Jean Claude Wolff



© G. Bompais










The theme of death, the look and reflection when facing this theme, gave rise to numerous pieces from composers. If the main Requiems are vocals, many instrumental pieces were written in that spirit: one of the most famous ones is the "Masonic Dirge" by Mozart, but we could quote many others, the "tombs" in the 17th and 18th centuries, and the Henze Requiem in the 20th century, for trumpet and small orchestra.

This trio, "Requiem(s)", which originated from an encounter that evolved in affinity with the trio Athena, is in two movements widely developed, separated by a silence of about twenty seconds - each movement is conceived in the structure slow/fast/slow, and ends with two chords that are like a strong resonance of the work. The language of this work does not repudiate in any way the concept of "contemporary", but it is also one and even many homage in what Kurtag sometimes referred to as the "revisited tradition". In the first movement, the reference to Schubert is obvious, both in the melodic framework (fabric?) and in the throbbing of "funeral march". In the second movement, the references are more underground, but still exist; the beginning and the end of this movement recall Chostakovitch's trio, whereas the central part, quick tempered and violent, reflects Olivier Gr
eif's personality, a French composer who passed away in 2000.

To conclude, I would say that when it was created, this trio was performed in parallel with the literary creation 'Mozart and the rain' by Alain Carre, in which the writing is in the same context I mentioned, and where one can find, albeit in a totally different expression, concerns, aphorisms and affects that appear to me as 'mirroring' the music I wrote….

Audio sample: performed by the trio Athena
(Philippe Tournier, violin, Frederic Bouaniche, cello, Sandra Chamoux, piano).