Dressing the form of the Baroque Suite in new musical fabric, this piece explores its original shapes ("Sentimentallemande"), or its poetic resonances ("Vampire", replacing the Sarabande), and of course its traditional use of "foreign" dances ("Japonaise Bourrée", not Bourrée Japonaise, please note).
The generic titles of the six-movement, Bach cello-suite format, are the keys to a digressive wordplay, unifying a variety of languages.
"Prélude Ethno-Mathématique" opens on a binary dance groove and ends in a quick neo-baroque virtual polyphony. "Sentimentallemande" evokes the mood of a cold dodecaphonic landscape, warming up as the voices of a polyphonic, nearly-tonal violin counterpoint become the core of the discourse.
"Eau Courante" ("running water") is a swiftly changing stream of ideas; eddies and swirls evoking horizons of jazz, impressionism and atonal waves, in a quasi improvisando mode. "Vampire" (Adagio Mahleriano Vampiresco), a substitute for the grave Sarabande, delves into the deep purple, unhealthy romanticism; a sort of musical opium. A slow and frail melody floats over arpeggio dust, with occasional episodes of dark progressions interrupting its erratic drift.
Bourrée in French is the famous dance form, but is also the feminine form of the adjective drunk; "Japonaise Bourrée" plays on that ambiguity; a capricious set of musical objects evoking a Japanese puppet show, perhaps, or a drunk monologue spilling out secrets without losing the pace of a rhythmic punctuation. "Jungle Jig" speaks for itself; the rhythmic cells are the lianas and vines in the mesh of a semi-tonal forest.
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