Ensuite / Courante(s) (2011)

Nicolas Gilbert

flute, clarinet, violin, cello, harpsichord, and percussion

Commission: Continuum, with support from the CCA

Premiere: February 22, 2011, Montréal / Nouvelles Musiques 2011: Suite de danses, Conservatoire (Montréal, Québec)

Music compositions are often the composer’s phantasms come true. This can be obvious or not, depending on the composer’s reserve. As I do not see myself as particularly prudish, I will admit it bluntly: this (these) Courante (s) is (are) my phantasm become music. There is probably something a bit perverse in all this, but I will let you find that out on your own. I had been thinking for a while of composing a race-like piece. A race to something positive, a jubilatory race, nothing like an escape. So why not interpret this commission of a courante literally? Why not create a “running dance”? This is precisely what I did, while colouring this short work with a few characteristics of the baroque courante and with some allusions to authentic courantes of the repertoire. And all this, using almost exclusively the colours of the major mode, in order to make the result as optimistic and euphoric as possible.