Cosmographic Mystery (2002) was commissioned by the great international horn player Francis Orval, the work’s dedicatee. They are intended as a sonic illustration of the composer’s interrogations about the mysteries of the Universe. Each of the three movements opens with a chime, each of which is completed by the next: three tones for the first, five for the second, the third stating each of the two preceding tones to finally play the complete chime of seven tones.
The first movement is structured ABA’. A is slow, melodic and meditative, B is faster and more rhythmic, playing on the alternation between open and closed sounds, in order to give the impression of a dialogue between two instruments, and finally A’ takes up the elements of A, but lengthening the durations to finish in an atmosphere of suspended time.
The second movement alternates two elements, the first melodic and rhythmic, the second based on repeated fast notes and eventually eliminating the other completely to end the movement.
The third movement takes up fragments of the elements of the first two, but transforms them, as if they had evolved while remaining themselves.
Chronographie IX for bassoon and piano, Deux Esquisses for wind quartet, Thrène for alto flute and piano, Sextuor for wind quintet and piano, Pentagramme for wind quintet and Cosmographic Mystery for horn are recorded on the CD Cosmographies by Quartz Ensemble: QUARTZIADE 014.