifies the unfolding of earthly life liberating the soul from its material envelope to reach the core of the spiritual essence, and the clear water in the Rummer, a big glass designed for roman wine, refers to the eternal water of life, with the gleams on the surface reflecting the inacessible light made visible by the incarnation of Christ.  

Inspired by this combination of technical vitruosity and plurality of meanings, I’ve conceived an inner dialogue for solo Violin built around the proportions and the narrative tempo of Heda’s painting.

Confined in his space and time, Heda offers  both a genuine plesasure of the senses and a ravishement of the spirit; in the same way I tried to reach some degree of the inner freedom during the long months of lockdown in Paris, composing at the request of the Tibor Varga International Competition and the Artistic Director of Sion Festival Pavel Vernikov, to whom goes my deep gratitude.