Anne Queffélec - Photo : Caroline Doutre
Olivier Godin, Artistic Director of Bourgie Hall, met with celebrated French pianist Anne Queffélec to discuss her concert taking place on September 27, 2022, at 7:30 p.m.
- Chorale prelude Nun komm' der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659 (arr. F. Busoni)
- Adagio from the Keyboard Concerto in D minor, BWV 974, after Alessandro Marcello's Oboe Concerto in D minor
- Largo from the Organ Concerto in D minor, BWV 596, after Antonio Vivaldi's Concerto for Two Violins in D minor
- Chorale Jesus bleibet meine Freude, from the Cantata BWV 147 (arr. M. Hess)
- Sonata in B minor, K. 27
- Sonata in E major, K. 531
- Sonata in D minor, K. 32
- Minuet from the Keyboard Suite in B-flat major, HWV 434 (arr. W. Kempff)
- Chaconne in G major, HWV 435
- Piano Sonata in B-flat major, D. 960
Olivier G. Thank you Anne for giving us a bit of your time to answer a few questions. The first one that comes to mind concerns the first half of your recital: what were the reasons for the selection of these works?
Anne Q. To me it seemed that the first pieces have this characteristic of interior clarification in common, of meditation and contemplation. Now, this is a concept in music that is quite dear to me. But as one can always fear that the audience will fall into a sort of gentle somnolence, the final piece of this first half, the Chaconne by Handel, is, for its part, filled with this vitality that characterizes its composer and with a type of Italianate character, with sunlight. In a certain way Handel was more of an Italian composer than a German one. Thus, this work carries an energy and concludes with an increase in excitement, which I thought of like a sort of emergence of brilliant light, in order to pull the audience out of this pleasant dream in which they had been immersed with the preceding works.
Olivier G. In the second half of this recital, you will perform Schubert’s final sonata, which is an absolute masterpiece of the piano repertoire, and which you have played often. How has this work followed you during your career?
Anne Q. Schubert composed this sonata in September 1828, four months before his death. What about him touches me deeply is that he died at age 31, and so he knew nothing but youth. And internally he knew that there was little time before him, since he composed Erlkönig when he was only 17 years old. Unlike the pieces in the first half, which are short, this sonata is a long-haul journey. I think that it remains the work of a young man who understood what the human condition and human nature are, all while having this youth within him.
And to be honest with you, I’ve had the desire to title this sonata Semaine des quatre saisons [Week of Four Seasons]. The first movement would represent autumn, as it is filled with nostalgia, with perhaps a feeling of regret, while also having some extremely beautiful moments of light. The second movement would naturally be winter, since there is this extraordinarily poignant melody evoking loneliness. And then the third movement, this scherzo Allegro vivace con delicatezza, is spring, it is Schubert the lover of nature, who strolls in astonishment at the brooks, the rivers, the trees. Finally, the last movement could be summer. A summer that can experience storms, and a form of vitality. Streams are also present in this finale, with successions of very fluid sixteenth notes, which build, with joy, a form of satisfaction.
This is how I picture my own journey. Of course, each person, in their heart of hearts, dwells in this music, and receives it in their own way. The innermost being is a great mystery and is among the treasures to protect, and today it is threatened through this overabundance of screens.
Olivier G. You came to Bourgie Hall for the first time in October 2018, so this is a return visit for you. How was this experience for you, and how are you anticipating your return to Montreal?
Anne Q. I’ve held on to an absolutely warm and happy memory of my journeys to Montreal and to Quebec in general. I've had extraordinarily lively and authentic encounters here, filled with the human warmth characteristic of this beautiful province. I’ve also held on to the memory of a very beautiful hall that has a sort of closeness. In a way it takes you in its arms and you feel good, you feel welcomed.
In this video, Anne Queffélec performs the second piece on her programme at Bourgie Hall : J.S. Bach's adagio from the Keyboard Concerto in D minor, BWV 974, after Alessandro Marcello's Oboe Concerto in D minor.
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