Gaston Compère

I met Gaston Compère while working on the soundtrack of a film about him “Polders”for ARTE. I was recording a suite composed by him with the same title. Since I had only been studying French for 4 years than I had not read much contemporary French literature and I didn’t realise how important a figure he was in Belgian literature. So I was able to strike up a very natural friendship with a fantastic person. Though he was already seriously ill at the time, he was still bursting with creative energy and youthfulness of spirit. He was a real renaissance man. Though he had achieved success as a poet and writer, he was also an excellent artist and composer. He always made a point of saying that music was for him the purest and most perfect form of art. My repertoire includes his suites for piano”Polders”, “Pour Maya” and “Circonstancielles”, the last of which he dedicates to me. I perform” Les saisons mélangées” and his suite “Olenka” in a duet with the saxophonist Cezariusz Gadzina. Gaston used to compose like Beethoven without the aid of any instrument, let alone a computer. His music is characterised by its extreme sensitivity to colour and the drama of its forms.