Hailed as a “hero” (Los Angeles Times), a “smashing” performer (Washington Post), “a pianist who breaks the mold” (International Piano) and “who stands out from the typical trends and artifices offered [...]
They spoke about it
His performances are highly engaging and entertaining.
— The WholeNote
Alain Lefèvre is a composer whose cinematographic and melodic style is recognizable, even when the vocabulary (the idioms, the sun and the blue of Greece) is renewed. This is the most beautiful compliment. Period.
— Le Devoir
No one will deny the great beauty and especially the deep honesty of this music.
— ICI Musique, Radio-Canada
I loved this album! Listening to it brings us into a state of appeasement.
— TVA Nouvelles
These being personal compositions, we hear a romantic touch – exalted at times – and can’t help reminiscing about the late Bill Evans, when not about Thelonious Monk.
— Journal de Montréal
Eight original works played at the piano reaching for the heart of an Hellenistic heritage – all with melancholy, love and light.
— Le Huffington Post Québec
The title piece is spectacular […] A jewel of virtuosity!
MY IMAGES, MY SCENARIO…
For each of the works featured in Sas Agapo, there are my images, my scenario, my interpretation of the “paintings of life”, which take place at very precise moments in time, where the themes impose themselves on me, when I am not at the piano seeking for them. The short descriptions here serve only to define the setting in which each was composed. That said, listeners are of course free to experience them without any explanation and find in them their own images, their own scenario.
Of all the pieces on this CD, which were all composed in Greece, Sas Agapo (I love you) is the only one where the pianistic writing reflects the accents of this country, revealing at times an oriental influence. It is the soul of the Greek people, whom I wish to thank for their open arms, their generosity, their art of living, their courage, their wisdom and, above all, their free spirit.
There is sorrow, trial, weariness, dishonesty, disappointment, and suffering, and there is elpida, which means “hope” in Greek. Here, all the emotion strives towards the strength and resilience of the Greek people deeply stricken over the past years and yet, who continue to resist, to stand up, to remain hopeful, and live every day to its fullest, as if there were no tomorrow. Elpida is also the fragility, the quest, and at last the prayer, always with the expectation and hope that it will be heard…
His name was Domino… an irresistible canine companion whose joyful exultation delighted all, from the little ones to the elderly, until the day he was viciously attacked and killed by a dog three times his size while in the arms of his owner, who was sadly unable to save him. A horrific scene one would prefer to forget but that nevertheless brings to mind a similar reality, that of human mankind, where innocent victims die daily, with no reason, at the hands of amoral attackers. This piece in Domino’s memory elicits before anything, serenity and consolation.
Invisible boundaries are the most dangerous ones, as some of their limits can’t be crossed, running the risk of losing oneself, of losing everything… And this is what happens when one utters words whose impact is so strong that they are beyond redemption. Non Retour (No return) is this fracture, this ending, this sad heartbreak in love like in friendship, where the soulmate, the friend, won’t return…
PROMENADE À KAVOURI
There are those moments of grace where time takes a pause from life and where nothing matters anymore, except the object of one’s emotion which then invades all the space to leave an imprint that simply must be immortalized. One of the most touching scenes I have ever witnessed occurred in Kavouri, on the shores of the Aegean Sea. A very old Greek couple, modest and discrete, walked slowly along the promenade carrying two chairs, a small plastic table, and a beach bag. The man and woman settled down on a large rock and took out some cheese and a bottle of Tsipouro, contemplating the sea in unison, with no words exchanged, in a complicit silence, sharing a frugal snack and a breathtaking view. The love and tenderness which emanated from them completely overwhelmed me. It was “the” truth, without artifice.
One winter evening in Greece, as the sun just vanished into the sea and I was watching all the terrible news and horrors afflicting our planet on television, I was seized by an appalling premonition about the future of humanity that overwhelmed me. I immediately sat down at the piano and composed Prémonition, freeing me of what I hope was merely my imagination going wildly off course.
LE BEL AMOUR
It only happens in the movies… and yet… Le Bel Amour (Beautiful love) is inspired by the union of two people who already have entire lives behind them. Intoxication of unexpected happiness which celebrates a new beginning and the beauty that lies when one lets go and has faith in a happy destiny, despite years of experience where scepticism so often inhibit natural, childlike spontaneity.
With the famous Patras Carnival as a backdrop, we experience the delightful madness, the essential joy, frivolousness, and exaltation typical of such festivals. An endless loop of masquerades, confetti, streamers, spangles, fireworks, dancing, and music form a whirlpool of exuberance and ecstasy. It’s the heart beating the tempo of its happiness!
Texts by Johanne Martineau, based on Alain Lefèvre’s comments.