Notations & Sketches Alexander Soares
- Henri Dutilleux (1916 - 2013): Sonate pour piano:
- 1I. Allegro con moto07:42
- 2II. Lied06:30
- 3III. Choral et variations10:48
- 4I. D'ombre et de silence03:14
- 5II. Sur un même accord03:38
- 6III. Le jeu des contraires07:42
- Mini-prélude en éventail:
- 7Mini-prélude en éventail00:52
- Pierre Boulez (1925 - 2016):
- 9Une page d'éphéméride05:25
- Olivier Messiaen (1908 - 1992):
- 10La Fauvette Passerinette11:09
Info for Notations & Sketches
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.
Alexander Soares, piano
Since his debut in the Southbank Centre at age 23, British pianist Alexander Soares has garnered a reputation as an artist who combines huge intensity, clarity and intellect. Since winning the Gold Medal in the prestigious Royal Overseas League Competition in 2015, he has performed in major venues and festivals across the U.K., Europe and United States, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on numerous occasions.
Equally comfortable performing a wide range of repertoire, Alexander is quickly gaining a reputation as a leading exponent of contemporary French repertoire. Current and recent highlights include performances at The Wigmore Hall, The Wallace Collection, and a residency at the Two Moors Festival.
In 2018, Alexander will release his debut album, Notations & Sketches, featuring the solo works of Boulez, Dutilleux and Messiaen, produced by Andrew Keener and recorded in the Barbican Centre. In addition, he will be setting up The Notations Project, an educational outreach programme to inspire young student composers, and collaborating with emerging composer Gonçalo Gato on the LSO Soundhub scheme.
Praised as a pianist of “huge intensity” (The Telegraph), Alexander Soares is developing a reputation as an artist of formidable technique and virtuosity, with performances of “diamond clarity and authority” (BBC Radio 3 ‘In Tune’). In 2015, his performance in the BBCSO / BBC Radio 3 ‘Boulez at 90’ celebrations received widespread critical acclaim in the press, described as a “brilliantly unbuttoned account” (The Sunday Times) and “most memorable of all” (The Financial Times). The 2014-15 season began with a BBC Radio 3 broadcast of the rarely heard piano repertoire of John Tavener, and included Alexander’s debuts at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the latter performance applauded for its “explosive sound world, pulling out a rich array of colour and texture” (The Herald). He was awarded 1st prize and Gold Medal in the prestigious Royal Overseas League Competition, and was subsequently selected as a 2015 Artist by City Music Foundation. 2016-17 highlights include returns to the Wigmore Hall, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, St. James’s Piccadilly and Alexander’s debut in the USA.
Contemporary French repertoire forms a major part of Alexander’s programming. Since a U.K. première of Tristan Murail’s chamber work in the BBCSO Total Immersion series, he has performed this repertoire in his debut recitals in the Royal Festival Hall, the Purcell Room, and the Bridgewater Hall. In 2014, he collaborated with Diego Masson performing Messiaen’s Des Canyons aux Étoiles in Milton Court Concert Hall. The following year, he performed Boulez’s Dérive with David Corkhill in LSO St. Luke’s. His first album, of the solo works by Boulez, Dutilleux and Messiaen, produced by Andrew Keener, will be released in 2018. Following this, Alexander will be launching The Notations Project under the guidance of YCAT Sounding Board. Inspired by Boulez’s Notations, Alexander will embark on an educational outreach programme across schools in the U.K. working on miniature compositions by young composers. The project will culminate with performances of these student compositions, Boulez’s own Notations, and 12 new commissions by professional composers.
A keen chamber musician, Alexander has performed on numerous occasions in the Barbican, working with notable artists such as Boris Brovtsyn and Alexander Baillie. Collaborating with violinist Mihaela Martin, he debuted in Spain at the Palacio de Festivales, Sala Argenta. He has also toured France, in venues including Auditorium St. Germain and Opéra Rouen, performing Stravinsky’s Les Noces on Pleyel’s original double grand pianos, manufactured in the late nineteenth century. Alexander has greatly benefitted from the guidance of pianists including Richard Goode, Stephen Kovacevich, Stephen Hough, and Steven Osborne.
Alexander graduated with first class honours from Clare College, University of Cambridge. He then pursued postgraduate studies with Ronan O’Hora at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, achieving a Master’s with Distinction. In 2015 he completed a doctorate investigating memorisation strategies for contemporary piano repertoire, under the supervision of Professor Daniel Leech-Wilkinson. He is most grateful for generous support from the Guildhall School Trust, Help Musicians U.K., Countess of Munster Trust, Martin Musical Scholarship Foundation, Park Lane Group and Making Music.