Instrumentation (general) Clarinet, Trumpet, Piano, Violin and Cello
Scored for violin, trumpet, piano, clarinet/bass-clarinet and cello, " Densités " corresponds probably to my most extreme attempt to reduce the basic musical material to an essential group of notes and a quite reduced set of spiral developments of them. In its most condensed form, this material can be easily followed through the solo trumpet line of the last section: initially, it has only five notes (the material's “root” ), which are exposed in five tempo units; then, after a short commentary by the piano, this root starts to expand presenting us thirteen notes in eight tempo units; after a second commentary comes a third development with thirty-four notes in thirteen tempo units, then a fourth development with fifty-five notes within twenty-one tempo units, and so on, the material expanding itself like in spirals, more and more, after the Fibonacci proportions, the solo trumpet line always being subsequently commented, paraphrased, by piano and other instruments.
The entire work is build from this unifying material through its diverse stages, more or less expanded, but I attempt to renovate the musical gesture in each part. For instance, the initial section (A), that lasts about five minutes, proposes a large horizontal circular exposition of these spirals; the subsequent section (B), by opposition, constantly interrupted by unexpected intermissions of silence, exclusively operates harmonic extractions and developments from them, and so on, each section always exposing different densities ( “ densités ” ) of the same substance in a more concrete (basic) or in a more abstract (proliferated) way.
Commissioned by the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik 2005 , and first performed by the Ensemble Intercontemporain 's soloists, “ Densités ” is dedicated to Pierre Boulez, for his eighty anniversary on March 2005.