5 pieces for large orchestra (Séléné, Mars, Mercure, Jupiter, Vénus)
4444/4431/Tim, perc (3), p-cel, harp/Strings
Duration : 10’
Commission of Radio-France for the broadcast « Alla Breve ».
Recorded on march 18th and 19th 2003 by the Orchestre National de France directed by Pascal Rophé.
First performance on june 10th 2008 at Pleyel Hall in Paris by Orchestra Colonne directed by Laurent Petitgirard
Radio France commissioned the five Sphere pieces which were first performed on the France Musique radio wavelength – one for each five days of the week. The work is based directly on the theme of the context of its birth : Selene (the moon) was born on a Monday, Mars on a Tuesday etc. until Venus – born on a Friday.
The evocation of these names, first brings back our mythological memories and in fact these pieces are, in part, inspired by the personalities of the gods of Mount Olympus : Venus with a sensual gracefulness ; Jupiter fixed in the role of overwhelming universal dominance ; Mercury – fleeting and volatile ; Mars – symbol of war but also of Spring, renewal, and above all else, an unstoppable, compelling force ; last of all, the moon which when it appears round and white – the full moon is one of the facets of Diana – its name is Selene. We feel their alluring power through the sequence of waves in the musical interpretation, where the last one becomes a surging tide, as though a part of the ocean is raised by this predatory satellite.
It is indeed the celestial bodies which have inspired the greatest part of the musical ideas (Jupiter’s indifference isn’t only Epicurean : it can also be explained by his essentially vaporous constitution.)
The acoustic period, source of the sound’s frequency and length, is the driving force of this music ; the progression, an unfolding of harmonious and rhythmical spirals. This twelve minute orchestral piece pays tribute to the countless spheres which swirl across the universe in a fascinating dance, a cosmic contrast of dizzy proportions.