In many of his works, Claude Debussy let go of the traditional tonality and allowed the music to embrace new forms. In 1915, disheartened by the ongoing war and extremely ill with cancer, he composed the two Étude Collections, each with six études, which were his last major works for the piano. With Frédéric Chopin as a model –to whom the twelve études were also dedicated – each piece focuses on a specific technical piano challenge. Like Chopin’s études, Debussy’s are also grand music and challengingly difficult to perform. Debussy said that they could serve as a warning to anyone who had the ambition of becoming a concert pianist, “as you need to have exceptional hands”.

Another of the greats of French music is Maurice Ravel, who has been an important source of inspiration for Betsy Jola. In Signets – Hommage à Ravel, from 1987, she discreetly but recognisably moved towards Ravel’s piano music and pianist style. Olivier Messiaen was also interested in Ravel’s music, and Debussy’s. But what really occupied his thoughts was birdsong. Messiaen composed a lot of piano music based on the songs of various birds. In Fauvettes de l’Hérault – Concert des garrigues, the music is based on the birds of southern France and Japan. Originally, this music was supposed to be an ensemble, but Messiaen never completed the work. The French pianist Roger Muraro has now put together a score for the piano, as Olivier Messiaen left comments and musical notes scattered among various notebooks.

Bernd Alois Zimmermann chose to remain outside the traditional groupings of European music. He composed tonally, and atonally, sometimes both at the same time. He liked using Arnold Schönberg’s twelve tone technique, but also got inspiration from Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Gregorian chants, gospel and jazz. About his early two-movement quartet, of which allegro moderato will be performed here, Zimmermann wrote: “I’m still working on my quartet. It is probably the most concentrated I’ve written – and the most abstract.”

We will experience a completely different world of sounds with Mozart’s dark melancholic quintet from 1787, which was not one of Mozart’s happiest years. He was frustrated by a lack of success in Vienna, and his father Leopold was also very ill. He wrote a letter to his father, which would be the last correspondence: “…I have heard some news that makes me very sad, not least because I got the impression from your last letter that you were fortunately doing well. But now I hear that you are very ill! ”

We hear Mozart’s despair. The tone is g-minor, his most demonic, which he used to describe his inner pain.

/Göran Persson

The concert is recorded by Sveriges Radio P2

Picture: Roger Muraro ©Bernard Martinez

WED 19 SEP 6 p.m. Palladium Malmö

In collaboration with  Salomon Smith Kammarmusikförening


Claude Debussy Etudes, 1 livre
Betsy Jolas Signets – hommage à Ravel
Olivier Messiaen Fauvettes de l’Hérault – Concert des garrigues First Scandinavian performance!
Roger Muraro, piano

Bernd Alois Zimmermann Allegro Moderato from String Quartet
Quatuor Modigliani

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart String Quintet no 4 G Minor KV 516
Lise Berthaud, viola; Quatuor Modigliani

Tickets: 340 SEK; students and children up to and including 17 years of age: 170 SEK

This concert is part of the Festival Package

Discount Sydsvenskans Stjärnklubb