Spazio dei Sospiri
for orchestra (2011)
Commissioned by the Liege Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for its 50th anniversary.
Sighs, like these little sounds which trouble those silences in the second part of the piece, in order to help us to better understand the exquisite sensitivity of chamber music transposed into the imaginary world of the orchestra. Sighs again, in the form of deep breaths proposed by the musicians at the end of the work, first by the wind blowing in their instrument without pitches, only a poetic noisy sound imitated afterwards by the string players, rubbing their bow in an unusual way, just to give us the metaphorical hissing sounds. In short, this "Space of Sighs" obviously tells a story invented for each listener, a metaphor, like the "Sospiro" of the Italian madrigal (may be you can hear a clear reference of it in the background of the work). But far from wanting to make a direct allusion to the genre, that orchestral piece uses some of his disguised techniques, from melodic expression (monophonic) projected gradually in the multi-dimensions of the polyphony, and finally finding its achievement in an incredible homorhythmic "grandioso". An other reference to the Baroque : the Lamento… and Monteverdi again. Thus, the first part of the piece is based on a structure of a small descending chromatic scale. But the music will reveal gradually that "Lamento", through the end of the work with its ostinato in the harp part, concluding these desires of sighs with an orchestral coda in chiaroscuro.
Another typical feature of the composer : references to the Eastern musics are never far away, with that peculiar use of melismas and glissandi that characterize the original melody at the beginning of "Spazio dei Sospiri". Then, the first bars offer the only material of the workpiece. A blend of rhythms and fleeting obsessive intervals who gradually contaminate a texture made of subtle and varied instrumental colors already present in the early measures.
Remains the composer's political commitment, with the metaphor of the famous Bridge of Sighs of Venice, architectural building which connected the Doges Palace with its prison. Complaints and lamentations are therefore present in this music, like those of the prisoners, mostly political, who enjoyed on that bridge one last look at the freedom before disappearing into the darkness of these awful places. Therefore, "Spazio sospiri dei" is intended as a "bridge" thrown between the Indian Ramayana and the sorrows of Arianne (and her wonderful Lamento!). But don't forget the dark and plaintive hope that torment each prisoner unjustly imprisoned, whether past, present or future ! All of that, within few minutes where Movements, Space and Whispers speak of a possible contemporary soul.
This piece orchestra received its premiere in the "Auditorium Du Nouveau Siecle", Lille (France), on February 10, 2011- two days before its Belgian premiere in the "Salle Philharmonique" - by the Liege Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Maestro Petri Sakari.
The work is dedicated to Jean-Pierre Rousseau (General Director of the Liege RPO). Thanks to him, to all the attention he paid on my music, providing new music for his wonderful orchestra.