The basic idea of the “Chronographies” is to compose a series of pieces that are independent of each other, but all based on a minimum unifying material of 5 notes (C, E, B, G, A), which can of course be transposed. There are currently twelve “Chronographies” for various formations.
In Chronographie II (composed for string orchestra in 1992 and arranged for keyboard quintet by the composer in 2001), this motif appears in long values from the beginning of the piece. It is displayed in canon by each musician, gradually lengthening the values to create an increasingly tight polyphonic fabric. A first climax then appears which leads us straight to the second part. This one, much more rhythmic, uses two themes that will end up superimposing and fighting each other before bringing the initial climax back to the beginning of the third part. The unifying motif then returns and is transformed into a harmonic base on which several melodies are grafted that cumulate into a second climax. The piece ends in a dreamlike atmosphere in which fragments of the theme of the second part reappear, like a nostalgic memory.
This version is dedicated to Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden who premiered it with the Ensemble César Franck (Véronique Bogaerts and Tomiko Shida, violins / Thérèse-Marie Gilissen, viola / Marie Hallynck, cello) on December 12, 2001 at the Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium (Brussels). It was revised in 2010.