Michel-Georges Brégent (1948-1993, Canadian)

I don’t know anything about Canada’s Michel-Georges Brégent, except that he wrote one of the worse pieces of crap that contemporary music has produced – and it’s not an arch-foe of contemporary music who says so, but a true believer! His 1986 Variations parallèles for piano and Ondes Martenot sound in fact like a caricature of “contemporary music” in the eyes of its foes, like pounding the piano at random and calling it a composition. The processes may be very elaborate and complex, but that is the composer’s kitchen. We listeners don’t care what goes on there, what matters to us is what lands in our plate, and even more in our mouth. And this is unpalatable. And it goes on for 45 minutes! (and I listened to the piece twice to write my review….) But Brégent’s work is the long piece before the reason why I bought the CD in the first place, Claude Vivier’s 13-minute Shiraz for piano. It’s on Disques Pelleas CD-0111 from 2002. Both composers are near-contemporaries (both were born in 1948) and both died young – Vivier in 1983, in the tragic circumstances that his fans well know about, Brégent in 1993, of causes unknown to me. Brégent doesn’t get an entry on English Wikipedia, but he does – quite terse – in French.

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