Pascal Dusapin at the Festival Présences 2019

Pascal Dusapin at the Festival Présences 2019

Photo : © France Dubois 

Uncut, solo pour orchestre n° 7 of Pascal Dusapin, composer in residence at Radio France, will be played by the Orchestre National de France as part of the Festival Présences 2019. 

"The English title of Solo No. 7 (the last of the orchestra solo cycle) was chosen to convey the idea of full, boundless scope.  The word appealed to me because of its assertive conceptual impact suggesting a movement rather than any decision. 

But by then the composition presented a problem (I usually prefer questions to problems):  how could the flow be interrupted without giving the impression that it was the end.   The goal was not to finish the work, as nothing has been completed or has even been moving towards completion.  But Uncut did eventually banish all the sources which had formed the foundations for the entire cycle.  The variation technique, for example, had all the musical themes brought together in different arrangements, then compacted and rendered unrecognizable.  The six horns in the orchestra play first, alla fanfara, the idea apparently being to break down barriers.  The melodic modes of the first six solos are featured here, moving through and crisscrossing the full domain of Uncut.  Only metal percussion instruments are used – bells, glockenspiel, crotales, tam-tams, and gongs – signaling and highlighting each crossing of the harmonic structure, marked with biting, abrasive lines.  Everything is vertical;  there is no melodic deployment capable of surmounting the edifice which has been built.  Unlike Reverso which was composed for orchestral geography (much like a photograph, showing every single detail, from the foreground through to the distant background), Uncut is music with virtually no depth of sound scope. 

Everything is presented directly, head on, with no distance;  and while the first six solos fade towards calm, as if the music were endeavoring to burrow underground so as to resurface in the next solo, Uncut is a short intense piece, designed as single unit and culminating fiercely at the end.  In Uncut the shape of the Cycle of Seven is closed yet evident to all. This is quite unmistakably an ending… but anything may continue."

March 1, 2009

Pascal Dusapin


Pascal Dusapin
Uncut, solo pour orchestre n° 7

Thursday 14 February 2019

Maison de la Radio, Auditorium de Radio France

Orchestre National de France
Nicholas Collon, conductor