Pascal Gallois new recording with Prague Modern reunited Gérard Grisey and Fabien Lévy.

Two composers with a common history.


In this recording I wished to include two works by Fabien Lévy, he was clearly marked by Gérard Grisey, his composition teacher at the Conservatoire de Paris, as illustrated by this recording with the Prague Modern of Risala and Querwüchsig. During this same period of the 1990s, I was a fellow instructor of Grisey's at the Conservatoire de Paris and was able to encourage encounters between our respective students.

My first encounter with Gérard Grisey proved a revelation.

It was in 1981 in Modulations, directed by Peter Eötvös. I had just graduated from the Conservatoire de Paris and been recruited as a soloist by the Ensemble Intercontemporain. The surprisingly innovative expressiveness of this composition - which, for me at the time, included many new techniques - was a veritable shock and discovery. I remember leaving the first rehearsal with a real enthusiasm and the feeling of having discovered a world that would leave its indelible mark on my life. At the conservatoire in the 1970s, our analytical studies hadn't even touched upon microtonality - indeed, tonality ruled supreme and Boulez, for instance, certainly wasn't studied. The climate was especially conservative regarding contemporary music. For my part, this “forbidden fruit” for students such as myself was only rendered all the more seductive. Fortunately, things changed radically starting in the 1980s, even allowing a composer like Grisey to become an instructor. The situation was similar outside France and locations such as Darmstadt were necessary for young composers such as Gérard Grisey to be heard.


Pascal Gallois

Photography : © Philippe Gontier


GÉRARD GRISEY : sample : Vortex Temporum

GÉRARD GRISEY : sample : Vortex Temporum

FABIEN LÉVY : sample : Qerwüchsig


© Philippe Gontier