Jean-Claude Wolff

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G. Bompais


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Psaumes (Psalms)

Psalms was composed in 1997-1998, from the 143 and 150 psalms text which was entirely respected. This work is in keeping with a double tradition: Judeo-Christian where the psalms are life's sources, and German romanticism which is at the origin of my composer life and a constant in my work.

Therefore there is a "marriage" between text and music, as we can find in some lieder, as we can discover from a different perspective through the stained glass in Chartres, as we can glimpse in the Hindou temples, each time the sacred tries to escape from a religion particularism and to expand towards universal.

The vocal and instrumental writing mixes "soli" and "tutti" in an intertwining that can symbolise the individual and the collective. The frequent non-retrogressable rhythms are like an "eternity mirror" (Messiaen). The melodic and harmonic writing suggests, even more than in my previous works, a synthesis between tonality, modality (in particular the use of the karnatic modes are to be noted) and atonality.

Psalms ending on a vast "alleluia" can be perceived as an act of faith.