Le Bal

2003

Saxophone quartet

12 mn

• World premiere: 8/07/2003, World Saxophone Congress, Minneapolis (USA) – Quatuor Jean-Yves Fourmeau.

• Publisher: Gérard Billaudot.        

(The Ball)

An empty stage, still suffused with fading light. At times memories of past balls emerge with their cortege of enlaced couples, of pulsating and repetitive rhythms… But the image then becomes blurred before dissolving into the initial static shot. Such would be a fitting portrayal of this piece for saxophone quartet, drawn from five Scènes de bal (Ball Scenes) for string quartet and recomposed based on the distant memory of Ettore Scola’s homonymous film. It is on the compositional material level that a waltz, a tango, a slow, and lastly a more ‘disco’ style dance take shape, before dissolving into areas of expectation and transformation of the structural elements which act as liaisons between the different dances.

Although the work is characterised by clarity and vitality, as well as a certain orchestral profusion, its dramatic core lies in the centre part of the slow, with its heavy ground bass dominated by a dense polyphony which leaves an indelible print right up to the conclusion of the piece.

Thierry Escaich
Translation: Eileen-Rose McFadden