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Betsy Jolas

Publisher: Alphonse Leduc

L' Ascension du Mont Ventoux (2004)
Alphonse Leduc
Solo Voices and 1-6 players
Year Composed
55 Minutes
Soprano and Narrator
Programme Note
Betsy Jolas L' Ascension du Mont Ventoux (2004)
In my Motet IV, I had traced my own personal shortcut through Petrarch’s meandering route to the top of Mount Ventoux, by selecting singable passages in the original Latin text so as to stress the key moments of the narrative while leaving the rest to be told by the wordless instruments . In doing so, however, I knew I was giving up full understanding of this remarkable text.

I then recalled Monteverdi’s preface to the Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, in which he recommends the performance of his music to be associated with that of actors miming the different phases of the sung narrative, and immediately saw how this idea could be applied to my Motet in a kind of multilayered collaboration. I imagined my work illuminated by a spectacle.: mime, pupett,danse, video…In this new version, twice as long, the text would not only be sung in latin but also recited in everyday language during added instrumental interludes where the listener’s attention would be drawn to the stage action.

My Motet IV, now entitled The Ascent of Mount Ventoux has thus become a rich spectacle to hear, to see and to understand.

This new version entitled “the Ascnt of mount Ventoux” was premiered on November 14 2004 in Mulhouse(France) by The ensemble Accrochenote and the Houdart- Heuclin Pupett Company.

It has since been performed many times by different musicians, with different spectacles and in different countries and langages..

Betsy Jolas

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