Commissioned by the Koussevitzky Foundation, Henri Dutilleux’s quartet Ainsi la Nuit was dedicated to the memory of one of the composer’s friends, Ernest. This entry was posted in Media, Video Programme Notes and tagged Ainsi La Nuit, Henri Dutilleux, Video Programme Note by AaronHNahum. Time was that Ravel’s String Quartet went with Debussy’s on disc the way Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto went with Bruch’s. The Belcea Quartet’s debut.
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An Introduction to Ainsi la Nuit by Henri Dutilleux |
Henri Dutilleux ‘s work for string quartet, Ainsi la nuit was commissioned by the Koussevitzky Foundation and was intended for performance by the Juilliard Quartet. Before starting on the actual composition, Dutilleux spent some time studying the intricacies of string-playing techniques of the time. He had not attempted to write a work for string quartet since his days as a student at the Paris Conservatoire.
The composer has stated that Webern ‘s Six Bagatelles were most xinsi in helping him get up to date. After making a series of sketches in which he practiced writing for string quartet, the composer sent three completed pieces to the Juilliard Quartet. aainsi
Ainsi la nuit — SMCQ
These pieces, entitled Nuitshave musical material which was later used in the final version of Ainsi la nuit. Dutilleux completed Ainsi la nuit in and the work was premiered on January 6,in Paris, but not by the Juilliard Quartet. Actually, the premiere was given by the Quatuor Parrenin. The final version of the piece has seven movements with four “parentheses” lying in between the first five movements. Dutilleux did not like to leave the individual movements of his works untitled.
Aihsi this reason, Ainsi la nuit is often associated with the idea of memory. Many of the characteristics of Dutilleux ‘s later works are displayed in Ainsi la nuit, including “fan-shaped” writing, the outlining of a tonal triad in a seemingly atonal work, and a similarity of some melodies to the modality of Gregorian chant.
Dutilleux ‘s “fan-shaped” writing can best be described through a piano composition in which the placement of the pianist’s fingers create a mirror image between the hands. In Ainsi la nuit, this is accomplished dutulleux the voices of the four string instruments. Many of Dutilleux ‘s pieces from the same period as Ainsi la nuit also make use of “fan-shaped” writing.
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An Introduction to Ainsi la Nuit by Henri Dutilleux
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