«Secret d’un paysage»
Concerto for violin
Composer: Edith Lejet
Dedicatee : Hae-Sun Kang
Composition in 2012 – 2013
Duration : 12 mn
Commissioned by the French Ministry of Culture (2013)
Creation : Tokyo, Tsuda Hall, octobre 26, 2013, Hiroaki Takaha conductor, création at a show focusing on Marguerite Yourcenar's Nouvelles orientales
This work of a dozen minutes, commissioned by Laurent Teycheney for Ensemble Muromachi Tokyo was composed for the violinist Hae-Sun Kang with an instrumental environment made up of 17 musicians, some playing baroque European instruments, the others traditional Japanese instruments [shinobue, traverso, shakuhachi, oboe, bassoon, percussion (2 stands), biwa, koto, harpsichord, two violins, two violas da gamba, two cellos, bass].
These 17 instruments were chosen from the resources of the Muromachi Ensemble, created in Tokyo in 2007 by the French harpsichordist Laurent Teycheney.
They are organized into four groups: wood, percussion, plucked strings and bowed strings.
In fact there are only four traditional Japanese instruments: the shinobue, shakuhachi, koto and the biwa. the main purpose was to have within each group a rich, substantial and balanced palette of sound colors in all registers, from low to high. The solo violin is the only modern instrument. It has a broader sound than the baroque violins which give it its cue. It develops an expressive and melodic part, the style of which is often incantatory.
About the title
The contemplation of nature is an act full of mystery, isn’t it? A landscape can be considered immutable if it refers to "human time" (cf Messiaen). It is characterized by shapes, colors and contrasts. But if we can see it, it is thanks to the light, which, constantly changing, modifies the perception. Sometimes it is also subject to the violence of the elements, which can temporarily distort its forms. So what is the truth? Perhaps the painter Wang, whose story is related by Marguerite Yourcenar, was able to discover the secret of a landscape!
About the form
From the first measures, different sounds repeat and join each other, different gestures give birth to motives that emerge gradually, creating their identity and becoming recognizable, either by their contours or by their rhythmic pace. These elements can be recognized all through the work although constantly mutating : they provide a structure.
In a dream-like logic, these patterns come and go in an apparently unpredictable and capricious way, while generating new patterns which in turn reproduce, fit into memory and progress identically.
The work comes out from a low-pitch and resonant note played by plucked strings, and ends in the highest register of the solo violin with an extinguishing tone. It develops several sections indicated by the metronomic movement: Quarter note = 56, then "piu mosso" to 63, then to 69, before returning to 56 for the final episode. However it is not a highly pulsed music. Within these sections, we note sequences. In general an upward musical gesture is a signal to transition to the next sequence.
The work is gradually evolving towards a climax. From this culmination the tension gets down fairly quickly, and gives way to a peaceful conclusion, leading to a long high-pitch B b, which recalls the insisting Bb heard in variable register at the beginning of the solo violin’s part.