JEAN DERBÉS (1937-1982): Deux Nocturnes, Adagio, Genèse, Praemonitio passionis, Manu Tara (Sortilèges).
Catalogue Number: 09O070
Description: These works share an impressive sense of weight or density, a richly textured sonority that suggests some overlap with the composer's interest in electroacoustics (which is not explored as such in any of these works). The prevailing vocabulary is one of slowly mutating, generally dark-hued landscapes, tectonically evolving, occasionally rent by bursts of violent activity. Vibrant, complex textures evoke Lutoslawski, or as the density of the clusters reaches saturation point, Ligeti. The Nocturnes and Præmonitio passionis contain austere chordal chorale-like sequences that suddenly seem to have transported the listener to the brooding landscapes of late Sibelius,while the glacial passage of Adagio suddenly gives way to late-Romantic harmonies that could almost be derived from Wagner. Præmonitio passionis in particular is a work of great dramatic intensity, with its cumulative pulsating fanfares crowning a vast arch of massive, shadowy stone, emerging from and receding into the gloom. Only Genèse and Manu Tara suggest the composer's brief excursion into the field of jazz, and this only fleetingly, in passages of powerful rhythmic drive and relatively tonal harmony. A certain sense of improvisatory freedom in several of the works might also be related to this, although the resulting rich sonorities have more in common with Lutoslawski's unmeasured episodes, or Segerstam's free-pulsative overlapping of layers of instrumental texture. Timisoara Philharmonic Orchestra; Jean-François Antonioli.