« Harmonie du Soir »

Duration : 17 minutes

« Harmonie du Soir » for twelve string instruments ( was commissioned by the Ministry of Culture for the Instrumental Ensemble of Grenoble.
The work premiered in Grenoble at the end of 1977. Stephane Cardon was the conductor.
The title, borrowed from Baudelaire, points out that this work speaks to the listeners’sensitivity.
The music, which is neither descriptive or imitative, aims at creating a special quality of silence.
The sounds in the evening reverberate differently, so that subtil motives seem more present and capture attention.
The tone colours and the contrasts (even tiny ones) play an important part, with a bias against instrumental effects, and towards refinement in a general climate of serenity.
This piece, the shape of which is free, offers a complex texture of several strata intermingling with each other. Several recurrent motives which seem to appear at random, punctuate the flow, like sounds in the country side or in the woods, cutting across each other.
In its depths, the piece complies with a breathing rhythm.
Perceived as a whole, the tension slowly rises towards a climax, developping an ascending curve (raising), broken by a kind of collapse (lowering).
Looking at the detail, the sounds are organized around two complementary movements, arsis and thesis.
All along the work, silence is part of composition.
In this unitary vision, « Harmonie du Soir » nevertherless divides into two parts : the first one unfolds around C# 5 which acts as a pivot ; then the pivot is displaced to Bb 5.
Right in the centre, the intimacy of a melody, confided to the viola, lies on a not tempered scale
This phrase, made iridescent by the tone colours around, in a restrained emotion imitates the modulations of a human voice, as if to deliver a message.

Unpublished score