PIERRE BARTHOLOMÉE (b.1937): Requiem.
Catalogue Number: 01M074
Description: Bartholomée's approach to writing a modern requiem is to relate it to contemporary events through the interpolation into the sequence of the Mass of a recent Rwandan poem by Charles Karemano and extracts from a letter by a Rwandan girl murdered in the course of some family conflict. Rather than expressing the customary entreaty for the salvation and resurrection of the dead, the work thus bears a message of protest, questioning and confusion. Scored for an unconventional ensemble, with richly harmonic polyphonic choral writing, the music is fundamentally tonal and directly accessible in its pained, impassioned protest. Sonorous percussion effects hint at the African background to the argument in the elaborate, centrally placed Rwandan movement, with the uneasy, unresolved prayers of the surrounding sections - even the Sanctus and Hosanna seem tentative and uncertain - radiate out from this gravitational center to the piece. Only at the end of the epilogue, as an insistent ostinato strives to create order and structure, underpinning a simply set line from a poem by Henri Bauchau, does an ambiguous sense of hope finally emerge. Laudantes Consort, Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles; Jean Thorel, Patrick Davin (Torrent).