Instrumentation : 3[Pic.2.3].3[1/CA.2.3].3.3[1.2.3/CBn] - 18.104.22.168 - 1.3.1.[Cel] /string quintet
Composition : 2019
Commission : Musique Nouvelle en Liberté for the Grand Prix Compositeur des Lycéens
Duration : 10 mn
First performance : April 4 2019, Orchestre National de France, cond. Marin Alsop
Publisher : Gérard Billaudot (full score and orchestral parts for rent)
Time, in this piece for large orchestra, is a character in its own right. Present from the beginning to the end of the work, time takes the form of a tick-tock (tic-tac) and circulates between all the instruments. After a brief and energetic introduction, the ticking appears for the first time on the percussion, more precisely on the temple blocks. This sound motif is constantly developed in the orchestration and surrounds itself with circular musical elements (circular melodies, harmonic balancing, symmetrical modes, etc.), so that the listener feels immersed in the heart of time. Dark, mischievous, ill-tempered, heroic ... the tick-tock takes on different characters and gradually appears as a blade that wounds, leaves scars, that never ceases. At the center of the work, this outburst fades and gives way to brighter lighting: successive solos on celestial sounds entrusted to the clarinet, oboe, flute, and english horn. The piece culminates in a finale of strident and relentless chords that evoke the twenty-four-hour cycle. Time struggles in vain against its collapse before sinking into nothingness.