Patrick Burgan : Songe à la douceur…, for solo cello
The composer Patrick Burgan and the giant of French music Henri Dutilleux formed real elective affinities with each other. Dutilleux never missed an opportunity to mention the high esteem in which he held the younger musician’s work.
Dedicated to the memory of Henri Dutilleux, this piece takes its title from the 2nd verse of L’Invitation au Voyage, from the Fleurs du mal by Baudelaire – a poet who was a constant source of inspiration for Dutilleux. Burgan invites listeners to explore the musical universe of the French master: the numerous quotations of his work, duly flagged in the score, form a superb constellation that stretches from the Mystère de l’Instant to the Deuxième Symphonie via the quartet Ainsi la nuit, Métaboles and the concerto for cello Tout un monde lointain. Reflecting L’Invitation au Voyage, the composer follows the principle of verse and refrain, and the hypnotic return of the soft chords in pizzicato echoes the famous lines: “Là, tout n’est qu’ordre et beauté, / Luxe, calme et volupté”. This tribute, in the form of a delicate alchemy, combines sparkle, sweetness and spirit.
French text: Bertrand Vacher
English translation: Anne Appathurai