La Orilla del mar
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The idea of giving my orchestra a piece for voice by Isabelle Druet, based on a text by Victor Hugo, was born from the chair of principal oboe of the Victor Hugo Orchestra.
Written in October 1842 as an excerpt from Choses vues, this magnificent prose text describes the arrival at the port of Algiers from the sea of what turns out to be the first guillotine. A further expression of the poet’s commitment to opposing the death penalty, it is also singular in that Victor Hugo inspiringly describes a landscape
landscape in which he is known never to have traveled.
The title of the play came to me as a reminiscence of the Castilian language that was omnipresent in my father’s family when it came to hiding something from the children. The light of the south, the shores of the Mediterranean, remained for those Spanish emigrants in Algeria, those pieds-noirs forced into brutal exile to the north and metropolitan France in 1962, the attributes of a lost paradise.
My music sometimes verges on the melodramatic, giving the soloist a few spoken phrases at the heart of her melody. In any case, it seeks to pay homage to my recently deceased grandfather, who, like Victor Hugo, never quite knew where he stood in the adventure of French colonialism. I tried to capture the contrast between the beauty of white Algiers and the arrival of the guillotine pieces, which are so many red stains in this sublime and tragic landscape.
|42 × 29,7 × 1,3 cm