Pestova/Meyer Piano Duo

As a tribute to one of the most important musical innovators of the Twentieth Century, the Pestova/Meyer piano duo present Karlheinz Stockhausen's rarely performed masterpiece MANTRA (1970) for two pianists and live electronics.

This project is made possible with funding from the Luxembourg Ministry of Culture and the Creative New Zealand Arts Council, and was featured at the Philharmonie Luxembourg, Festival Archipel Geneva (Switzerland), Live@CIRMMT concert series in Montreal (Canada), Festival Musikhost (Denmark), Voix Nouvelles in Royaumont (France), Ireland and New Zealand.

MANTRA is an exciting and highly virtuosic work that calls for an unconventional approach to piano playing. The pianists are required to play antique cymbals and woodblocks, as well as use their voices. The two grand pianos are processed electronically in real-time to create two "super-instruments" with scintillating and beautiful sonorities that approach the exotic sound worlds of the prepared piano of John Cage, high-energy electric guitar distortion, and mysterious Morse-code radio signals.

Our approach to this piece is original due to the fact that we are using digital technology for the electronic processing, resulting in a contemporary reinterpretation of a classic piece on the verge of technological obsolescence with a simple set-up and superior sound quality.

Selected Press

_This is a highly accomplished presentation of one of the landmark pieces in the second half of the 20th century.
Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 2 September 2010

_ is highly colourful (electronics make the music often seem to come from underwater), theatrical, humorous ... and wise. Captivating.
Paul Driver, The Sunday Times, 26 September 2010

_Magnifiques de clarté et d'intelligence, Pascal Meyer et Xenia Pestova entremêlent leurs touchers et leurs tempéraments avec une rare cohésion. (Magnificently clear and intelligent, Pascal Meyer and Xenia Pestova blend their touch and temperaments with a rare cohesion.)
Jonas Pulver, Le Temps, April 2008

_Brillant hommage à Stockhausen: Les pianistes Pascal Meyer et Xenia Pestova créent un MANTRA dynamique... (Brilliant tribute to Stockhausen: The pianists Pascal Meyer and Xenia Pestova create a dynamic MANTRA)
Isabelle Trüb, Luxemburger Wort, 26 January 2008

_Äußerst sensibel und dennoch deutlich... (Extremely sensitive, yet clear...)
Martin Möller, Triersche Volksfreund, 28 January 2008

_ ...Stockhausen wäre stolz gewesen. (...Stockhausen would have been proud.)
Alain Steffen, Tageblatt, 28 January 2008

More information

_Thank you to the people that supported our CD production!
_Visit the Music and Press pages for more information
_Download the MANTRA concert proposal file with technical requirements
_Download the article on our digitization process (in Proceedings, ICMC 2008)
_Build your own MANTRA controllers and interface
_Download the drivers for the interface
_Download the performance patch package in Max/MSP

Bars 109-120

Bars 422-434

Bars 578-637

Bars 687-854

Download the album at NAXOS