four violins and percussion (claves and Balinese gong)

Learning! There’s little surprise in this title. Curiosity and learning were the major driving forces in Vivier’s personal and musical development. He loved learning languages, customs, other musics—which he later transformed into something personal. In Bali, he not only learned the language and how to play gamelan instruments, he learned how to be Balinese, as his travel diaries attest.

Only very shortly before his departure for the Far East, Vivier completed the score for Learning. Fifteen melodies in five sections, punctuated and separated by percussion entries; it seems as though he had already imagined a certain Orient, and put it down on paper just before he went off to see if his impressions were true. It is interesting to note that Vivier returned to the melodies of Learning for his 1981 work Et je reverrai cette ville étrange, also programmed for this season.

Keep your eyes open! Vivier specified the musicians’ movements and stage behaviour in his score.

Martine Rhéaume

Performance

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