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Alain Lefèvre|Mathieu: Concerto de Québec & Works for 2 Pianos

Mathieu: Concerto de Québec & Works for 2 Pianos

Alain Lefèvre, Hélène Mercier

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Perched upon a piano and dressed in black leather with a serene background of Canadian forests, Alain Lefèvre and Hélène Mercier invite us in for a listen of their new album. Their destinies were somewhat linked, if oppositely: he was born in France before is family emigrated to Quebec, where she was born before going to live in France. What they do share is a passion for Quebecer musical meteor André Mathieu, a child prodigy who died in the full swing of his career, to which Alain Lefèvre has already dedicated several recordings. Born in Montreal in 1929, André Mathieu composed his first pieces at the age of 4 and gave his very first concert a year later, playing his own piece Concertino n° 1 with orchestra. He went on to work with Yves Nat in France, then with Alfred Cortot who wanted to craft him into “the century’s greatest pianist”, but the youngster instead wanted to become a composer. After the war, he studied composition with Arthur Honegger and Jules Gentil.

André Mathieu was just 14 when he composed his masterpiece, the Concerto n° 3 (the “Quebec Concerto”), acclaimed by critics and arranged here for two pianos by Achilleas Wastor. Unfortunately, as is often the case with child stars, the public attention would begin to shift away from this now-teenage star, who would gradually sink into alcoholism and oblivion. On 2nd June 1968, he was found dead in his home after a heart attack, worsened by cirrhosis. He left behind 200 works, of which only a quarter have been cataloged. Aside from the original version of the “Quebec Concerto”, this new album dedicated to Mathieu also features his Rhapsodie romantique and his Concertino n° 2, two works arranged for two pianos. This is an example of astonishing precociousness which integrates the language of the two French musicians with that of Rachmaninov as well as jazzier elements, in perfectly constructed compositions. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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Mathieu: Concerto de Québec & Works for 2 Pianos

Alain Lefèvre

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1
Rhapsodie romantique (Arr. Wastor for 2 Pianos)
00:20:27

Andre Mathieu, Composer - Alain Lefèvre, Piano, MainArtist - Helene Mercier, Piano, MainArtist - Achilleas Wastor, Arranger

© 2020 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2020 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company.

2
Concertino No. 2, Op. 13: I. Allegro (Arr. Wastor for 2 Pianos)
00:03:17

Andre Mathieu, Composer - Alain Lefèvre, Piano, MainArtist - Helene Mercier, Piano, MainArtist - Achilleas Wastor, Arranger

© 2020 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2020 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group company.

3
Concertino No. 2, Op. 13: II. Andante (Arr. Wastor for 2 Pianos)
00:05:42

Andre Mathieu, Composer - Alain Lefèvre, Piano, MainArtist - Helene Mercier, Piano, MainArtist - Achilleas Wastor, Arranger

© 2020 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2020 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group company.

4
Concertino No. 2, Op. 13: III. Allegro (Arr. Wastor for 2 Pianos)
00:04:25

Andre Mathieu, Composer - Alain Lefèvre, Piano, MainArtist - Helene Mercier, Piano, MainArtist - Achilleas Wastor, Arranger

© 2020 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2020 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company.

5
Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, "Concerto de Québec", Op. 25: I. Allegro moderato (Arr. Wastor for 2 Pianos)
00:10:10

Andre Mathieu, Composer - Alain Lefèvre, Piano, MainArtist - Helene Mercier, Piano, MainArtist - Achilleas Wastor, Arranger

© 2020 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2020 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group company.

6
Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, "Concerto de Québec", Op. 25: II. Andante (Arr. Wastor for 2 Pianos)
00:13:35

Andre Mathieu, Composer - Alain Lefèvre, Piano, MainArtist - Helene Mercier, Piano, MainArtist - Achilleas Wastor, Arranger

© 2020 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2020 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company.

7
Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, "Concerto de Québec", Op. 25: III. Allegro con brio (Arr. Wastor for 2 Pianos)
00:07:48

Andre Mathieu, Composer - Alain Lefèvre, Piano, MainArtist - Helene Mercier, Piano, MainArtist - Achilleas Wastor, Arranger

© 2020 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2020 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group company.

Album review

Perched upon a piano and dressed in black leather with a serene background of Canadian forests, Alain Lefèvre and Hélène Mercier invite us in for a listen of their new album. Their destinies were somewhat linked, if oppositely: he was born in France before is family emigrated to Quebec, where she was born before going to live in France. What they do share is a passion for Quebecer musical meteor André Mathieu, a child prodigy who died in the full swing of his career, to which Alain Lefèvre has already dedicated several recordings. Born in Montreal in 1929, André Mathieu composed his first pieces at the age of 4 and gave his very first concert a year later, playing his own piece Concertino n° 1 with orchestra. He went on to work with Yves Nat in France, then with Alfred Cortot who wanted to craft him into “the century’s greatest pianist”, but the youngster instead wanted to become a composer. After the war, he studied composition with Arthur Honegger and Jules Gentil.

André Mathieu was just 14 when he composed his masterpiece, the Concerto n° 3 (the “Quebec Concerto”), acclaimed by critics and arranged here for two pianos by Achilleas Wastor. Unfortunately, as is often the case with child stars, the public attention would begin to shift away from this now-teenage star, who would gradually sink into alcoholism and oblivion. On 2nd June 1968, he was found dead in his home after a heart attack, worsened by cirrhosis. He left behind 200 works, of which only a quarter have been cataloged. Aside from the original version of the “Quebec Concerto”, this new album dedicated to Mathieu also features his Rhapsodie romantique and his Concertino n° 2, two works arranged for two pianos. This is an example of astonishing precociousness which integrates the language of the two French musicians with that of Rachmaninov as well as jazzier elements, in perfectly constructed compositions. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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