Bruno Mantovani


Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo © 2020

Audio samples

  • Symphonie n°1 - L'Idée fixe
  • ../audio/29174.mp3
  • Abstract
  • ../audio/29328.mp3
  • Orchestre Philharmonique
    de Monte-Carlo
  • Marc Coppey (cello)
  • Pascal Rophé (conductor)

  1. Symphonie n°1 - L'Idée fixe
    for orchestra
  2. Abstract
    ballet for cello and orchestra

In his orchestral compositions (numbering over twenty), the French composer had already explored numerous expressive possibilities before tackling the symphonic genre. With his Symphony no.1 (of 2015) subtitled l'idée fixe  a reference to the idée fixe of Berlioz's Fantastic Symphony  he examines a time-honored compositional procedure (that of the return of a melody), thus revealing all its modernity. In Abstract (2017), he returns to writing for soloist, which he so enjoys, pitting the cello (Marc Coppey) against a full orchestra.


Naïve © 2015

Audio samples

  • 5 Poèmes de Janos Pilinsky
  • ../audio/28180.mp3
  • Vier Geistliche Gedichte
  • ../audio/28481.mp3
  • Monde évanoui (Fragments pour Babylone)
  • ../audio/28645.mp3
  • Cantate n°4
  • ../audio/29185.mp3
  • Accentus
  • Sonia Wieder-Atherton (cello)
  • Pascal Contet (accordion)
  • Laurence Equilbey (conductor)
  • Pieter-Jelle de Boer (conductor)


  1. 5 Poèmes de Janos Pilinsky
    for chamber chorus
  2. Vier Geistliche Gedichte
    for chamber chorus
  3. Monde évanoui (Fragments pour Babylone)
    for chorus
  4. Cantate n°4
    for cello, accordion and chorus

In 2005, with the world première of 5 poèmes de János Pilinszky, we met Bruno Mantovani for the first time. After this first commission, three other works came to day through our collaboration: each of these works marks singularly our interpret/creator relationship. Ten years passed this way, and to celebrate this beautiful artistic collaboration we wanted to have the four pieces on this same album. They represent for us the main part of the choir works of this great contemporary composer.

Laurence Equilbey


Mirare © 2013

Audio samples

  • 8 moments musicaux
  • ../audio/28607.mp3
  • 5 pièces pour Paul Klee
  • ../audio/28534.mp3
  • Suonare
  • ../audio/28414.mp3
  • All' ungarese
  • ../audio/28757.mp3
  • Claire Désert (piano)
  • Trio Wanderer

Bruno Mantovani

  1. 8 moments musicaux
    for violin, cello and piano
  2. 5 pièces pour Paul Klee
    for cello and piano
  3. Suonare
    for piano
  4. D'une seule voix
    for violin and cello
  5. All' ungarese
    for violin and piano

The Internationally known French composer Bruno Mantovani regularly draws his inspiration from musical works of the past, from which he fashions thoroughly modern objects. This CD presents five pieces for strings and piano, some of which refer to Franz Schubert, Béla Bartók, Maurice Ravel, or the most musicianly of all painters, Paul Klee. These richly inventive works are in no sense pastiches or variations, but genuinely contemporary interpretations of masterpieces of musical history.

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æon © 2011

Audio samples

  • Concerto for two violas and orchestra
  • ../audio/28703.mp3
  • Time Stretch (on Gesualdo)
  • ../audio/28389.mp3
  • Finale
  • ../audio/28536.mp3
  • Tabea Zimmermann (viola)
  • Antoine Tamestit (viola)
  • Liège Royal Philharmonic
  • Pascal Rophé (conductor)

Time Stretch

  1. Concerto
    for two violas and orchestra
  2. Time Stretch (on Gesualdo)
    for orchestra
  3. Finale
    for orchestra

A very obvious musical unites the three pieces of this recording. The most notable aspect is doubtless the evolution of my concertante writing and the relationship to the soloist within the orchestra, even in works that are not a priori concertante: thus, Finale brings the solo flute to the fore, and Time Stretch, the clarinet.

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Harmonia Mundi © 2009

Audio sample

  • Concerto pour violoncelle et orchestre
  • ../audio/28125.mp3
  • Jean-Guihen Queyras (cello)
  • Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Saarbrücken
  • Günther Herbig (conductor)
  • Orchestre Philharmonique
    de Radio-France
  • Alexander Brieger (conductor)
  • Orchestre de Paris
  • Gilbert Amy (conductor)

Cello Concertos

  1. Concerto (Bruno Mantovani)
    for cello and orchestra
  2. The eyes of the wind (Philippe Schoeller)
    for cello and orchestra
  3. Concerto (Gilbert Amy)
    for cello and orchestra

Three composers, three masterworks of our time performed by three orchestras - and a central element, the moving spirit behind this fine project devoted to the concertante cello : Jean-Guihen Queyras, voted "Artist of the Year 2008" in Diapason. Three sometimes very different, yet at the same time highly complementary ways of conceiving the concerto in the 21st century.

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Kairos © 2008

Audio samples

  • Le Sette Chiese
  • ../audio/27763.mp3
  • Streets
  • ../audio/28413.mp3
  • Eclair de Lune
  • ../audio/28479.mp3
  • Ensemble intercomtemporain
  • Ircam
  • Susanna Mälkki (conductor)

Le Sette Chiese

  1. Le Sette Chiese
    for ensemble
  2. Streets
    for ensemble
  3. Eclair de Lune
    for 3 ensembles and electronics

Let us open wide the doors of the hothouse so that wind, rain and snow rush in. Maurice Maeterlinck's image ideally fits Bruno Mantovani as well as the first impression one has of him. That impression is one of youthfulness and freshness, of an unexpected and at the same time encouraging simplicity and health in a world in which these characteristics are atypical not to say suspect...

Christophe Ghristi

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Actes Sud / Musicatreize © 2008

Audio sample

  • L'enterrement de Mozart
  • ../audio/28649.mp3
  • Ensemble Musicatreize
  • Roland Hayrabedian (conductor)

L'enterrement de Mozart

  1. L'enterrement de Mozart
    for 5 voices and ensemble

This is the misadventure of a man who, in a shop window, in rue de Lille in Paris, sees the engraving of his dreams. The burial of Mozart: entering the shop, he is forced to listen to the digression of the old man who owns the picture and exhibits it in order to attract strangers to whom he can recount the disappearance of Aristide, a philosophical dog who has kept him company for a long time. In experiencing this misadventure, I like the way false artifices are mixed with the plausible. Mozart did not have a burial, he was thrown into a common grave. The engraving is known under the title "The funeral procession of the poor", and it is Beethoven who named it "The burial of Mozart". As for Aristide, the philosophical pooch, he is obviously inspired by the memory of Medji, Sophie's dog, in the Diary of a Madman by Gogol which I once staged. I saw a metaphor of our time where, through images and clamour, multiple impostures and injunctions invade of our imagination. And I thought of writing a radio play when a revue asked me for a short story for a collective book. I turned The Burial of Mozart into a baroque tale. And I returned to this tale when Bruno Mantovani and Roland Hayrabedian of Musicatreize asked me whether I could suggest an idea to them. I listened to Bruno's music at length where human voices mingle mischievously with those of the instruments, and I had the impression of feeling the fabric which would clothe the words that I would lay out in a new text. I thus rewrote the baroque tale by metamorphosing it into a multiple dialogue, syncopated, sometimes even farcical, which Bruno Mantovani could use as sequences or sonorous syntagms in an acrobatic play of voices and instruments.

Hubert Nyssen

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Stradivarius © 2008

Audio sample

  • Un mois d'octobre
  • ../audio/27492.mp3
  • Pascal Gallois (bassoon)
  • Rohan de Saram (cello)
  • Dimitri Vassilakis (piano)
  • Deutsches Symphonieorchester
  • Brad Lubman (conductor)

Pascal Gallois #3

  1. In Nacht und Eis (Olga Neuwirth)
    for bassoon, cello with ring modulation effect
  2. The Voice (Daï Fujikura)
    for bassoon and cello
  3. Un mois d'octobre (Bruno Mantovani)
    for bassoon and piano
  4. Zefiro aleggia... nell' infinito... (Olga Neuwirth)
    for bassoon and orchestra
  5. Torsion (Olga Neuwirth)
    for bassoon and cd

Bruno Mantovani is certainely one of the most talented composers of his generation in France. His composition is very assured, and he knowns with great certitude what he wants from the instrumentalist. His work is very lively, rapid and precise, and that comes from is training as a percussionist. His music is very difficult to interpret, and requires a very thorough preparation on the part of the instrumentalist. But what is most beautiful in his work is the poetic tension that it releases and its emotional depth. I might add that the association of a wind instrument with the piano is one of the most difficult challenges in chamber music. What bruno Mantovani has created for bassoon and piano here is a very great work and this is one of the most beautiful pieces in our repertoire.

Pascal Gallois

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Solstice © 2008

Audio sample

  • D'une seule voix
  • ../audio/28532.mp3
  • Diego Tosi (violin)
  • Thimothé Tosi (cello)
  • Jay Gottlieb (piano)

Hommage à Scelsi

  1. Sonate (Giacinto Scelsi)
    for violin and piano
  2. Divertimento n°4 (Giacinto Scelsi)
    for violin
  3. Duo (Giacinto Scelsi)
    for violin and cello
  4. Xnoybis (Giacinto Scelsi)
    for violin
  5. D'une seule voix (Bruno Mantovani)
    for violin and cello

While composing the work, I constantly had in mind that this duo would be premiered in the middle of a programme centred on works by Giacinto Scelsi. The reference to indian music and the ethereal sequences, along with micro-tonality are so many tributes paid to this composer, outstanding for his independence and radical nature.

Bruno Mantovani

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Sismal records © 2006

Audio samples

  • Art d'écho
  • ../audio/27080.mp3
  • Da Roma
  • ../audio/28201.mp3
  • Blue girl with red wagon
  • ../audio/28271.mp3
  • Little Italy
  • ../audio/28366.mp3
  • L'Itinéraire
  • Trio Modulations
  • Odile Auboin (viola)
  • Mark Foster (conductor)

Art d'Echo

  1. Art d'écho
    for orchestra
  2. Da Roma
    for clarinet, viola and piano
  3. Blue girl with red wagon
    for string quartet and piano
  4. Little Italy
    for viola
  5. L'ère de rien
    for flute, clarinet and piano

For a composer, ever since, the stay at the French Academy in Rome remains a point of prestigious passage. I particularly endeavour to give a vast place to contemporary music, in particular to artists/composers residing at Villa Medici.
According to this spirit, I have wished to renew a collaboration engaged several years ago with Radio France in order to give birth to a new collection that will make possible to present every year a selection of works of a composer after his stay at Villa Medici. The pieces are interpreted by the musicians of the Ensemble Itineraire and recorded under the ideal conditions of the location of Radio France.
I am particularly proud to begin this project with a new selection of pieces by Bruno Mantovani, whose inventive and lavish talent has leaved a marvellous memory in all his friends at Villa Medici.(...)

Richard Peduzzi
Director of the French Academy in Rome

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æon © 2003

Audio samples

  • Troisième Round
  • ../audio/27493.mp3
  • La Morte Meditata
  • ../audio/27134.mp3
  • Turbulences
  • ../audio/27383.mp3
  • Ensemble TM+
  • Vincent David (saxophone)
  • Sylvia Marini-Vadimova (mezzo)
  • Laurent Cuniot (conductor)

Troisième Round

  1. Troisième Round
    for saxophone and ensemble
  2. La Morte Meditata
    for mezzo and ensemble
  3. Turbulences
    for ensemble

Any music lover with half an eye open knows the name of Bruno Mantovani. He is recognised as a composer of exceptional talent. And indeed, few of his colleagues can boast, at his young age (his thirtieth birthday is not until 2004), of an output performed by celebrated soloists as well as the finest ensembles in contemporary music, surely no coincidence.

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æon © 2002

Audio samples

  • Jazz Connotation
  • ../audio/27079.mp3
  • Les Danses interrompues
  • ../audio/27384.mp3
  • D'un rêve parti
  • ../audio/27265.mp3
  • Bug
  • ../audio/27077.mp3
  • Ensemble Alternance
  • Bruno Mantovani (conductor)

D'un rêve parti

  1. Jazz Connotation
    for piano
  2. Les Danses interrompues
    for ensemble
  3. D'un rêve parti
    for ensemble
  4. Bug
    for clarinet
  5. Appel d'air
    for flute and piano
  6. Früh
    for flute

Despite his mere 27 years, Bruno Mantovani is anything but a young composer. He misses nothing of today's reality, and he has a surprising ability to seize everything that typifies it. Jazz, current trends, electroacoustic techniques and the latest research into spectral harmony are just some of the idioms that he has completely absorbed into his skills.

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© Bruno Mantovani