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Betsy Jolas

Publisher: Alphonse Leduc

Histoires Vraies (2015)
Alphonse Leduc
Soloists and Orchestra
Year Composed
20 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
trumpet, piano
Programme Note
Betsy Jolas Histoires Vraies (2015)
These stories can be held true for at least two reasons : 1) they fulfill a strong wish to play together clearly expressed by two great living performers, whose repertoires have, so far, rarely brought them to associate 2) They demonstrate my first conscious attempt to work with the » sounds we try not to hear » as Abraham Mole called noises back in the 50s. Sounds that are here selected from my daily environment and either tamed as usual through stylization, or left quasi crude with their full disturbing potential.

Preview the score

  • 13 FEB 2020
    Stockholm Concert Hall, Stockholm, Sweden
    Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
    Håkan Hardenberger, trumpet ; Roger Muraro, piano; Sakari Oramo, conductor

    Other Dates:
    15 February - Stockholm Concert Hall, Stockholm, Sweden

It is a piece that sustains avant-garde values with a brio, a brightness, a splintering energy, indeed, that recall the late Elliott Carter, as does manipulation of intervals within an atonal (or, in this case, more or less atonal) context. Most notable in this regard are the multiple octave tutti thwacks that punctuate her impulsive unfolding of disjunct gestures - mini inventions that effortlessly grip the attention.
Paul Driver, The Sunday Times Culture Magazine,12/11/2017
The style is restrained but eclectic, modernist only in its avoidance of tradition, but continually inventive and, above all, great fun... There is an incisive aspect to Jolas’s music too, with slaps and bangs from the percussion often cutting through the more nebulous textures. This comes to a head at the end, where the pianist repeatedly hits the lid of the piano against the front of the case, and clapping from the orchestra ends the piece, a decisive conclusion but as surreal as everything it follows.
Gavin Dixon, Arts Desk,04/11/2017
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