This work is the result of two
encounters : Pierre-Yves Pruvot, baritone, who remarkably interpreted
the solo part of my "Psalms" and who wished that I wrote a piece for
him in the formation of Ravel's "Chansons madecasses" (baritone, piano,
flute, cello) ; and Francois Szabo, French poet who writes in Spanish
and whose "Paginas de invierno" impressed me.
I chose seven of these, particularly distinctive, with a dark emotion,
sometimes brightened by a few glimmers, and sounding to me sometimes
like a Spanish " winter voyage " in their storyline and their dereliction.
The work features few "tutti": each instrument, one after the other,
or two by two, acts as a counterpoint to the voice, which, in a very
accented declamation, proceeds most of the time by small intervals
which evolve progressively through the singer's full tessitura.
The seven poems follow one another - they are short, in a generally
moderate tempo and in an atmosphere most of the time restrained. They
are introduced by the same succession of simple chords, played on
the piano, like a far away and snowy choir…. One will also notice
the return of repeated notes and above all of two melodic elements
in arpeggio, one ascending, the other descending, like a representation
of this imprisonment, or at least of this uncertainty this piece ends