Pierre MÉTRAL: Répercussion - Sonatine No. 1 | VDE-GALLO

Pierre Métral: Répercussion – Concertino – Villes – Sonatine No. 1 – Maria Casarès, Basia Retchitzka, Hélène Morath, Liselotte Born, Ensemble instrumental de Genève, Ensemble à percussion de Genève


Pierre MÉTRAL: Répercussion – Concertino – Villes* – Sonatine No. 1: I. Prélude – Sonatine No. 1: II. Scherzo – Sonatine No. 1: III. Elégie – Sonatine No. 1: IV. Final.

Brigitte Buxtorf, Flute
Catherine Eisenhoffer, Harp

Maria Casarès, Reciter*
Olivier Perrelet, Texts*
Basia Retchitzka, Soprano
Hélène Morath, Mezzo-Soprano
Liselotte Born, Harpsichord

Eliane Reber-Martel, Violin
Pierre Métral, Percussions

Ensemble instrumental de Genève
Ensemble à percussion de Genève
Pierre Métral, Conductor (Biographie)

PIERRE METRAL, Swiss composer

Born in 1936 in Geneva, Pierre Metral captured the attention of listeners long before reaching his thirties. From his earliest works, one could sense in this musician not only the heritage of a good lineage but also a rich sensitivity that quickly set him apart from the “schools” and “chapels” that characterized post-war music, both for their gratuitousness and the often dead-end options they presented. Pierre Metral sought to rediscover a sonic world often referring back to what music had brought us since Debussy. It is not inaccurate to describe him, in spirit, as both French and Latin.

Pierre Metral studied at the Geneva Conservatory before moving to Paris, where he was particularly influenced by Henri Dutilleux. In addition to composition, he studied oboe and percussion. In the realm of instrumental music, percussion became his special affection. Joining the Orchestre de la Suisse-Romande as a musician, he became its first timpanist in 1968. This led, ipso facto, to his appointment as a percussion professor at the Geneva Conservatory and, in 1970, as the musical director of “ERA,” Études et Rencontres Artistiques (Geneva).

Thus, he became the driving force behind a creative activity in contemporary music. As a key figure in ERA, he harmonized its programs and animated its musical life.

Around 1961, Pierre Metral founded the Geneva Instrumental Ensemble, which aimed to promote contemporary music in Geneva. In Switzerland and abroad, he would go on to create over forty new musical works.

In 1965, he founded the Geneva Percussion Ensemble. Instrumentally and pedagogically, I believe this to be one of his dearest endeavors. Pierre Metral devoted special attention to it. Not only did he compose for the ensemble, but he also searched for new literature to introduce to Geneva. Consequently, he became the architect of the first international percussion competition, a discipline integrated into the Geneva International Music Performance Competition. His first attempt in this genre was a resounding success, demonstrating his authenticity as a musician in this field.

Furthering his desire to structure this instrumental discipline, he established the International Percussion Center in 1974. Its diverse activities aimed to promote repertoire, facilitate encounters among established ensembles, and highlight a pedagogy still in its infancy.

But Pierre Metral was also a lover of dance. He supported the efforts of choreographic ensembles emerging in Geneva, both privately and officially. He wrote specifically choreographed works, including “Répercussion,” which is recorded on this disc. In this realm, challenges were not lacking, as the world of dance is ever-changing. Never losing courage, and eventually considering his own venture, he recently founded the Choreographic Ensemble of French-speaking Switzerland, with choreographer Ron Cundiff. The repertoire of this ensemble is primarily based on percussion works.

Albin Jacquier

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