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Albireo

bass clarinet

This work for bass clarinet – composed in 2013 and dedicated to Jean-Marc Fessard – has an arch form (A – B – C – B ‘- A’) and alternates tempi: Slow – Fast – Slow – Fast – Slow. The title refers to the double star located at the end of the constellation Cygnus. The naked eye only distinguishes one star of magnitude 3. However, using a telescope, there are clearly two stars: Albireo A (a magnitude 3.1 yellow star) and Albireo B (a magnitude 5.1 blue star).

Part A, Misterioso, proposes a pattern based on the notes of the name Jean-Marc Fessard in Southern Europe nomenclature : Fa, Mi, Mib, Mib, La, Ré, Ré (F, E, Eb, Eb, A, D, D). This pattern is repeated, transformed and processed in different registers characteristic of the bass clarinet.

Part B, Vivo, is rhythmic and repetitive. Its theme is based on a derivative of the last three notes of the retrogradation of pattern A. A repetitive structure alternates 3- and 5-cycles with reference to the magnitudes of Albireo A and B. A shrinkage of the meter (4/4, 7/8, 6/8, 5/8) leads us to the central section.

Part C, Teneramente, reveals the song of Albireo. The rhythmic pattern of B is transformed in a melodic way, alternating high and low lines in reference to the two stars of this double star.

Part B’, Vivo, is the recapitulation of B with a metric elision, alternating this time 3- and 1-cycles in repetitions.

To end the work, part A’, Misterioso, introduces a variation of A, primarily focused on changes of the different registers of the instrument.

World Premiere on 2nd april at the Conservatoire d’Aulnay sous Bois (France) by Jean-Marc Fessard (clarinet and bass clarinet), Didier Pateau, (oboe), Guillaume Demougeot (clarinet), Elisabeth Kissel (bassoon)

This work is available as Hard Copy at

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