音楽をもっと身近なものにするために、ヴァイオリンを中心にさまざまな楽器編成で、演奏機会の少ない現代・近代の作品を取り上げて、室内楽コンサートを行っています。初めて聴く音楽に耳を澄ます楽しみを味わってください。
Programme Note
Mélodies arméniennes (4)
Armenia is an exceptional source for singers and instrumentalists specialised in classical repertoire. It is also a country where traditional music is particularly developed and expressive. The emblematic instrument of popular repertoire is the "doudouk", a double reed instrument like the oboe, but with a beguiling timbre closer to that of the cello. The transition from sound to breath, and the inflexions during the passage from one note to another (through micro-tonality) constitute singular elements of tone colour. Music for the doudouk can also be both rhythmical (part of the Armenian repertoire is based on using ostinati) and extremely lyrical.
When I started to write this flute piece for the ARD competition, I thought that it would be interesting to "alter" the western instrument, attempting, through the use of specific techniques, to give it an Armenian colour. Furthermore, I drew several musical ideas from the country's repertoire (notably inspired by the playing of the great virtuoso, Araïk Bartikian). These Quatre mélodies are not at all a transcription of Armenian pieces, because, for example, the language is not modal. They are however, a contemporary occidental interpretation of a traditional musical material of infinite richness.

D'une seule voix
The violin-cello duo has a mythical place in 20th century music, with some of the pieces devoted to it being absolute masterpieces (I'm thinking of Maurice Ravel's Sonata in particular). Yet, for a composer, writing for this pairing is no picnic since its purity (linked to the absence of resonating instruments and doublings, as well as the homogeneity of timbres) precludes any "fudging". The duo encourages what is evident, asceticism, especially on the harmonic level: the vertical thinking is subjected to the fact that it comes down to two monodic instruments.
As its title (With a Single Voice) indicates, this work is, in fact, a solo for two instruments: homorhythm prevails here, except in sequences suggesting drone processes inspired by Indian music: one of the instruments ensures a static framework, whereas the other acts either by its lyricism or in a more discontinuous, even bruitist, register. This music in or with "one voice" also attaches considerable importance to ornamentation: the use of quartertones refers to a highly orientalist conception of line, which, here, is never interrupted but becomes livelier during the relays between the two instruments.
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.
(translated by John Tyler Tuttle)

Früh
This short piece, which was composed at the request of its dedicatee Anne-Cécile Cuniot (who gave its first performance on 4 August 2001 in Cambridge), is a veritable study on the art of theatre. It is a summary of certain of my preferred musical procedures (such as brusque interruptions of a horizontal line, unstable dynamics, and fused scales), and uses different typical musical characteristics (breathy, violent sound in the high register, or an oriental-sounding micro-tonal melody) which, when they meet, can be in conflict, notably at the start of the work. Because it plays on not only the juxtaposition of contrasting episodes but also linear transformation procedures (something that I seldom do), the form of the piece is rooted in references to an identifiable repertoire. During this journey through the universe, the Middle East, French music, 1960s serial works and Asia are all evoked by the flute, an instrument that has occupied a dominant place in my recent output.
(Translation: Mary Criswick)

Happy B.
For a special concert at Carnegie Hall in 2005, the New York based Ensemble Sospeso decided to commission short chamber music pieces from several composers in homage to Pierre Boulez's 80th birthday. It was a particular challenge to give, in a miniature, simultaneous tribute to the conductor, founder of institutions (with which I have frequently collaborated), composer, and more generally, the man who, through his works and writings, truly embodies the music of our time.
My piece is not inspired by Pierre Boulez's music, but rather... by the song "Happy Birthday to You", which begins and ends my piece (even though register changes with regards to the original melody render the model difficult to perceive). Between these two sections, the discourse is always fluid, leaving ample space for a "flute-like" virtuosity that could evoke the Sonatine from 1946, or ...Explosante fixe... The discourse is never static, because the material is in perpetual motion, being submitted either to linear procedures (one continuous idea, in the first half of the work, disintegrates progressively), or to the logic of motif-based development. Happy B. is an enthusiastic piece, and most of all, a celebration of Boulez's extraordinary energy.

Bruno Mantovani
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