Abbott, Alain

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Alain Abbot


Born: September 15, 1938 - Lille, France

Country: France

Studies: Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique, Paris

Teachers: Pierre Revel, Olivier Messiaen

With this musician, one of the latest winners of Rome musical composition, we are entering an area unfrequented by music lovers, as it is the accordion, also known as the "instrument of the devil" . And yet, this is Alain Abbott has released this instrument of its popular ghetto to get him to the concert, with its harmonéon. Unlike the chromatic accordion, whose patent was introduced in 1897 by Paolo Soprani, this wind instrument has two identical keyboards and rejects all agreements made ​​(the keyboard left hand is the same right). It was invented in 1952 by Pierre Monichon and it is at a world first recital in Paris, Alain Abbott, accompanied by pianist Jacqueline Medinger, was discovered in the works of Bach ( Sinfonie the second partita , Toccata and Fugue in D minor Fantasy and Fugue in G minor ...), Fauré ( Dolly ) and Shostakovich ( Concertino ), the immense technical and sound capabilities of this instrument. That was March 7, 1959, in the Hall of the Conservatory Berlioz (rue de Madrid). Guy de Lioncourt and René Allix, while guiding the College of Music Caesar Franck, presented in person this harmonéon.

Announcement of the first global concert harmonéon March 7, 1959 in Paris. (The Concert Guide, 27 February 1959) Born in 1938, Alain Abbott took an early interest in the accordion and quickly became one of the few virtuosos. His musical studies at the National Superior Conservatory of Music led him until in 1968 a second second Prix de Rome with the cantata Madness and Death of Ophelia for soprano, bayrton and orchestra , on a text Shakespeare (Billaudot). It was the last year before the abolition of the competition by Malraux.

If long struggle for recognition of the accordion as a classical instrument in its own right for which he also composed a number of works, he never abandoned the more conventional instruments. Its varied including Catalonia contains Covalences for flute and vibraphone (Billaudot) of M for bass and piano (transatlantic musical Editions, 1974), a tribute to Copernicus five inventions for 2 percussion and ondes Martenot (EFM Technisonor / Billaudot 1973) a curious piano piece entitled The Well-Tempered Cluster (Salabert, 1982), a poem for saxophone quartet (Billaudot, 1971), a Prelude No. 1 and Prelude No. 2 for flute or oboe and guitar or keyboard ad libitum cello (Heugel, 1973), 4 Minisuites for recorder or flute and piano (Heugel, 1972), a Choral in the style of Bach for five different instruments (Heugel), a symphonic work: Invisible numbers ( EFM / Billaudot) and even a page for solo ondes Martenot: Proslambanomenos (transatlantic musical Editions, 1971) ...

But it is certainly for the accordion Alain Abbott has worked more. This is certainly due to its action, recovery and continued by other musicians such as Frederic Guérouet, Myriam Bonnin, Christiane Bonnay, the accordion was finally recognized in France in 1986 by the Ministry of Culture and entered the music schools. Himself also founded in 1970 the Union for the Promotion of the Accordion Concert (UPAC) and since that time he taught at the University of Paris music at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, and at European and Lycée Michelet Conservatoire de Vanves (Hauts-de-Seine). Admittedly, much progress has been achieved in recent years in the field of instrument making and especially in the training of interpreters. The classical accordion was able to generate more interest from the public, but also, and this is the most important, from composers attracted to new sonic possibilities of such an instrument, including Jacques Deneuville, Serge Lancen, Désiré Dondeyne, Claude Ballif, Bernard Cavanna, Tony Murail and Jean Wiener. But after all they are only continuing the action of their seniors in 1883 had introduced the accordion in their orchestration! Tchaikovsky is the first who dared to use in his Suite for Orchestra No. 2 in C major. Next came the opera Wozzeck by Alban Berg (1917-1922), the Kammermusik No. 1 , op. 24/1, for small orchestra by Paul Hindemith (1922), the opera Die Dreigroschenoper (L ' Opera Threepenny ) Kurt Weill (1928), the ballet The Golden Age op. 22 by Dmitri Shostakovich (1930) and the cantata October by Sergei Prokofiev written in 1937 for the 20 th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, on texts by Marx, Lenin and Stalin (for two choirs, military music, accordion and percussion) ...

For his favorite instrument, Alain Abbott obviously composed of many pages: 8 Preludes for 2 accordions together (Leduc), Tribute to Ludwig (Billaudot) Small Pictures at an Exhibition (id.), Toccata for Accordion concert (id.) For Fabrice, 12 rooms can be chained (id.), Music for accordion and string orchestra (id.), 2 e Sketch for accordion and percussion (id.), romantic Concertino for accordion (or piano) and orchestra (id.), Electric II accordion, vibraphone and electric guitar (EFH / Billaudot) ... It has greatly enriched the repertoire, because it certainly is composer in the French school of the late twentieth century, characterized by the complexity of writing, focusing on maximum use of all available to him sound palette. He also invested heavily in the educational field, methods of classical accordion is not legion at the time. The budding young accordionists are indebted to him and nowadays a whole literature facilitating learning this instrument maligned due to its complete method classical accordion in 2 parts (Leduc, 1969, 2 volumes), for which Olivier Messiaen wrote that the author "has been able to establish a series of graded exercises logically, based on the technique of the accordion and use his knowledge of harmony to guide students towards a more noble music and chord progressions more complex than we heard before ... ". They can also refer to its many other educational books: eight mini-readings for collection concert accordion (Combre, 1985), 8 mini-studies collection for concert accordion (Combre, 1988), perfect for concert accordion Agreement , preparatory one (Combre 1983) Fifty-four technical exercises: work pace accordion (Leduc, 1970) Full course sight reading to the use of the accordion , the first notebook: Preparatory beginner, 38 lessons Reading also used technical exercises, 2 nd Notebook: upper-middle level, 60 reading lessons also serving as technical exercises (Lemoine, 1969) From one continent to another for concert accordion (Salabert, 1985 ) In round white, 28 pieces of initiation for beginners accordion all systems (Leduc, 1970), 54 technical exercises. The work pace (Leduc), 20 easy studies after H. Bertini, for two accordions together (Lemoine, 1978). Alain Abbott is also the author of several transcripts: classic works for accordion, transcription and fingering (3 collections), Lemoine, 1970 and 1971, Claude Debussy (1862-1918), transcriptions for accordion (Lemoine, 1987), Alexander Scriabin ( 1872-1915), transcriptions for accordion (Lemoine, 1987) ... and the 5 th Concerto for strings and keyboard Michel Corrette (1709-1795), and achievement rate (Billaudot, 1992) ...

Although it is still quite rare these days to be able to go to a concert of classical accordion, one must Alain Abbott giving acclaim to "piano braces" of our grandmothers.[1]

Works for Percussion

Choral et variation - Percussion Trio; Piano
Covalences - Vibraphone; Flute
Deuxieme Esquisse (Two Sketches) - Multiple Percussion; Accordion
Electrique II - Vibraphone; Accordion; Guitar
Etudes Rythmiques - Marimba; Accordions (2)
Hommage à Copernic - Multiple Percussion; Ondes Martenot (2)
Imaginaires I - Vibraphone; Accordion
Lancinances - Multiple Percussion; Accordion
Perpetual Motions - Vibraphone; Accordion; Piano
Simple Trio - Marimba; Accordion; Cello