Katia & Marielle Labèque – Philip Glass: Les enfants terribles

Taking its title from Philip Glass’ 1996 “danced chamber opera” Les Enfants Terrible, this is a project that originated in March 2020. Long-time Glass collaborator Michael Riesman created an arrangement of the music in suite form for two pianos;

Philip Glass’s music occupies a special place in Katia and Marielle Labèque’s creation as they are already dedicatees of his Double Concerto the composer himself for two pianos. It was who chose to adapt his opera Les Enfants Terribles (after Jean Cocteau’s novel) for them, in a suite for piano duet, entrusting the adaptation to Michael Riesman, his long-time collaborator and arranger. The new recording captures the pianists’ special artistic relationship with Glass.

In addition, three are some videos by Ronan Day-Lewis  (here Part 1).The videos star Lena Christakis and Rocco Rinaldi-Rose.

What says Day-Lewis about the project:

Before shooting, I read the Cocteau novel Les Enfants Terribles, which inspired Philip Glass’s music for these pieces, and found it a transcendent experience. I connected deeply with the subject matter of these two lost souls isolated in a world of their creation. As well as the current relevance of the story to our collective isolation in the midst of a global pandemic, I was drawn to its themes of the difficulty of leaving childhood behind, and the dangers of clinging to a paradise already lost, or one that was never really there. The book seemed to hint at something sublime. I started to feel that it contained all the ethereality and bodily reality of the human condition, the desperate fragility of life condensed into 193 pages. Cocteau’s poetic vision, combined with Philip Glass’s music interpreted entrancingly by Katia and Marielle Labèque, cast a spell over me which made it easy to disappear into the world of the holy terrors.



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