PHILIPPE HERSANT (b.1948): Wanderung for Bassoon and Women's Choir, Désert for Alto Flute and Men's Choir, Nostalgia for Violin and Mixed Choir, Niggun for Bassoon, Instants limites for Mixed Choir and Instruments ad libitum.
Catalogue Number: 11P078
Reference: AECD 1334
Description: The first three pieces form a triptych, united by the image of death in the texts from Goethe (serene nature imagery), Nietzsche (protesting the horror) and Bach's chorale of Paradise lost (Durch Adams Fall). Hersant's idiom is sumptuously chordal tonality, though the violence of Nietzsche's imagery finally finds voice in wild baying and shouting. Nostalgia begins with a transcription of Bach's chorale, which gradually erodes in increasingly dissonant chromaticism. To hold their own against the much larger choral forces, the solo instruments take an active, decorated role, differentiated from the choral textures; inventive multiphonics enrich the woodwind line, while the violin is given active embellished variations on the sombre chorale. Instants is a cycle of thirteen brief settings of poems by inmates of Clairvaux prison, depicting the claustrophobia of prison life and various images or dreams of liberty. Hersant uses limited scales in a tersely economical, ascetic idiom, evoking chant, speech rhythms and echoes in enclosed spaces. French-English texts. Pascal Gallois (bassoon), Jean-Luc Menet (flute), Régis Pasquier (violin), Ensemble vocal Aedes; Mathieu Romano.