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With its central musical idea being the movement of hands on the piano, Shiraz begins in a way that is as percussive as it is impressionist, with repeated chords, followed by a crystalline ascent to the high register. Without even looking at the pianist, a hearing of this work allows listeners to clearly imagine the energy that must be behind the movements of the hands across piano. Pure music in the sense that it has no real narrative, this work captivates the ear through great contrasts in pianism: percussive, then lyrical; agitated, then silent; funeral march-like, then ethereally melodic.

Premiered by the SMCQ by pianist Louis-Philippe Pelletier, the “direct” dedicatee of this work, Shiraz was directly inspired by Vivier’s trip to Asia.

Martine Rhéaume [viii-07]