La Rivière

GIRAUD Suzanne
ISMN 979-0-56025-304-6

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La Rivière is a chamber concerto for bassoon and seven-instrument ensemble: flute, clarinet, harp, piano, violin, viola and cello. It was commissioned by the Danish ensemble The Danish Chamber Players. The concerto is dedicated to Gunnar Eckhoff, the ensemble’s bassoonist, who assisted throughout the composition.

Thanks to the presence of a piano and a harp, which allow many notes to be added, from the extreme low to the extreme high, the instrumental group can maintain an extended harmonic character, sometimes close to orchestral sonorities.

Using this multi-colored palette, the play of dialogue and continuity between the solo bassoon and the other instruments was constructed. The continuous flow of sound flows like a river. This river flows through zones of light and shadow. Its movement is rapid, involving a very lively tempo. Its murmur sometimes merges with the sound of the wind in the foliage. Its sound path then calls on the breath and friction that instruments can produce by using alternative techniques.

The score opens with a solo cadenza that provides the supporting sound and heralds the start of the movement. A second cadenza, more virtuosic and using more assertive motifs, follows shortly before the end. Between the two cadenzas, the flowing movement is continuous, with the exception of a few breaths. The character is both inexorable and solitary, like that of a river’s course through a changing landscape. The final section features light and rotating movements, like those of mill wheels or ancient boats. Stylized bird calls can be heard playing on the surface of the water, in the small glissandi of the strings, and this is a way of concluding the score.

Suzanne Giraud


Additional information

Weight0,400 kg
Dimensions24 × 32 × 0,8 cm