Analysis / Thoughts

Collection de petites pièces, ou 36 enfilades pour Piano et Magnétophone  (1984—1985)

Collection of small pieces or 36 rows for Piano and Tape recorder

Originally, i.e. in 1984, Collection was conceived like a kind of music theatre.

The protagonist solo was a pianist who wondered about the music.

Thus the pianist spoke. He spoke about this Collection of small pieces, and he also played the tape recorder. Since the things changed, I was not interested any more in the same way in the music theatre and the tape recorders almost disappeared. But I kept all the same the title or 36 rows for piano and tape recorder.

And I kept this title in the most shameless way the more as the theatrical version carried off with it the piece n° 30 what makes 36 – 1 = 35. But I held with the original title with his number 36.


With regard to the theatrical version and to show that I was right well to remove it, I am going to give here some extracts of them.


.. Moreover the archives in which I found these notes speak about the “new pianists”. Here is history:

I discovered in the public library of a small village of Lozère, a manuscript made up of musical pages, notes and explanations, drafts also, whose unit constitutes seems a whole, with a rather logical course.

This “score” is made by pieces often accompanied by texts intended to be read during the execution. Although neither dated nor signed, the pieces are numbered and the unit carries the following title: : Collection of small pieces, or 36 rows for Piano and Tape recorder.

Specialists helped me in my rewriting and research task also.

Finally we decided to sign the composition, in order to take it out of its anonymity; and we invented the name of Luc Ferrari.


It is like this, that perhaps a little naively I wrote at the time. At that time I wrote as well less naive texts that I kept…

Further one finds:

It is thus a collection of small very short pieces. They are made up starting from 6 themes (…) there are also quotations, homages and ideas which do not have anything to do and which however seem to belong to the same suite…


It is true, and if we want to sin one moment through a concern of analysis, I am not afraid of saying that the piece N ° 7 is a row of 6 subjects.


Here titles:

N° 1 Theme and variation 1   (piano + tape)

N° 2 Complex object  (piano solo)

N° 3 Recollection Recollection  (piano solo)

N° 4 Landscape  (tape solo)

N° 5 interrupted ritornello  (piano solo)

N° 6 Simplissimo  (piano + tape)

N° 7 The 6 themes  (tape solo)

N° 8 Simplissimo-Arpeggio  (piano + tape)

N° 9 Simple Object  (piano solo)

N° 10 Story of A  (tape solo)

N° 11 Dance 1  (piano solo)

N° 12 Theme and variation 2  (piano + tape)

N° 13 It is the Waltz  (piano + tape)

N° 14 Zarathoustra  (piano + tape)

N° 15 Dodécasonic  (piano + tape)

N° 16 Theme and variation 3  (piano + tape)

N° 17 Dance 2  (piano solo)

N° 18 Tenderly  (piano + tape)

N° 19 The voice is an enigma  (piano solo)

N° 20 Dance 3  (piano + tape)

N° 21 Homage to Schumann 1  (piano solo)

N° 22 Theme and variation 3  (piano + tape)

N° 23 Polyphony-Rhythm  (piano + tape)

N° 24 I listen to the radio  (piano solo)

N° 25 Marsh mallow  (piano + tape)

N° 26 Theme and variation 4  (piano + tape)

N° 27 Homage to Schumann 2  (piano solo)

N° 28 That slips that slips  (piano + tape)

N° 29 Polyphony-Arpeggio  (piano + tape)

N° 30 existed in the first version known as theatrical, but does not have its place here any more

N° 31 Campanella by Liszt  (piano + tape)

N° 32 Last variation  (piano + tape)

N° 33 Melody-Rhythm  (piano + tape)

N° 34 Brahms or life  (piano solo)

N° 35 Telephone  (tape solo)

N° 36 Finale, furious and sad  (piano + tape)