Le Dauphin is a concerto for violin and chamber ensemble, which may or may not be conducted, the ideal being for the ensemble’s players to remain completely attuned to the soloist, modelling their reflexes directly on his playing.
Many programmers ask composers to write a piece lasting around 15 minutes, as this makes it easier to fit into any concert program. I deliberately chose to compose a 22-minute concerto, as this duration is closer to what I need to accomplish a musical project. From the very first sketches, I designed a form that could find neither its fullness nor its logic below this duration. Once the plan was drawn up, I almost regretted it, as the result implied a particularly long compositional effort. But in the end, I kept my promise. It took me two years. Fortunately, the Danish Chamber Players, who commissioned the work, gave me complete freedom.
The dolphin is an aquatic mammal that has always fascinated mankind. Since ancient times, it has been reputed to guide ships lost in storms and to rescue shipwrecked crew. It has extraordinary psychic faculties, and numerous accounts show that it is endowed with empathy. In his Natural History, Pliny the Elder recounts the friendship that developed between a child and a dolphin: “During the reign of the god Augustus, a dolphin put into Lake Lucrin befriended the child of a poor man: this child, usually going from Baies to Putéoles on his way to school, stopped at midday on the shore, called him by the name of Simon, and enticed him by throwing him pieces of bread, which he carried with this intention. I wouldn’t dare relate this fact if it weren’t recorded in the writings of Maecenas, Fabianus, Flavius Alfius and several others. Whatever time of day he was called, even if he was hidden at the bottom of the waters, the dolphin would come running: having received his portion from the child’s hand, he would present his back for him to climb on, and hide his goads as if in a sheath. In this way, he carried him across a wide expanse of water to Putéoles, and brought him back in the same way. This went on for several years, until at last, the child having died of illness, the dolphin, who came from time to time to the customary place, sad and afflicted, succumbed in his turn, a victim (of which no one doubted) of the regrets he felt.”
|Dimensions||32 × 24 × 0,6 cm|