PHILIPPE LEROUX (b.1959): SPP for Soprano Saxophone and Piano, Conca Reatina - Ruban de Möbius for Soprano Saxophone, Noûs for Soprano Saxophone and Piano, for Piano: AMA, Répéter… Opposer, Dense… Englouti.
Catalogue Number: 01W054
Format: SACD hybrid
Description: This disc pays tribute to the long-standing collaboration and friendship between the composer and these performers. Although Leroux studied with some impressive figures in the avant-garde, his music, while in a decidedly contemporary idiom, is readily accessible - especially the more recent of these works, all of which were written this century. The sense of logical structure determining patterns within organic growth likely stems from these influences, but in terms of sound and harmony one is more frequently reminded of the composer’s great admiration for Debussy. That one work here was inspired by the undulating linearity of a mountain landscape and the Möbius Strip provides a clue to the sense of line and continuity present in all these pieces. Leroux' long association with the saxophone, and his past experimentation with playing it himself informs his virtuosic writing for the instrument and the effortless, seamless incorporation of extended techniques into the musical flow - microtonal inflections, key and breath effects, multiphonics - used to great effect in the technically exhilarating, expressively kaleidoscopic Conca Reatina — Ruban de Möbius. Two piano works are allusion-filled meditations and homages based on pairs of Debussy Études and Préludes, filtered through Leroux' studies with Messiaen, while AMA explores material derived from harmonic analysis of the piano's overtones in patterns of repeating motifs. Noûs was written in 2019 for these performers, and is both a joyous game of compositional and performing virtuosity, in which the composer lobs scintillating gestures requiring effortless execution or precision in extended techniques at the players and they return them with nonchalant aplomb, and a spiralling elaboration of a series of elements, compressed at the start into a single event and expanded systematically as the piece progresses. Claude Delangle (sax), Odile Catelin-Delangle (piano).