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violin and large ensemble

Commission: SMCQ, with support from the CCA

Premiere: December 9, 1999, Triplé, Salle Pierre-Mercure — Centre Pierre-Péladeau, Montréal (Québec)

To Julie-Anne Derome, the musicians of the SMCQ, and its artistic director, Walter Boudreau.

The term volando occurs in several of Alexander Scriabine’s piano scores. The tempo of the second movement of his Sonata No 4, for example, is Prestissimo volando. The many indications scattered throughout the single movement of his Sonata No 4 include a Leggierissimo volando. In both cases, the music is light and rhythmic, with an almost breathless quality. In choosing this term as the title of a concerto, I wanted to evoke the violin’s capacity to take flight and move through the air. Volando: falling, climbing, gaining speed, slowing down, twisting and twirling.

The two movements of the work are characterized by a close-knit, almost mimetic relationship between the soloist and orchestra: each partner is carried along by the momentum of the other into a series of shifted events that evoke the process of heterophony. The harmonic system is based on a solid hierarchy of recurring poles of sound and networks of common notes that connect the chords. The result is music that unfolds in a very directional way.

  • Score available at CMC, Région du Québec (bureau à Montréal).
  • Recording: CD: Atma ACD 2 2282

Performance

Recording

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