If in the title Vagues (Waves), the swirls and the strokes of the orchestra recall the motion of the waves throughout the first part, it is also the first syllable of the name to whom the work pays tribute : the composer Richard Wagner.
In fact, two thirds of the way through the work, heard over a lulled section, is the superposition of several tens of leitmotivs led by the oboe playing the Parsifal’s Enchantement-du-Vendredi-Saint (Good-Friday-Spell)
Indeed after a frenetic start, the highly contemplative second part is a slow build up to this suspensive moment which rings out like a polytonal swarm, broken only by the shimmering jingles of the music boxes.
Then it is a race to the abyss which brings the piece towards the mighty fanfares where the call of Hagen’s horn in « Le crépuscule des Dieux » (The dusk of the Gods) will be recognised. Then follows a fragile conclusion which takes up the trills from the beginning of the work again.