07/20/2016 - Paris, National Archives, Festival Jeunes Talents - Marie-Laure Garnier (soprano), Anna Besson (flute), Augustin Gorisse (English horn), Louise Lapierre (bassoon), Guillaume Sigier (piano)
Young Talents Festival 2016
Texts by Charles Baudelaire (in Les Fleurs du mal)
At a time when many and yet so diverse musical aesthetics abound, no direction really seems to prevail. If we associate the 20th century with a period of ideological upheavals, we also associate it with phenomena of ruptures. However, Henri Dutilleux, crosses this century with great serenity. Without ever deviating from the unique path he traces for himself, he connects compositions that are both sublime and personal ...
His poetic universes - which I feel very close to - are constantly being renewed: nocturnal (Starry Night, Thus Night, the Tree of Dreams ...), rituals (Incantatory and Obsessive in his Metaboles), or his work on the light (his magnificent Shadows of Time). His colourist conception of harmony and freedom with him, his abundant orchestra, these vibrant layers, this so rich work on timbre and space or even this intense but always contained lyricism, participate in the development of 'a deeply personal and meaningful language that runs through the entirety of his work.
Dutilleux's real lesson for young composers is - like Debussy before him, or Thierry Escaich today - singularity. What literally fascinates me about Henri Dutilleux is the way he appropriates a strong musical heritage, both through his sensitivity and through meticulous craftsmanship. And if Dutilleux is a singular composer, it is a timeless singularity.
Paying tribute to him is both an honor and an immense pleasure, but also an opportunity to pay tribute to the path he opened up and to the example he represents for us today - a tribute that I am delighted with to share with four other composers.
It is quite naturally that I turned to the literature of Charles Baudelaire, corresponding both to my universe and to that of Henri Dutilleux.
My sonnets are written for quintet (soprano, alto flute, English horn, bassoon and piano). The instrumental formation imposing the family of woods directed me towards nature with La Géante. La Cloche fêlée inspired me with its meaning and The Living Torch by its incantatory character.
The sonnets express different visions: the first rather fantastic - that of a magnificent giant in Nature; the second mystical and processional; and finally, the interior "spleen" through the metaphor of a chipped bell. However, I designed them in the same way: all three thus work on the phenomenon of vibrating and heady sound layers. This gives the whole its hypnotic side, an intense sensation that I find when reading Baudelairean sonnets, as when reading Dutilleux's music.
Camille Pépin (May 2016)