In writing these études, it was not my intention to make a pastiche. On contrary, I spontaneously created a romantic language, while at the same time discovering emotions that had been profoundly sleeping in me. These six études form a cycle. They revolve around the key of e minor and are all related to each other through recognizable phrases.
I Hurlevent is obviously an homage to Emily Brontë’s novel, Wuthering Heights. The torments of the soul mirror the wrath of nature. (Timing 03:00)
II Donc ce sera par un clair jour d’été (So, it will be on a clear summer day) is reminiscent of the 7th melody of the song cycle, La Bonne Chanson (The Good Song) by Gabriel Fauré, on poems of Paul Verlaine. Happiness, candor, hope. (Timing 02:50)
III Tragi-comédie This étude is clearly divided in two sections of equal length, the first, declamatory and sombre, the second ironically joyful. (Timing 02:45)
IV Nocturne This short meditation expresses a secret, ardent and melancholic spirit. (Timing 02:30)
V La plage de Granville (The beach at Granville), a painting by Eugene Isabey (1804-1886) represents a group of women swimming during the Second Empire. But the sea is rough and the wind so violent that the innocent moments of relaxation turn into an hysterical uproar. (Timing 02:00)
VI Postlude This étude describes a sunset on the seemingly never ending sea. The incessant movement of the waves, the melancholy of the hour and finally, the cries of sea gulls should ideally suggest instrumental colours, combinations of timbres — in a simple word, an orchestra. (Timing 03:40)