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Tremendum by Thierry Pécou

December 24, 2012

Thierry Pecou is a modern French composer but please don’t be scared by the word modern. Pécou is the kind of modern composer who can be appealing to the classical music listener without scaring him. One of the pieces included here, Soleil-Tigre – a piece he composed in 2009 for cello and piano – represents a crystal-clear example of the accessibility of his music, the fact that Pécou music is released on disc by Harmonia Mundi – a label regularly ignoring modern composers – is of further assurance.
Tremendum is a concerto for piano, flute, saxophone, cello and five percussions,the piece starts with a song-like melody played by the piano with discrete percussion work but soon the interplay between the piano and the ensemble begins and we understand why the piece is called a concerto-carnaval, from this moment onward the melodic work is left to the flute and the saxophone mainly, while the piano and the five percussions slowly build a frenzied rhythmic development which transmits fury and joy at the same time. Tremendum is a reworking by Pécou of a concerto for piano and orchestra he wrote in 2005, five years later he decided to rewrite it for Les Percussions Claviers de Lyon, I have not heard its original version but I can only recommend the way the opus is presented on this Harmonia Mundi disc.
Tremendum isn’t the only composition presented in this recording, alongside the already mentioned Soleil-Tigre we find five recent Pécou’s compositions, Paseo de la Reforma (hear it in the audio player at the bottom of the post) written by Pècou and Mexican guitarist/composer Guillermo Diego for flute, saxophone, cello, marimba and piano is the most brilliant of the group: the piece is rich in melody and agile in rhythm and the mingling of music ideas from Mexico and France is a full success.

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