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Esa-Pekka Salonen

Publisher: Chester Music

Dichotomie (2000)
Work Notes
1. Mécanisme, 2. Organisme
Chester Music Ltd
Solo Keyboard(s)
Year Composed
17 Minutes

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Programme Note
Esa-Pekka Salonen Dichotomie (2000)
Dichotomie was originally intended to become a short encore-type of piece. I wanted to write a surprise new work for Gloria Cheng for a concert dedicated to my music in Los Angeles in January 2000. I soon realized, that the material I had invented had a tendency to grow into two very different kinds of music. It became obvious that this was going to be a longer piece in two movements as the material seemed to have that sort of genetic code. I missed my deadline for the January concert, and kept working during the early months of the year 2000. I put the piece aside for the summer, and finally completed it in October of the same year.
The first movement, Mécanisme, is indeed like a machine, but not a perfect one: more like one of the Tinguely sculptures (or mobiles, they really defy all attempts to categorize them), which are very active, extroverted and expressive, but produce nothing concrete. I imagined a machine that could feel some sort of joie de vivre, and in that process, i.e. becoming human, would loose its cold precision.

Organisme, the second movement, behaves very differently. Again, the music is busy on the surface, but breathes a lot slower and deeper. The music is completely continuous; all different sections grow into each other organically. A metaphor I had in mind was indeed a tree, not a huge one, more like a slender willow that moves gracefully in the wind but returns always to its original shape and position.

© Esa-Pekka Salonen

Sample Pages

  • Soloist(s)
    Gloria Cheng, piano
    Telarc International:
  • Soloist(s)
    Gloria Cheng, piano
  • Ensemble
    Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
    Yefim Bronfman
    Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Deutsche Grammophon:
  • 10 DEC 2017
    Total Immersion: Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Milton Court Concert Hall, London, UK
    Guildhall School of Music & Drama
  • 08 NOV 2012
    Esa-Pekka Salonen Portrait Concert
    Hertz Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA
    Gloria Cheng (piano), Kacy Clopton (cello); David Milnes, conductor
  • 19 MAY 2011
    A Tribute to Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Scandinavia House, New York
    Per Tengstrand
  • 28 OCT 2007
    Salle Gaveau, Paris, France
    Per Tengstrand, piano
  • 27 SEP 2005
    Usedomer Musikfestival
    Wolgast, Ratssaal im neuen Rathaus
    Juho Pohjonen
  • 22 SEP 2005
    Hamburg, Germany
    Sinfonieorchester des NDR Hamburg
    Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor

    Other Dates:
    23 September - Hamburg, Germany
  • 24 FEB 2005
    Scandanavia House, New York
    Per Tengstrand
  • 16 FEB 2005
    Dichotomie UK Premiere
    The Warehouse, London
    Jonathan Powell, piano
  • 22 JAN 2005
    Maison des Jeunesses Musicales du Canada
    Christopher Johnson
  • 25 OCT 2004
    Yta III
    Dichotomie Country Premiere
    Lachen verlernt Country Premiere
    Stockholm International Composer Festival
    Grünewaldsalen, Stockholm
    Anna Lindal, violin / Mats Rondin, cello / Per Tengstrand, piano
  • 01 AUG 2003
    Verbier Festival
    Verbier, Switzerland
    Yefim Bronfman, piano
  • 01 JUN 2003
    Washington DC, USA
    Yefim Bronfman, piano
  • 20 APR 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Yefim Bronfman, piano
  • 13 APR 2003
    Philadelphia, PA
    Philadelphia, PA
    Yefim Bronfman, piano
  • 13 APR 2003
    Carnegie Hall, New York City
    Yefim Bronfman, piano
  • 11 APR 2003
    New Bedford, MA, USA
    Yefim Bronfman, piano

    Other Dates:
    13 April - Philadelphia, PA
    15 April - New York, NY
    20 April - Chicago, IL
  • 07 MAR 2003
    Rome, Italy
    Yefim Bronfman, piano

    Other Dates:
    8 March - Vaterstatten, Germany
    9 March - Neuberen, Germany
    10 March - Munich
    12 March - Cologne
    16 March - Philharmonie, Berlin
    18 March - Milan, Italy
    21 March - Vienna
    23 March - Amsterdam
  • 24 FEB 2003
    Ottowa, Canada
    Yefim Bronfman, piano
  • 18 DEC 2002
    University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA
    Yefim Bronfman, piano

    Other Dates:
    30 December - Schenectady, NY
  • 03 DEC 2002
    Los Angels, CA, USA
    Yafim Bronfman, piano

    Other Dates:
    4 December - La Jolla, CA, USA
    7,8 December - Portland, Oregon
  • 01 JUN 2002
    Los Angeles
    Laura Mikkola, piano
  • 03 APR 2002
    Musiques de Chambre au Louvre
    Auditorium du Louvre, Paris
    Yefim Bronfman, piano
  • 27 MAR 2002
    Erlangen, Germany
    Yefim Bronfman
  • 25 MAR 2002
    Venice, Italy
    Yefim Bronfman, piano
  • 16 MAR 2002
    Institute Findlandais, Paris
    Laura Mikkola

    Other Dates:
    19 March - Musée de l'Art Moderne, Strasbourg
    21 March - Finnish Institute, Antwerpen, Belgium
    22 March - Festival Ars Musica, Brussels
  • 03 MAR 2002
    Musica Nova Festival
    Helsinki, Finland
    Laura Mikkola, piano
  • 16 DEC 2001
    Dichotomie Country Premiere
    Turku Music Festival
    Turku, Finland
    Yefim Bronfman, piano
  • 09 OCT 2001
    Pianospheres series
    Passadena, CA
    Gloria Cheng, piano
  • 09 AUG 2001
    Dichotomie Country Premiere
    Festival de la Roque d'Anthéron
    Chateau de Florans, France
    Yefim Bronfman, piano
  • 06 AUG 2001
    Dichotomie European Premiere
    Salzburg Festival
    Salzburg, Austria
    Yefim Bronfman, piano

...a forceful evocation of the distinction between the mechanistic (in the vigorous first movement) and the organic (in the equally dense but more texturally supple finale).,14/08/2012
… its awesome virtuoso requirements were brilliantly met by Gloria Cheng, who struck flashes of lighting from the keyboard and skated across breathtaking glissandos. Occasionally there was a hint of delicate Debussyian color, and the repeated patterns of minimalism got a passing glance as well. The piece laid out clearly the way in which Salonen creates a musical idea and proceeds to play with it; no matter how thick the texture, his train of thought is never obscured.
Shirley Fleming,,22/12/2000
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