Press release for immediate distribution
LOUISE BESSETTE AND LES OISEAUX EXOTIQUES
Montreal January 3rd, 2008: The year 2008 marks the 100th anniversary of Olivier Messiaen's birth. Louise Bessette will take part in the festivities underlining this event by playing twice as guest artist with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. With William Eddins conducting, this amazing contemporary pianist will undertake the chamber piece Oiseaux exotiques in the magnificent Francis Winspear Center for Music in Edmonton, Alberta, on January 25 and 26, 2008.
Chamberpiece for small ensemble and piano, this work was composed between Le Catalogue des oiseaux and Le Réveil des oiseaux. According to history, Paul Dukas, teacher to Messiaen, once told him: «Listen to birds. They truly are the great masters.» This fascination for ornithology will have left its mark on more than one of Messiaen's compositions. Even though the title Oiseaux exotiques is extremely suggestive, the public will not hear a succession of bird calls intertwined in musical themes. Rather, this composition is more a «fantasy of sounds». This piece is not meant, nor written, to faithfully reproduce bird calls, even though more than 40 of them were used as composition material. With this work, Messiaen decided to simply explore the rhythms and tones of birds in a single and continuous movement, full of energy and fantasy.
A versatile musician and acrobatic pianist, Louise Bessette is a much sought-after and appreciated artist. She has been part of over twenty recordings either as a solo artist or with a chamber group. First Prize at the Concours International de Musique Contemporaine de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, First Prize at the Concours International Gaudeamus, Prix Opus «soloist of the year», 1996-1997, for her recital of Olivier Messiaen's Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus, Member of the Order of Canada (2001), Officier de l'Ordre national du Québec (2005), Louise Bessette holds numerous prizes, all emphasizing the importance of her musical contribution. Since 1996, she is professor of piano at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal.
- 30 -