LA TRADITION FRANÇAISE - the artist and his model IV


for clarinet and piano

dedicated to Carl Rosman and Mark Knoop [Libra Duo]

duration: ca. 8 minutes

Lineage: Robert Burns’ 18th-century poem “Lassie w’ the lint-white locks” inspired Charles Marie René Leconte de Lisle’s 19th-century poem “La fille aux cheveux de lin”, which Claude Debussy set to music in an unpublished 1882 song. Debussy later borrowed the title of Leconte de Lisle’s poem (and the key of his early song) for his piano prélude “... La fille aux cheveux de lin”, published in 1910 as No. 8 from Book 1 of his Préludes. Alfred Cortot recorded the work in London on 2 July 1931, and in 1991 this recording was re-issued on compact disc as Biddulph LHW 006. The Artist and his Model I-VI are all based on precise micro-temporal measurements of Cortot's recording. These measurements were carried out by the composer, graciously assisted by Olivier Senn, at Harvard University during the summer months of 2010.

La tradition française is unique within the series, as it superimposes the Cortot/Debussy material (canon in contrary motion, in the clarinet) with the Chopin/Argerich material from the series Études d'un prélude (canon in contrary motion, in the piano). There are, in addition, other French sources, musical and otherwise.

See more about microtiming & composition