Éric Tanguy in residence at Besançon' Festival

Éric Tanguy in residence at Besançon' Festival

A world-renowned festival and a competition are combined in Besançon for the beginning of the latest season. Composer in residence in the Franche-Comté capital, the composer Éric Tanguy will be celebrated in many different ways.

On 9 September 2019, two generations of French quartets, the legendary Diotima quartet and the already world-renowned Arod quartet will join forces for the creation of an Octet commissioned to mark the bicentenary of Gustave Courbet, born in the region. Entitled The Desperate Man, it is directly inspired by the painter’s famous self-portrait Le Désespéré. According to the composer: "During a discussion with Jean-Michel Mathé, the festival director, we imagined a musical homage for the bi-centenary of the birth of the illustrious native and brilliant painter: Gustave Courbet. I chose to compose a work for string octet inspired by his famous painting: Le Désespéré. Long subjugated by the emotional force of this work, I wanted to question the notion of despair and its translation into music. The music thus unfolds several versions of this despair and the vision of it in my mind: from stupefaction to rage, to hopelessness, to a relentless motivic obsession."

On 12 September 2019, Jérôme Jehanno will accompany on piano the flutist Jean-Henry Burtey in a "genealogical" programme of the career of Éric Tanguy: Debussy, Messiaen, and Dutilleux will be performed alongside two works by their heir, Afterwards and Further.

The following day, the 13 September 2019, the talented Benjamin Lévy, leading his Orchestre de chambre Pelléas, will perform the Adagio for strings, now in the repertoire of the world’s best string orchestras (amongst others).

The 56th Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors, which will be held concomitantly, will offer the most talented young international conductors (three to be precise) the opportunity to discover the composer's style of composition with the world premiere of Constellations (commissioned by the Competition), alongside, no less, Death and Transfiguration by Richard Strauss, a work with which this new composition shares a metaphysical ambition: "Whilst I finished this work, during the summer of 2018, I spent an evening contemplating the stars. Caught in a feeling of poetic reverie in the face of the beauty of such a celestial spectacle, I associated this vision with the idea that the myriad notes of music of a score could also form imaginary sound constellations. The title, which thus hints to this visual joy, is also a nod to the fact that the city of Besançon has a first-rate historical observatory, opening to all the path of the cosmos and its mysteries." (Eric Tanguy)