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ADAMS, BERNSTEIN, GLASS, MONK // This is America !

Vanessa Wagner, Wilhem Latchoumia,

The minimalist movement, which first appeared in the United States in the mid-1960s, was for a long time closely associated with the avant-garde, but over the years it has gained a much wider audience and established itself as a major milestone in contemporary music. Terry Riley, La Monte Young, Steve Reich and Philip Glass, all Americans, are regarded as its pioneers. While the minimalists have found an echo with wider audiences beyond that of classical music alone, their output has often been criticised by commentators who have judged their musical aims to be simplistic or superficial. A misunderstanding that Vanessa Wagner and Wilhem Latchoumia are keen to clear up.


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Both are adventurous pianists, whose mastery ranges from mainstream repertory to contemporary music. They have been performing as a duo for ten years, but still have the same insatiable appetite for exploration. This is the first time they have teamed up for a two-piano recording, out of the urge to feel connected to our times.

The repertory on this album reflects the artists: resolutely anchored in the present, since this need for contemporary music is a constant with them. Their rapport and their subtly nuanced energy exert an immediate appeal, with the result that their concerts attract an unusual and very varied audience.


Meredith Monk (b. 1942)


  • Ellis Island 3’02


Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)
Symphonic Dances from West Side Story (transcription: John Musto)


  • Prologue 4’18
  • Somewhere 4’29
  • Mambo 2’19
  • Cha-Cha 1’02
  • Meeting Scene 0’41
  • Cool 0’38
  • Fugue 3’02
  • Rumble 2’01
  • Finale 2’27


Philip Glass (b. 1937)
Four Movements for Two Pianos


  • Movement 1 6’21
  • Movement 2 4’49
  • Movement 3 6’19
  • Movement 4 5’30


John Adams (b. 1947)
Hallelujah Junction


  • Movement 1 6’43
  • Movement 2 2’52
  • Movement 3 5’58

Vanessa Wagner



Described by the daily newspaper Le Monde as ‘the most delightfully individual pianist of her generation’, Vanessa Wagner pursues a career in her own image, rigorous, original and committed, mixing classical recitals, contemporary creation, performance on historical instruments, and chamber music.

Over the past few years, she has instigated numerous transversal collaborations and creations, reaching out to electronic music, dance, video and poetry.

Ever since winning a Victoire de la Musique in 1999, she has performed all over the world, as soloist or with orchestra, at the leading festivals and as a regular guest of concert halls that are faithful to her year after year.

She is deeply committed to the music of her time, and is the dedicatee of several pieces by such composers as Pascal Dusapin, François Meïmoun, Amy Crankshaw and Alex Nante.

Vanessa Wagner’s extensive discography has received many distinctions from the specialised press, which acclaims her sober, eloquent playing, her intense sensibility and her richly expressive touch.

Her broad and constantly renewed repertory is the mirror of an ever-alert personality, patiently weaving bonds between worlds that are too often shut off from each other.

Since 2010 Vanessa Wagner has been director of the Festival de Chambord, where she devises an eclectic programme. She was appointed Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 2020.



Wilhem Latchoumia



Wilhem Latchoumia is a highly unusual kind of pianist, equally successful and charismatic in contemporary music and the mainstream repertory. The French musician is known for his skill in devising programmes that venture well off the beaten track and his ability to create an immediate and joyful rapport with audiences.

He pursues a brilliant career as a recitalist, concert soloist and chamber musician in France and on the international scene, where he appears in the most prestigious venues. He works with the leading French orchestras and with other international formations of the front rank. His taste for contemporary music has earned him the favour of such composers as Pierre Boulez, Gilbert Amy, Gérard Pesson, Philippe Hersant, Michael Jarrell, Jonathan Harvey, Pierre Jodlowski and Francesco Filidei.

Born in Lyon in 1974, Wilhem Latchoumia studied in the class of Eric Heidsieck and Géry Moutier at the Conservatoire National de Musique et de Danse of his native city, where he obtained his Premier Prix with congratulations by unanimous decision of the jury. He completed his training with Géry Moutier in the postgraduate class in Lyon, then became a student of Claude Helffer and attended masterclasses by Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen and Pierre-Laurent Aimard. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in musicology. Having received awards from the Hewlett-Packard Foundation (‘Musicians of Tomorrow’, 2004) and at the twelfth Montsalvatge International Contemporary Music Competition (Girona, Spain), he achieved dazzling success at the Orléans International Piano Competition in 2006, where he won the Premier Prix Mention Spéciale Blanche Selva and five other prizes.

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