Vanessa Wagner: Minimalist Design

With the bewitching and melancholic "Inland", the French pianist continues her exploration of minimalist composers...

By Pierre-Yves Lascar | Video of the Day | May 12, 2019
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Qobuz

With this new artistic proposal, French pianist Vanessa Wagner (who started her recording career by performing Scriabin and Rachmaninoff for Lyrinx, albums which are unfortunately unavailable) positions herself in a contemporary, resolutely contemplative and often dreamy state. Closely tied to the label InFiné − that released Statea on which she went exchanged with Murcof, both players of a great disenchanted saga −, Vanessa Wagner makes no secret of her inclinations for melancholic atmospheres. Inland performs mini-versions of Moondog, Émilie Levienaise-Farrouch, Bryce Dessner, as well as more substantial works, easily recognizable by minimalist fans: Philip GlassEtude No. 9, Michael Nyman’s The Heart Asks Pleasure First, and Gavin BryarsRamble On Cortona.

Vanessa Wagner’s piano sounds dark. Fortunately, the album ends on the sublime Baltā ainava (“White Scenery”), the first piece of a great fifty-minute four-part partition by Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks, titled The Seasons. A rude, mostly dark cycle, however it is introduced by this rather bright, quite hypnotic, very atmospheric and truly mind-blowing piece: one can feel the white snow and the black, humid sun peeking through the mist, shining on the large steppes of Eastern Europe.



LISTEN TO INLAND BY VANESSA WAGNER ON QOBUZ


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