René Mense




Partage (2001)
Music for 20 players:
Fl., Ob., Clar., Picc.-Clar., Hrn., Trp., Pos., Harm., Man., Guit., Cel., Hrp., 4 Perc., Vl., Va, Vc., Cb.; 17'40"

  Partage was composed in the late summer and autumn of 2001 and was given its world premiere by the ASKO Ensemble conducted by Oliver Knussen, to whom the piece is dedicated, on 7 December 2004 in Amsterdam.

  The work is scored for four heterogenous instrumental groups consisting of five players each. The instrumental parts are presented in the score in their usual order starting with the high winds and ending with the low strings. Contradicting this traditional score layout, I have given instructions for the players to be seated together on the podium in specified groups rather than in the customary orchestral arrangement.

  There are two main premises behind this. The first is somewhat paradoxical: the manner of soloistic playing becomes subsumed in a group. In a group no one single player can dominate and the groups themselves become part of a bigger orchestral whole. The second premise is that it is bizarre to think that a composer could capture the interpretative and highly personal musical profile of an individual player in a score instruction or a special layout on the podium.

  By imposing restrictions on soloistic playing, I am confronting the challenge of capturing the spontaneity of an individual instrumentalist within a compositional calculation. Expressed in other terms: I wish to account for something which is by its very nature unpredictable.

  The four groups initially play out their lines at the same time. As this synchronous musical form unfolds, the unpredictability of individual soloists must defy my attempts to impose compositional rules or fix them within their groups in one place. This becomes more and more prevalent as the compositional processes are applied.

Audio Sample (MP3) 7.9 MB
Complete recording of the world premiere on 12/7/2004 in Amsterdam.

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