PHILIPPE BOESMANS (b.1936): Chambres d'à côté for Ensemble, Sextet for Piano and Strings, Ornamented zone for Piano, Clarinet, Viola and Cello, Sur Mi for 2 Pianos, Electric Organ, Crotales and Tam-tam.
Catalogue Number: 11O076
Description: The earliest (Sur Mi, 1974) and most recent (Chambres, 2010) works here, interestingly display by far the most tonal tendencies. Sur Mi, provocatively written during the heyday of 1970s avant-gardism, presents a tumultuous cascade of Debussyan harmonies and colors, centered around an obsessively present repeated E in various registers. The idea behind Chambres is the effect of fragments of music heard out of context, from afar, with their power to conjure potent associations and memories (as one might, on hearing an unidentified person practicing a once-familiar piece from a distant window, suddenly recall circumstances once intimately associated with that music). In this case, Mahlerian nature-sounds and a very tonal Beethovenian scherzo seem to be among the sounds held in, and distorted by, memory. The Sextet and Ornamented Zone both employ a more modern idiom, though not without tonal referents. Both weave highly ornamented, complex textures with a sense of narrative progression, in which filigree decoration surrounds fluid layers of sound, harsh and dissonant, or ethereal and insubstantial. Musiques Nouvelles; Jean-Paul Dessy.