Jean Claude Wolff

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© G. Bompais


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Paginas de invierno


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This work is the result of two encounters : Pierre-Yves Pruvot, baritone, who remarkably interpreted the solo part of my "Psalms" and who wished that I wrote a piece for him in the formation of Ravel's "Chansons madecasses" (baritone, piano, flute, cello) ; and Francois Szabo, French poet who writes in Spanish and whose "Paginas de invierno" impressed me.

I chose seven of these, particularly distinctive, with a dark emotion, sometimes brightened by a few glimmers, and sounding to me sometimes like a Spanish " winter voyage " in their storyline and their dereliction.

The work features few " tutti ": each instrument, one after the other, or two by two, acts as a counterpoint to the voice, which, in a very accented declamation, proceeds most of the time by small intervals which evolve progressively through the singer's full tessitura.

The seven poems follow one another - they are short, in a generally moderate tempo and in an atmosphere most of the time restrained. They are introduced by the same succession of simple chords, played on the piano, like a far away and snowy choir…. One will also notice the return of repeated notes and above all of two melodic elements in arpeggio, one ascending, the other descending, like a representation of this imprisonment, or at least of this uncertainty this piece ends with.

Audio sample : performed by Pierre-Yves Pruvot, baritone,
Charles Bouisset, piano,and the musicians of the Orchestre du Capitole in Toulouse.