« Echos dans la vallée»

« Echoes in the valley »

for violin, clarinet and piano


In two movements: 1) recitativo poco rubato / 2) sostenuto moderato
Date of composition: 1995 and 2011
Duration: about 7 mn 30
Creation: New Delhi in November 1995 by the Verdehr Trio (Echoes in the Valley)
New version (Echos dans la vallée) created on November 29, 2012, at Auditorium of the” CRR de Paris”, in the current of a concert honoring Jean Rivier, by Yaoré Talibart, violin, Lazarus Akili, clarinet, Laura Akili, piano.

In 1995, I wrote "Echoes in the Valley" for the Verdher  Trio, University of Michigan (USA). But this piece led me to a severe self criticism. So I felt that it was only a first draft.  And I rewrote the entire work. In fact I have not maintained many elements from the first version, except most of the recitative, which however was revised and reorganized.

Notes on the instruments:
Unlike some chamber music ensembles that combine instruments of the same family, we have here a great disparity between a wind instrument, a bowed string instrument, both of high register, and a piano which alone holds the low-register potential.
On the other hand, the dynamic possibilities of a violin are not the same as those of a clarinet, so that it is necessary when creating the textures to be aware of making them coexist in an effective and interesting way.
Indeed, in a classical orchestra with two clarinets, one generally will count ten first violins or more.

The first movement, poco rubato recitative, gives pride to the clarinet, which unfolds its recitative-like part. It is a comment on the resonant notes played by the piano. The melodic contours, like recitatives in the classical opera, are inspired by the tones that could have an actor reciting a monologue text.
The violin, muted, does not occur until the middle of the movement. It emits long notes and participates in the resonant appearance that characterizes the whole movement.

In the second movement, sostenuto moderato, the style is more incantatory. The three instruments come together in a common discourse, and reply to each other during several “cantabile” episodes.
Contrasting sections will exploit a variety of registers and different types of textures.

Edith Lejet