Commissioned piece of the 13th competition – 2018

Commissioned piece:

Title: Au cœur de l’Oblique for piano

Composer: Hèctor Parra

The composition of the piano work Au coeur de l’Oblique (2016) stems from the need to question some of the most intimate and essentials principles of what we might call “musical architecture” by means of a strong and direct aesthetic contact with the work of such a fundamental and utopian architect and inventor of new forms as Claude Parent. The father of the principle of oblique function, with Paul Virilio, deforms through his architecture the sensation we feel associated with gravity. The perpendicular force of electromagnetic character that the architectural floor exerts on us is no longer to equilibrium, but gravity exerts a dynamic offect that propels us physically and spiritally, creating tensions that structure a new perception / sense of space and time. (…)

The imbalances in nature have propelled the evolution of life forms but also geogical forms, and Claude Parent was aeger to contribute to the evolution and dynamism of human society as whole, reconnecting indissolubly movement ans housing, and re-coupling harmonically geology and architecture.

Thus, in Au cœur de l’Oblique, the hands of the pianist draw the sound energy directly from the strings of the instrument, by the force of his nails, his palm or the fingertips, an energy which is gradually being deformed and develops to its physiological limits through a hybrid language also including filtering and re-articulation of these sounds on the kayboard. (…)

Note of intent from Hèctor Parra
Commissioned by Orléans Concours International for the 13th International piano competition of Orléans

Partially visualize the work :


Au cœur de l’Oblique by Hèctor Parra performed by Maroussia Gentet, winner of 2018 International piano competition of Orléans:


Description of Au cœur de l’Oblique by Hèctor Parra:

Composer in the spotlight: Hèctor Parra

“Hèctor Parra (Barcelona on 1976) has studied composition with David Padrós and Carles Guinovart at the Barcelona Conservatorium, with Jonathan Harvey, Brian Ferneyhough and Philippe Manoury at Ircam in Paris as well as with Michael Jarrell in the Haute École de Musique of Geneva. He has the Master in Arts of the Paris-VIII University with honours. He has been Professor of Electroacoustic Composition at the Conservatory of Music of Zaragoza, in Spain, and from 2013 to 2017 he has taught composition at Ircam-Centre Pompidou.

Premieres of his works have been performed by the Ensemble intercontemporain, the Klangforum Wien, Musikfabrik, Ensembe Recherche, the Arditti Quartet, the Gürzenich Orchester Köln, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Radio Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, Freiburger Barockorchester, Concerto Köln, Barcelona National Orchestra, Spain National Orchestra, among others.

He received commissions from the French state, the Flemish Opera House, the Nürnberg Opera House, the Teatro Real Madrid, the Ircam-Centre Pompidou, the Berlin Academy of Arts, the Strasbourg Musica Festival, Musée du Louvre, WDR, SWR, Kölner Philharmonie, Mécénat Musical Société Générale and the Selmer Society, among others. His works are premiered at the international festivals of Lucerne, Warsaw Autumn, Wien Modern, Paris Philharmonie, Donaueschingen, Ircam Manifeste, Witten, Stuttgart Opera House, Bacelona Opera Liceu, Guggenheim NY, San Francisco Arts Festival, Vienna Konzerthaus, etc.

He has composed six operas and music theatre works in close collaboration with writers such as Marie NDiaye and Händl Klaus, that has been staged by Caixto Bieito, Rebecca Ringst, Vera Nemirova, Georges Lavaudant, Matthew Ritchie, Benjamin Schad and Robert Pienz at the Antwerp Opera House 2019, Berlin Staatsoper 2016, Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele 2015, Münchener Biennale 2014, Theater Freiburg 2014, Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord 2014, Festival Musica Strasbourg 2014, Sophiensaele Berlin and Basel Gare du Nord 2013, Gran Teatre del Liceu 2010, Luxemburg Philharmonie 2010, Kaaitheater Bruxelles 2010, Centre Pompidou 2009, Opera de Hoy 2007, Madrid.

Maroussia Gentet & Hector Parra © P.Montisci

Since the world premiere of his latest opera Les Bienveillantes, based on Jonathan Littell’s eponymous novel, on a libretto by Händl Klaus and staged by Calixto Bieito, the international press has never stopped greeting the event: “The most important opera of the 21st century” La Vanguardia, “A grandiose and challenging score” BRF Nachrichten, “A highly expressive music, masterfully orchestrated” Neue Zürcher Zeitung, “A colossal score, of great dramatic force” El Mundo, “Immensely powerful, extremely cleverly built” Deutschlandfunk, “A limit experience” Crescendo Magazine. His opera Das geopferte Leben, 2014 was nominated by the prestigious German magazine Opernwelt “one of the premieres of the year“, and his but last opera, Wilde, has been qualified as “a masterpiece” by the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and the specialized magazine Das Opernglas.

Among his latest projects, Inscape, an immersive symphonic work inspired by the cosmological theories of French physicist Jean -Pierre Luminet.

Winner of the Ernst von Siemens Composers Prize 2011 and Catalan National Prize for Culture 2017, in 2009 he won the Tendències Prize of the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. In 2007 he won the Donald Aird Memorial Prize of San Francisco and in 2008 the Impuls/Klangforum Wien de Graz. In 2005 he was unanimously awarded the Tremplin Prize given by the Ensemble Intercontemporain. In 2002 he won the Prize of the National Institute for Performing Arts and Music of Spain.

A monographic CD with his trios and chamber music performed by the ensemble Recherche has been published by the label KAIROS (2008). In 2010 KAIROS publishes his chamber opera Hypermusic Prologue, with a libretto of the renowned Harvard physicist Lisa Randall, played by the Ensemble intercontemporain and Ircam, and in 2012 Col-legno and the Ernst von Siemens Foundation publishes his fourth monographic CD: Caressant l’Horizon.

His works are published by Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical, Paris, and Editorial Tritó (Barcelona).”

Source : Hèctor Parra Website





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