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for choir and orchestra, M.672 (2009)
is a commission by the Gewandhaus Leipzig. The first performance has taken place in June 2010
during the Leipzig Bachfest and the concert season of
the Gewandhaus. The performers were the GewandhausChor and the Gewandhaus
Orchestra Leipzig directed by Riccardo Chailly.
of the work : approximately
This work is a commission by the Gewandhaus
Leipzig. The first performance has taken place in June 2010 during the Bachfest Leipzig and the concert season of the Gewandhaus. The performers were the GewandhausChor
and the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig directed by
The Choral Variations on the Christmas Carol « Vom Himmel hoch,
da komm’ ich her » have been written in 2009 as a commission by
the Gewandhaus Leipzig. It is an
homage to Bach and his Canonic Variations for organ, written on the same
theme. My work, unlike the variations by Bach, has been conceived as a whole,
variations, often intermingled. On the other hand, and alike other works by
Bach, my variations maintain from the beginning to the end the same time
signature and a unique tempo (though inside the work, calm moments alternate
with more agitated or tensed moments).
variations are based on two themes, the first, chromatic one, always changing,
played straightaway by the harp, containing the transposed motif of the musical
signature B-A-C-H. The second theme is, of course, the choral itself. Both
themes are treated, either by evolving modification (especially for the first
one), or in canonic manner (especially for the second one). The work is as well
contrapuntal and lyrical, fluctuating between anguished expectation and
confident hope in the divine coming.
different, numerous canons, sometimes superimposing and overlapping one
another, present the themes, their fragments or their modifications, either in
the original form, or inverse, retrograde or retrograde-inverse, in
augmentation or diminution, or as mensuration canon.
Moreover, the choral appears several times as cantus firmus.
is written for the same instruments as in Stravinsky’s Chorale Variations, that
is to say a mixed choir (4 voices) and an orchestra without clarinets, horns,
tuba, percussion, violins and cellos. The passages for choir
and orchestra, on a few verses of the text by Luther, alternate with those
written for orchestra only.