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Scoring

1.1.1.1 - 1.1.1.0 - perc(2) - pft - 1.1.1.1.1

Abbreviations (PDF)

Publisher

Boosey & Hawkes

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

Composer's Notes

For the concert celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec, I decided to write a piece in tribute of the music of Quebec. I chose 4 composers who have marked Quebec contemporary music. Consequently, Jeu des portraits is organized in 4 movements:

I Vagues, in tribute to Rodolphe Mathieu (1890-1962)
II Vents, in tribute to Jean Papineau-Couture (1916-2000)
III Plages, in tribute to Serge Garant (1929-1986)
IV Chants, in tribute to Claude Vivier (1948-1983)

It was not my goal to make a pastiche of their musical languages. Rather, with my own cultural baggage and through the filter of my own sensibility, I tried to express different impressions that their music has suggested to me, what it evokes in my imagination. I developed Vagues from harmonic material from the Trois Préludes pour piano by R. Mathieu, and I tried to conserve the sort of “end-of-the-century” climate that dominates the piece. Vents is the only of the four movements which starts off with an exact quotation: the beginning of Vents capricieux sur le clavier and the Rondo excerpt of the Suite pour piano. In Plages, I was exploring, in my own way, the Pointillist textures that were so dear to Garant, as well as using a numerically proportional series taken from The Musical Offering of J.S. Bach (3419825), a series that he often used in his works. The fourth movement was developed from a chord borrowed from Vivier’s Shiraz for piano. The colours evoked from the tubular bells and the gamelan gongs evoke the sonic universe that was Vivier’s


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