Jean-Michel Dayez

Jean-Michel Dayez: K. Oelbrandt: Catharsis

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Artist: Jean-Michel Dayez
Title: K. Oelbrandt: Catharsis
Product Type: COMPACT DISCS

The piano cycle Catharsis is a musical meditation on "The Steps of Humility" from St. Benedict's Rule for Monks. Although Benedict wrote it as a guide for monastic life in the sixth century, the text continues to inspire for both laymen and monks to this day. In the text, the father of the monks explains how one can climb 12 steps to reach true humility. Many of the guidelines are difficult to accept, such as renouncing one's will and not laughing out loud. Yet many have testified that they contain a certain truth and that we can apply them to ourselves and to our relationships with others. The piano cycle was conceived as a meditation, or as an independent work that responds freely to the text. In some places the listener will feel a direct correlation between the text and music (No. IX, "To avoid speaking"), while in others there is contrast (No. II, "To renounce his own will"). The relationship between the text and music is an ongoing dialogue, or the result of the composer's creative will. The music was composed according to a strict theoretical idea that serves as a symbol for catharsis. Over the course of the movements, the number of tones employed gradually diminishes, from all twelve tones in the first movement to only one in the last. This recording - a symbiosis between the monastic world and contemporary music - was realized with the support of many, including the Cistercian Abbey of Maria Refuge in Zundert, Netherlands and it's Assembly of Superiors. I would like to warmly thank pianist Jean-Michel Dayez who immersed himself in such a remote world. My thanks also go out to Nicolas Deletaille and Luc Henrion, who both generously committed themselves to the production of this disc. Rule of Saint Benedict,chaptre 7: Of Humility (excerpts) 1 The first degree of humility, then, is that a man always have the fear of God before his eyes, shunning all forgetfulness, and that he be ever mindful of all that God has commanded, that he always considers in his mind how those who despise God will burn in hell for their sins, and that life everlasting is prepared for those who fear God. And while he guards himself evermore against sin and vices of thought, word, deed, and self-will, let him also hasten to cut off the desires of the flesh. Let a man consider that God always sees him from Heaven, that the eye of God beholds his works everywhere, and that the angels report them to Him every hour. 2 The second degree of humility is when a man loves not his own will, nor is pleased to fulfill his own desires, but, with his deeds, he carries the word of the Lord, which says: "I came not to do My own will but the will of Him that sent Me." Likewise it is said: "Self-will has it's punishment, but necessity wins the crown." 3 The third degree of humility is that a man subject himself, for the love of God, to the Superior in all obedience, imitating the Lord, of whom the Apostle says: "He became obedient unto death." 4 The fourth degree of humility is that, if hard and distasteful things are commanded, even though injuries are inflicted, he accept them with patience and even temper, and never grow weary or give up, but hold out. 5 The fifth degree of humility is, when one hides from his Abbot, no evil thoughts rise in his heart or evils committed by him in secret, but that he humbly confesses them. 6 The sixth degree of humility is, when a monk is content with the meanest and worst of everything, and in all that has enjoined him, holds himself as a bad and worthless workman, saying with the Prophet: "I am brought to nothing and I knew it not; I am become as a beast before Thee, and I am always with Thee." 7 The seventh degree of humility is when, not only with his tongue he declares, but also in his inmost soul believes, that he is the lowest and vilest of men, humbling himself and says with the Prophet: "But I am a worm and no man, the reproach of men and the outcast of the people." "I have been exalted and humbled and confounded." And also: "It is good for me that Thou hast humbled me, that I may learn Thy commandments." 8 The eighth degree of humility is when a monk does nothing but what is sanctioned by the common rule of the monastery and the example of his elders. 9 The ninth degree of humility is when a monk withholds his tongue from speaking, and while keeping silence, does not speak until he is asked; for the Scripture shows that "in a multitude of words there shall not want sin;" and that "a man full of tongue is not established in the earth." 10 The tenth degree of humility is when a monk is not easily moved and quick for laughter, for it is written: "The fool exalts his voice in laughter." 11 The eleventh degree of humility is, when a monk speaks, he is to speak gently and without laughter, humbly and with gravity, with few and sensible words, and that he be not loud of voice, as it is written: "The wise man is known by the fewness of his words." 12 The twelfth degree of humility is, when a monk is not only humble of heart, but also let's it appear in his whole exterior for all to see him; namely, in the Work of God, in the garden, on a journey, in the field, or wherever he may be, sitting, walking, or standing, let him always have his head bowed down, his eyes fixed on the ground, ever holding himself guilty of his sins, thinking that he is already standing before the dreaded judgment seat before God, and always saying to himself in his heart what the publican in the Gospel said, with his eyes fixed on the ground: "Lord, I am a sinner and not worthy to lift up my eyes to heaven," and again with the Prophet: "I am bowed down and humbled exceedingly." Kris Oelbrandt earned a Master's Degree in music theory from the Royal Conservatory of Brussels in 1996 and graduated in composition from the Queen Elisabeth College of Music in 2001. He has won several national and international composition prizes. He became a monk at the Cistercian Abbey of Maria Refuge in Zundert, Netherlands in 2002. In 2009, he earned a Bachelor's Degree in theology from the Catholic University of Leuven. His thesis reflects on the communicability of music, in particular the compositions of Olivier Messiaen. Jean-Michel Dayez was fortunate to study with Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden and Burkard Spinnler at the Queen Elisabeth College of Music, the Brussels National Conservatory, and the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris. He is a laureate of the Emmanuel Durlet International Piano Competition in Antwerp and of the Emile Bernheim foundation. Today he divides his time between playing solo and chamber music recitals (in particular with the Trio Leos) and teaching (at the Royal Conservatories of Mons and Lille). He has already made several recordings dedicated to the music of Beethoven, Fauré, and Vincent Paulet. De pianocyclus Catharsis op deze CD is een muzikale meditatie over hoofdstuk 7, "De trappen van nederigheid" van de 'Regel voor Monniken' van de H. Benedictus. Benedictus schreef zijn Regel in de 6de eeuw als leidraad voor het kloosterleven van zijn tijd, maar tot op de dag van vandaag is deze tekst bron en inspiratie voor velen, zowel leken als religieuzen. In het zevende hoofdstuk vertelt de monnikenvader hoe men via 12 'trappen' kan opklimmen tot ware nederigheid. Er is sprake van veel ongemakkelijke richtlijnen, zoals verzaken aan de eigen wil, niet graag en veel lachen, en dergelijke. Toch is het de ervaring van velen dat juist deze teksten een kern van waarheid bevatten die bevruchtend is voor zichzelf en de omgang met de naaste. Deze pianocyclus wil een bezinning zijn op deze tekst. Het is vrij gecomponeerde instrumentale muziek die een eigen verhaal vertelt als reactie op de tekst. Soms zal de luisteraar harmonie ervaren tussen tekst en muziek (bv IX"vermijden te spreken"), soms juist contrast (bv II "verzaken aan de eigen wil" ); een bewust gezochte dynamiek. De muziek is gecomponeerd volgens een consequent volgehouden muziektheoretisch conce

Tracks:
1.1 Oelbrandt Catharsis 01
1.2 Oelbrandt Catharsis 02
1.3 Oelbrandt Catharsis 03
1.4 Oelbrandt Catharsis 04
1.5 Oelbrandt Catharsis 05
1.6 Oelbrandt Catharsis 06
1.7 Oelbrandt Catharsis 07
1.8 Oelbrandt Catharsis 08
1.9 Oelbrandt Catharsis 09
1.10 Oelbrandt Catharsis 10
1.11 Oelbrandt Catharsis 11
1.12 Oelbrandt Catharsis 12

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