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Antoine Scheuchzer, Concerto for violin, piano and orchestra
Antoine Scheuchzer
Concerto for  piano, violin and orchestra

cdHere is a composition that dresses contemporary classical music in new clothes. It seems to emerge from everywhere, but if you listen carefully, you will hear that it comes out of nowhere.
Taking a route that is original - but not disruptively so - soloists and orchestra lead us in new directions that lead - where few serious composers dare to go - to pure pleasure.

This concerto pulls listeners into an initiation process from which they should emerge transformed. While music remains essentially the art of making new out of old - using the twelve notes of the scale - the way in which harmonies unfold plays on our feelings.
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The idea of a concerto for two soloists and orchestra germinated for a long time. But getting down to work was systematically put off, in part, for technical reasons. In music, as so often in industry, the price, availability, compatibility and suitability of software turned into good excuses for putting off completion. It is thanks to yet another computer whose incompatibility with those that went before and came after provided a sufficiently long breathing space in which to edit the Concerto for piano, violin and orchestra so that it could be given to musicians for a first reading.


Constructed in three movements, the work has nothing of the revolutionary about it, based as it is on the classical sonata form.

The Allegro of the first movement opens with the two soloists getting to grips with each other. Piano and violin seem to be searching for a theme to unite them. There is no fighting between the two instrumentalists for one of them to get the upper hand - even if the first cadenza is the exclusive preserve of the violin. It is through exchange that the solo voice finds its force, a little like Switzerland in Europe.

The Adagio cantabile of the second movement unrolls like a lament with couplets and a refrain. The ternary rhythm, reinforced by haunting triplets that accompany the movement from first to last, seems to underline Fate's hold over Man's evolution towards his inevitable end.

The third movement sounds an Allegro vivace reveille in a bracing theme that is declined through all registers. But here too, fissures appear. Lovely harmony cracks to develop in minor shades that open doors to new perspectives. A calm, choreographed cadenza is given to both soloists like ethereal breathing that murmurs of the final climax.

 

The consonance/dissonance opposition is neither theoretical nor artificial. It comes from life itself which is made up of tension and relief, drama and joy, abominable death and transcending birth. Consonance/dissonance: everyone freights one or the other according to their state of mind. You could say that the composers of the 20th century wrote music that elevated dissonance beyond fashion to the status of religion. In doing so, they translated the repellent horror inspired by that century of violence into art: the humanist's reaction in the presence of barbarity.

While resolutely tonal, this double concerto for piano violin and orchestra is not free from the conflict of dissonance. A vestige of memory tells the listener that he has caught much more than the three 'right' notes of the chord.
"After all, observes the composer, in de-constructing harmonies, the consonance-juggler that I aspire to be is not fundamentally divorced from contemporary composers: like them, I use the 12 notes of the scale

- just not all at the same time !"

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