New album : Transcriptions and Paraphrases for piano

My first collaboration with refined French label La Dolce Volta.

How can one come to terms with being a pianist madly in love with Austro-German post-Romantic music, which forsook one’s instrument in favour of the orchestra?

Love shrinks from no sacrifice, least of all from countless hours of work. I have dedicated my life to serving Liszt, and his precepts have naturally stimulated me to appropriate a wide range of repertory by means of paraphrase and transcription. Such insatiable curiosity is one of Liszt’s most striking personality traits, and his torch has guided me along a path strewn with doubts and epiphanies.

So, in practice, how to render the effect of the cowbells in the Andante moderato of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony? By incorporating harmonies typical of a carillon: the timbre is different, but the sound of the bell is suggested. How to render the intimacy of the string scoring in Schönberg’s Verklärte Nacht? That is impossible to achieve, which is why I chose to distance myself from the original work for string sextet, conceiving this paraphrase as a ‘mirror’ of the Liszt Sonata: a single- movement work for piano that invokes the symbolism of metamorphosis and explores the depths of the human psyche. In my version of Mahler’s Adagietto, I pay humble tribute to the Klavierstücke of Brahms, adding a piano accompaniment to underpin the long string sostenutos, which are almost impossible to play on the piano.

Is transcription betrayal? I think not. To transcribe is to pay homage to the genius of a music whose essence does not change along with its form, and to reconnect with the universality of nineteenth-century thought. Music must continue to live, for as Mahler is supposed to have said: ‘Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire’!

From the booklet of JUGENDSTIL

A life shaped by music

1985, Valais, Switzerland: Beatrice Berrut, born in the Swiss Alps in the canton of Valais, spends most of her childhood with her sister conquering the hills and mountains of her home valley. The inspiration found in the marvellous landscape, the stoic Alpine giants carved ancient rock, and the fascination by nature itself accompany her to this day on her musical journeys.

Concerts & Events

The best way to experience music is live and in good company. Share these particular moments of emotion and visit Beatrice Berrut’s concerts in your area.

Beatrice Berrut

Date City Venue Country
26/03/23 Basel Stadtcasino CH
Time: 19:30.

De Falla, Nächte in spanischen Gärten. Neues Orchester Basel under Christian Knüsel.

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30/03/23 Aigle Château CH
Time: 20:00.

Piano recital.

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01/04/23 Porrentruy Piano à Porrentruy CH
Time: 14:00.

Piano recital.

From roots to stars

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In a world where nationalities, languages and identities mix, enrich and sometimes clash, a recognition granted by one’s place of birth raises several questions. Indeed, I am the happy recipient of the cultural award from my town of Monthey, in the canton of Valais. If the desire to leave seized me very early in my…

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Why the Liszt Sonata changed my life

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When you play the piano, you are told since childhood that Liszt is a dubious  figure: first seen as womanizer who writes music for pianists who love to show off, then as an abbot whose obscure and mystical end of life has given birth to works that are never performed. He is never considered as…

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A season with a baton, from Meiningen to Covent Garden

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It was in Berlin in 2007, and the audience in the Philharmonie, usually so well-behaved, applauded between the movements. It was simply impossible to keep to yourself the overwhelming emotions that Seiji Owaza and the Berliner Philharmoniker had unleashed in each of us. Their seventh Beethoven symphony had made us go from tears to ecstasy,…

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Lux Aeterna : programm suggestion

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Both Bach and Liszt are considered mystical composers. They were deeply religious and would spend much time in prayer, devoting their music to God. Even if the religion isn’t perceived the same way today, their relationship to something bigger than us all, and the door they open to this spiritual dimension is still actual and…

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