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Music Text

after the 9 psalms: O Ye Tongues form The Death Notebooks by Anne Sexton


basset hn.dbcl-3tpt.2trbn-perc(2)-prepared pft(=sampler,harmonium)-
gtr(=elec.gtr)-elec.bass gtr-vln.vla.vlc-live electronics

Abbreviations (PDF)



This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.


World Premiere
Opera National, Paris
Ictus Ensemble / Georges-Elie Octors
Press Quotes

The decision to write a requiem in response to the commission of the Festival d’Automne did not come as a surprise. The real surprise is the follow-through. 15 instrumentalists (some of them equipped with sophisticated electronic devices) and three singers are committedly exposed to the wildest disintegration of values in this century. The composers, grave-diggers of a culture focussed on individual works, maintain only one element of music: its manifestation through vibrations (waves?), hardly modulated, without an (ordering) system, completely released. Vibration (?) of a funeral march, played by two trombones (original by Mozart) over a nightmarishly pulsating tutti; vibrations of horror (made up of sounds that resemble a crowd of evil spirits); vibrations of religious distortions (a synthesiser with the qualities of a harmonium).
Conflict-ridden from beginning to end – you will have noticed by now – this is not a requiem that will help your soul find peace. However, it provides some moral consolation, in a situation where contemporary music is increasingly challenged by the absence of any frame of reference for language.
(Pierre Gervasoni, Le Monde, 18 October 1998)

Recommended Recording

Donaueschinger Musiktage 1998
David Newman / Arno Raunig / Jean Nirouet
Ensemble Ictus / Georges-Elie Octors
col legno WWE 4CD 20050

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