Bridging Europe – News from France
About the program
In 2016 the Bridging Europe festival is bringing France into the spotlight. After having performed significant compositions from the French baroque and the earlier 20th century, this Festival Orchestra concert will feature pieces that are more contemporary, coming as they do from the last third of the 20th century.
Rather than pitch, duration or volume, spectral music is based on the acoustic properties of sound. Gérard Grisey, who passed away in 1998, was one of the pioneers of spectral music. “I see sounds as beams of force oriented in time, infinitely mobile and fluctuating,” he wrote of his piece Modulations, which he composed in 1976-77 for instrumental ensemble and electronics.
Henri Dutilleux composed his Mystere de l’instant (The Mystery of the Moment) for cimbalom, strings, and percussion in 1989, on Paul Sacher’s commission. The ninth of the ten short movements is a fantasy that uses the letters of Sacher’s name as musical notes. The thematically unrelated movements are played without a pause.
Georges Aperghis was born in Greece, but moved to Paris in 1963 at the age of 18. He composed Le Reste du temps (The Time Left) for cello, cimbalom and orchestra, out of respect for Haydn.
Grisey’s composition Partiels (Partials), written in 1975, also carries flavours of spectral music. The work is based on electronic analysis of a trombone note. The composer used the spectrum of this sound to shape the orchestral tone of the piece. According to several composers of the younger generation, Partiels was a milestone in the shaping of their interest in music.
This programme is part of the Bridging Europe festival.