At the heart of Serge Arcuri

Let’s state it outright, Serge Arcuri is one of our most valiant and sensitive composers, among the very best. He weaves a complex work – concert musics, but also musics for the stage, for film, and for television – on the lookout for extra-musical discourses to translate, for sure, whether his own or those imposed by the medium involved, but the work and the world he thus creates always impose themselves by their very personal make-up.

Very self-conscious about the correct transmission of his ideas by performers with whom he feels a certain closeness, and to whom he devotes a great amount of attention so that everyone can enjoy the best conditions in which to deliver the messages contained in his musics, he unceasingly provides them with limpid scores that communicate the profound love he has for them and for Music.

If from the outside his music seems easily accessible, it is first and foremost because it always sounds right!, and because it is well conceived for instruments, voices, or any other acoustic or electroacoustic source to which it is destined: his music contains and reveals a constant profundity and sensitivity, espousing in the best possible way the idiophones involved in its realization.

What about the work being created: Au cœur du son (“At the heart of sound”)? From a reading of the score, one follows the violin-character imposing its presence from the outset, energetic but immediately alternating with a lyric softness, in a sort of ambivalent behaviour (schizophrenic?) that marks the whole first section. A slow conquest, albeit broken, of an enlarged register, of expression, of affirmation, that nonetheless closes upon itself towards the end, with this suspension of fifths on a solo bassoon, like a sign of uncharted territories…

The orchestra discreetly joins and augments the soloist’s discourse, with groups opposing or completing each other. Each orchestral group acts as a complementary character, helping the soloist on its journey, in its quest: some become more active in the course of each encounter or exchange, like the percussionist amplifying on the vibraphone the violin figuration to guide it elsewhere in its resonances.

The second section is full of held-back impulses that unceasingly start again, re-launched by the soloist or the vibraphone with the piano or the flute, impulses from which the violin constantly emerges, after temporary eclipses, to move towards other expressive zones, in register and activity, yet coming back anew to solitude.

In the third episode, after a suspended beginning on the violin that prolongs the end of the preceding section, a vibraphone-piano-flute trio re-launches the protagonist towards a more ornate, more developed language, that adventurously leads it to a cadenza where the (in dreams?) more contrasted aspects come back again. With a more sustained two-voice lyricism (with double-stops), it can from then on regain contact with the ensemble, supported by a new regular pulse, on the viola, giving it a new life, even compelling it to conjure up again the vibraphone-piano-flute trio in order to join it with natural diaphanous harmonies, leading to an ultimate lyrical flight, borne by a chord overtaking it, prolonging it.

And what has the Ace of Heart got to do in this universe?
Let’s state it outright, Serge Arcuri is one of our most valiant and sensitive composers, among the very best. He weaves a complex work – concert musics, but also musics for the stage, for film, and for television – on the lookout for extra-musical discourses to translate, for sure, whether his own or those imposed by the medium involved, but the work and the world he thus creates always impose themselves by their very personal make-up.

Very self-conscious about the correct transmission of his ideas by performers with whom he feels a certain closeness, and to whom he devotes a great amount of attention so that everyone can enjoy the best conditions in which to deliver the messages contained in his musics, he unceasingly provides them with limpid scores that communicate the profound love he has for them and for Music.

If from the outside his music seems easily accessible, it is first and foremost because it always sounds right!, and because it is well conceived for instruments, voices, or any other acoustic or electroacoustic source to which it is destined: his music contains and reveals a constant profundity and sensitivity, espousing in the best possible way the idiophones involved in its realization.

What about the work being created: Au cœur du son (“At the heart of sound”)? From a reading of the score, one follows the violin-character imposing its presence from the outset, energetic but immediately alternating with a lyric softness, in a sort of ambivalent behaviour (schizophrenic?) that marks the whole first section. A slow conquest, albeit broken, of an enlarged register, of expression, of affirmation, that nonetheless closes upon itself towards the end, with this suspension of fifths on a solo bassoon, like a sign of uncharted territories…

The orchestra discreetly joins and augments the soloist’s discourse, with groups opposing or completing each other. Each orchestral group acts as a complementary character, helping the soloist on its journey, in its quest: some become more active in the course of each encounter or exchange, like the percussionist amplifying on the vibraphone the violin figuration to guide it elsewhere in its resonances.

The second section is full of held-back impulses that unceasingly start again, re-launched by the soloist or the vibraphone with the piano or the flute, impulses from which the violin constantly emerges, after temporary eclipses, to move towards other expressive zones, in register and activity, yet coming back anew to solitude.

In the third episode, after a suspended beginning on the violin that prolongs the end of the preceding section, a vibraphone-piano-flute trio re-launches the protagonist towards a more ornate, more developed language, that adventurously leads it to a cadenza where the (in dreams?) more contrasted aspects come back again. With a more sustained two-voice lyricism (with double-stops), it can from then on regain contact with the ensemble, supported by a new regular pulse, on the viola, giving it a new life, even compelling it to conjure up again the vibraphone-piano-flute trio in order to join it with natural diaphanous harmonies, leading to an ultimate lyrical flight, borne by a chord overtaking it, prolonging it.

And what has the Ace of Heart got to do in this universe?

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