The first version of the Sonate de Requiem was composed in 1978-79, following my mother’s death, and was created in Paris in 1979 by Frédéric Lodéon (cello) and myself. From the very start, as I thought the piece too long (50 minutes) and too diluted – in spite of some dazzlingly intense moments –, I decided I would write a tighter and more essential version. This final version (27 minutes), composed in 1992, is presented here.
The Sonate de Requiem is a meditation on death, as seen from three main angles. Firstly, death as loss. Loss of life for the departing one, loss of a dear being for those who stay behind. Secondly, death as journey. The soul of the deceased, slowly leaving the ‘earthly regions’ (while still hearing their musics), moves across the successive levels of awareness that separate it from its ultimate abode. At last, death as contemplation. The soul, having reached the end of its ascent, faces its Source and lets itself be absorbed by it.