ANNÉES-LUMIÈRE (1992-1993)

to Daniel BARENBOIM and Alain PROST - Editions Salabert
large orchestra - duration : 19’
4(4pic).4(engl.horn).4(DBcl).4(DBn)-6.4.4(Btrb).1,
saxS(Snino,Bar),5perc, 1pno(cel), strgs(16.14.12.10.8)
commissioned by French State for the Orchestre de Paris
premiere : September 29th, 1993, France, Paris, Salle Pleyel
Orchestre de Paris, Michel TABACHNIK (conductor)

 

Programme note

The work is a long reverie about the Universe. Its general form is divided in five main parts connected without discontinuity :
1) Danse de l'Univers is the field of an in-depth harmonic work with notably an attempt to create a curved space.
2) Spirales d'astéroïdes confronts the first part harmonic masses with the emergence of three long rhythmic phrases, each with its own autonomy.
3) Cristal de galaxie proposes a melodic counterpoint with three soloist voices (clarinet, sop. saxophone and horn) played by the orchestra's musicians.
4) Gravitation composed of for sections, plays on the perception of time, with phenomena of dynamic precipitation (orchestra's dip), of attraction by gravitation then harmonic collapse (towards the eye of the galaxy). In the middle of this part, a brief insertion of a very colourful harmonic tainted glass is added.
5) L'univers en expansion prolongs certain musical ideas of harmonic nesting and of timbre mutation, on which ribbon shapes are superimposed (like rainbow beams) subtended by repeated notes.

The work ends with the harmonic stained glass of the fourth part, developed in an immense choral, geared down, projected into space.

3A

 

→ Poem Années-Lumière, p. 49 in L'attente... L'absolu, Allain Gaussin, Paris, 2013.

 

Press article

Michèle TOSI, ResMusica, 6,12, 2017 - link

" Allain Gaussin has always been passionate about astronomy, as indicated by the title Années-Lumière (Light Years), one of his most elaborate orchestral scores, completed in 1993. An extensive percussion section is added to an orchestra with quadruple winds. The composer’s aim is to set forth, in a single movement, a trajectory of Time and Colours, driven by long processes that render the material progressively more dense, or that reduce it to a few pure timbres. The quality of the textures of the first pages of Danse de l’univers (dance of the universe), superbly rendered by the orchestra, sends the listener to a very troubling ‘electric beyond’. Between exacerbated tension, splintering of the space and brusque tearing (low brass against piccolos), the treatment of the sonic masses in this great vibration of the cosmos brings to mind that of Xenakis. Also spectacular are the ‘ribbon figures’, resembling rocket-like lines that escape from the sonic magma of the 5th and final part of the work, L’univers en expansion (the Universe in expansion). The burning of the space under the resonance of the tam-tams, gongs and other resonant percussion instruments lend a vertical and visionary dimension to the final pages of the score that recall the gesture of maître Messiaen. At the head of a very cooperative orchestra, the argintinian conductor Fabián Panisello manages to create a synergy amongst the orchestra members — upon whom great demands are placed —, galvanising them with his effective and powerful direction. "

 

Alphonse DROUAN, December, 2017

" …Thank you again for this work overflowing with sounds, that seep with emotion or that explode with fury. At the end of the concert, I indeed soared as much with Berg’s angel as with the flourishes and overflowings of Années-lumière… "

 

Jacques BONNAURE, La lettre du musicien n° 139, Concerts, Années-Lumière d'Allain Gaussin, novembre 1993

"Créée par l'Orchestre de Paris dirigé par Michel Tabachnik, Années-Lumière appartient, un peu dans la lignée de certaines œuvres de Messiaen, à ce courant métaphorique de la musique contemporaine, où l'œuvre, sans être descriptive, se laisse féconder par de larges visions. Ainsi les titres mêmes des cinq parties peuvent-ils, outre leur pouvoir poétique, engendrer des structures musicales originales. L'œuvre est conçue pour un orchestre très ample,...  Années-Lumière est une pièce forte et évocatrice, sans concession, mais d'une architecture agréablement lisible. Les cinq parties qui la composent, suffisamment contrastées, mais aussi agencées avec une parfaite logique, soutiennent l'intérêt. La partie médiane (Cristal de Galaxie), centre de gravitation poétique de l'œuvre, est constituée d'un beau contrepoint instrumental à trois voix, qui témoigne de la préoccupation mélodique du compositeur... "

 

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