About this Recording
8.574034 - PETITGIRARD, L.: États d'âme / Solitaire / Le Marathon / Flaine (States of Mind) (Supéra, Hungarian Symphony, Petitgirard)
English  French 

Laurent Petitgirard (b. 1950)
States of Mind


États d’âme (2011–12)

I have always been disturbed by the ‘vocal’ dimension of the saxophone. Throughout the long years of writing that both my operas needed, I have often caught myself thinking that a concerto for saxophone and orchestra would be a natural work to write as the culmination of a lyric work. After having spent three years devoting myself to the writing of my second opera Guru, I responded positively to the request of the Orchestre de Douai and Michel Supéra, to whom my work is dedicated. I did not want the soloist to play two or three different saxophones. Indeed, I have thought that the constraint of the limits of the saxophone’s tessitura should be considered as an additional stimulus and should enable me to tighten the musical speech and to better define the cyclic aspect I wanted to incorporate into this work. Some sections, notably in the first movement, come close to the concept of a concerto grosso by mixing the soloist with the three flutes or the three clarinets.

Solitaire (2014)

Solitaire is a cyclical and intimate work. It is a progression towards a central idea that appears in the middle of the work, developed by the strings, and then becomes obsessive, before calming at the end. This title does not correspond to the music—it simply describes the composer’s state of mind in front of a blank piece of paper.

Le Marathon (1992, revised 2010)

Le Marathon is a symphonic poem born out of an opera that was never written. Since 1983, I have felt passionately about a theatrical play by Claude Confortès, Le Marathon, that tells the story of three men running an Olympic marathon—it is, in fact, birth, love and death who are competing. I did not compose the opera, but I did accumulate enough notes to compose two suites, the first for two pianos, and the second for piano solo, and in 1992 I decided to write a symphonic poem using this material. One can hear in this piece the asymmetrical rhythms of 7/16 and 9/16, which is reminiscent of a small stone in a shoe, and the terror of the runners. The sweeping cello solo, extremely exposed in the high register of the instrument, depicts passion. The orchestral accompaniment was originally conceived for a mixed choir, singing ‘So is love’. I revised this score in 2010.

Flaine (2018)

The symphonic poem Flaine evokes the adventure of the conception and construction of a resort at Haute-Savoie, from the dreams of Eric and Sylvie Boissonnas, through to Marcel Breuer’s architectural realisation. From 1968 geophysicist and sponsor Éric Boissonnas had imagined combining the poetry and magic of this location with contemporary architecture to host both winter sports and artistic activities, specifically focusing on classical music. Sylvie, at the same time, curated the vision for the visual arts. This work must therefore be listened to as a journey, with the moving memory of this couple, these passionate advocates of arts and culture, as a guide. The work was commissioned by the Flaine Music Academy, directed by Bruno Latouche.

States of Mind, featuring my saxophone concerto and three symphonic poems, is my second collaboration with the excellent Hungarian Symphony Orchestra Budapest after the recording of my second opera Guru, besides many other recordings for movies scores. I deeply appreciate the quality and the concentration of those superb musicians and I am especially grateful to Christian May for the perfect organisation of the recording sessions.

Laurent Petitgirard

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