• Sarah Kwok

Matthieu Foresi - September 21

Pianist Matthieu Foresi is only fourteen years old but has already won numerous competitions and performed as a soloist with several orchestras. He is also a composer, and his works have been performed by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Standing Wave, and the Ad Mare wind quintet. Read on to learn more about the program he will perform on September 21, including one of his own compositions, and how he approaches his dual role as performer and composer.

So, tell me about the show

In this concert, I am excited to present a diverse program of works by composers from several time periods. In the first half, I will begin with a selection of three sonatas by Scarlatti. One of them is a particularly interesting sonata called the “Cat Fugue”. The classical composer Muzio Clementi suggested that the theme for this fugue was inspired by Scarlatti’s cat, Pulcinella, walking across the harpsichord and striking notes on the way. These sonatas will be followed by the 32 Variations by Beethoven, and then five preludes by Rachmaninoff, from 10 preludes, op. 23. The last of these five, the famous prelude in G minor, will conclude the first half. The second half will begin with my own composition called “Reverie”, completed a few months ago. Afterwards will be two etudes and one ballade by Chopin, concluded by the fourth sonata by Alexander Scriabin. This sonata is one of the many examples of Scriabin trying to explore musical symbolism. For this particular sonata, he uses the idea of a flight to the stars, as a symbol of strong desire for an unachievable goal.

Can you talk more about your piece Reverie? Maybe a glimpse into your compositional process, or how it fits with the rest of your program? 

My composition, titled “Reverie”, is a piece that represents states of being lost in one’s own thoughts. There are many different pieces of material included in the piece, most of which express states of tranquillity and calmness. These states of mind were composed separately first, then combined to form a whole piece. The first several minutes of the piece are various tranquil and mysterious emotions, followed by more active and agitated parts closer to the end. The piece ends, however, not in agitation, but in the same calmness that opened it.

The composer-performer was common in the 18th and 19th centuries and there seems to be a resurgence of musicians taking on both roles after a separation in the 20th century. How do you see yourself in this duo role - do you feel that you have the same artistic voice as a composer and as a performer? Does it feel different performing your own piece than it does performing another composer's works?

Whenever I play my own composition as opposed to a composition by a different composer, I feel that I have more freedom in the way I play the piece. When I play a work from another composer, even though I have my own interpretation, I must follow the indications of the composer. With my own compositions I feel free to play as I see fit. However, when I perform on stage, I do not feel any different playing my own compositions than when I play other pieces.

Interested in hearing this diverse program? Matthieu Foresi, presented by Muzewest Concerts, will perform at the Vancouver Academy of Music on September 21 at 7pm.

More information: eventbrite

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