Published in 2014, the Chrysalides for piano by Patrick Burgan (born in 1960) are the product of a commission by the Epinal International Piano Competition, which included the ten-minute piece in the programme of its March 2015 edition.
The initially somewhat enigmatic tagline of these Chrysalides, which translates as “imaginal variations for piano” is, in fact, an organistic metaphor, the chrysalid being the intermediary stage between the caterpillar and the butterfly’s final form, the imago.
Following the path of this metamorphosis, Burgan’s imaginal variations start with chaos (pre-birth) and undergo all the evolutionary stages, which gradually clarify the image of the theme – the imago, whose calm, appeased and completed form we only discover at the very end. The listener perceives an inversed theme and variations in terms of structure, but is also faced with the poetical evocation of a birth. Revealing the secrets of the metamorphosis through a musical language highly charged with sensuality, this piece is a celebration of life.