Following his debut at London’s Southbank Centre aged 23, British pianist Alexander Soares has garnered a reputation as an artist whose performances have been acclaimed for their “huge intensity” (The Daily Telegraph) and “diamond clarity and authority” (BBC Radio 3). Since winning the Gold Medal in the prestigious Royal Overseas League Competition, he has regularly performed in major venues and festivals across the UK, Europe and the United States.
With the shadow of the Second World War hanging over a fractured Europe, revolutionary musical change was taking place, nowhere more so than in Paris in 1945. At first glance, combining Boulez, Dutilleux and Messiaen in a single disc may seem an uneasy balance, given the tensions between them in light of their divergent compositional paths. Nevertheless, a great deal of mutual respect and admiration existed between them as they each established themselves as major creative forces. Boulez remained very attached to his former teacher Messiaen and, in his role as a conductor, has done much to champion the latter’s music.
Dutilleux also revered Messiaen, as both a good friend and a musician and has also praised much of Boulez’s work. It is in this context that this album seeks to illuminate their intriguing development across the second half of the century, by placing major works from each composer alongside shorter sketches.