About this Recording
9.70221 - GIRARD, A.: Behind the light / L'oiseau d’éternité / 2 Pieces d’après Marc Aurèle / Vers le ciel (Flory, Bihan, G. Girard)
English  French 

Behind the Light
Sonata for violon and piano (2005) dedicated to Michael Appleman

This whole sonata explores the concept of light, or more accurately, the space beyond the light. The work begins with the musical instruction ‘With wings’ and proceeds to unfold in the manner of a surreal journey. The piano provides a constant framework of shimmering colour, an iridescent backdrop for the celestial and expressive violin melodies. The second, slow, part of the Sonata grows out of a kind of musical vacuum, with pared down and spartan instrumentation, using the open strings of the violin (G-D-A-E). The third section reverts to the style of the first, and develops further the themes of light, radiance and intimate lyricism. The Sonata ends with a brief coda crescendo, with the violin soaring towards a pellucid apex.

L’oiseau d’éternité (The Bird of Eternity)
Poéme pour piano (2011) dedicated to Geneviéve Girard

Legends tell of the Bird of Eternity, whose singing gives us access to a soundscape where time no longer exists. The dream place for music! But just as we wish to enter this magical realm, it is snatched from our grasp… This poem for piano is inspired by the story of a walker who witnessed this enchantment. The music evokes his meeting with this miraculous bird, his wonderment, his hopes of immortality, and ultimately his disillusionment.

Two pieces after Marcus Aurelius
for cello and piano (2000–2001) dedicated to Sergueï Sudzilovski (1) and Félix Simonian (2)

These two pieces are inspired by the words of the emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius in his Meditations. ‘Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current…’ The first piece, The River of Time, describes our confrontation with Time, and the human response depicted as a ‘promontory against which the waves continually break.’ ‘Show yourself constantly to the world as a single being, with a single substance and a single soul…’ The second piece, The Soul of the World, is music denuded of all but the essentials, with a fierce intensity which explores the concepts of slowness, simplicity and silence.

Vers le ciel (Towards the sky)
for cello and piano (1987)

This duet for cello and piano is one of the first significant works of the composer dating from the years of his stay in Mallorca (1987–88). The work reflects his awareness of the spiritual dimension of music, and of his yearning to express this emotion through his compositions. The title conveys a sense of inner momentum, and a surge towards the light. The music is free modal, often transported by an upward lyricism.

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