Commissioned piece of the 9th Competition – 2021

Composer : Mikel Urquiza
Title : Atelier d’Escher (for piano) 2020
Commission of “Orléans Concours International” for the 9th International piano competition of Orléans for youth Brin d’herbe.
1 – Main qui dessine la main – 2’15
2 – Chute d’eau – 1’15
3 – Lune ridée – 1’30
4 – Belvédère – 2’15
5 – Cavaliers – 1’15
6 – Trois mondes – 1’45

To see online the score of the mandatory piece by Mikel Urquiza, “Atelier d’Escher”, click here!

Note of intent from Mikel Urquiza: ‘Atelier d’Escher’
(Escher’s Workshop)

Escher’s prints are part of 20th-century popular culture; their affinity for the paradoxical (shared with writers such as Borges), their surrealist technique (similar to Magritte) and their graphic imagination fueled by craftsmanship (similar to Klee), expressed through striking and accessible images, have been spectacularly successful, with hundreds of exhibitions and publications of all kinds.Because of their success and their ubiquity, these prints (especially those most frequently reproduced) have ended up losing their element of surprise: we think we know what we will find within, so we no longer look at it. Moreover, their fantastic aesthetic (of monsters and castles) often limits them to the world of children. This is obviously a mistake, because within these prints lies not only a visual aspect (the trompe l’oeil and the subtle reference) which is interesting, but also the delicacy with which it is implemented: the characters, the decorations, the light, always detailed and learned.I wished to examine these poorly understood prints once more. I can no longer look at them as if for the first time, but I can find, through detailed study, the same sense of fascination (satisfaction) and dizziness as the first time.This is a pedagogical collection, on the one hand because the pieces are not difficult (nor are they easy), but above all because they are imbued with an Escherian simplicity of ideas, with a desire to communicate and share; an invitation to look at the world as if we are unfamiliar with it – this is something you must learn when you’re young and never forget.



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