Chronographie I (1990) for five instruments is the first repetitive work composed by Michel Lysight, which marked a decisive aesthetic turning point for him. This piece is the first in a series of “Chronographies” (there are twelve at present) linked together by a common material of five notes (C, E, B, G, A). This material generates all or part of each of them, melodically or harmonically; it may be only a discreet accompaniment or, on the contrary, constitute one of the main ideas, which is the case in Chronographie I. The theme is constructed by the progressive addition of short rhythmic cells. These are repeated until the central climax which creates a kind of sound saturation. More “lyrical” melodies then appear in counterpoint with the rhythmic cells. All this slowly dissolves by progressive suppression of different elements until only the opening cell played on the clarinet is heard, until it is almost silent. A sudden recall of the five notes played in a very tight canon by the whole quintet concludes the piece. The composer revised this work in 2009.
Recorded on CD Labyrinthes by Zygmunt Marek Kowalski (violin), Denis-Pierre Gustin (flute), Olivier Habran (oboe), Ronald Van Spaendonck (clarinet), Pierre Olivier Martens (bassoon), Jean-Pierre Dassonville (horn), Amaryllis Grégoire (sopran), Leonardo Anglani (piano), Joseph Grau (recorders) : CYPRES 4602.
Also recorded on CD by the ZOAR Ensemble.