L’origine du Monde

Inspired by a painting by Gustave Courbet, this piece by Hugues Dufourt was written in 2004 and is scored for piano and small ensemble.  In the composer’s own words,

The treatment of the instrumental ensemble often resembles that of a synthesized sound being integrated into the piano resonance as if into a sphere of coloured potentialities

I think what is meant by this is that the instrument sounds often appear to be triggered by chords from the piano, blending into the piano’s own resonance.  The mood set at the beginning of the piece is eerie and strange – dissonant chords on the piano and a sparse percussion  accompaniment.  The piece unfolds slowly, though in the middle of the piece is a sudden and unexpectedly chaotic fast section, with rising chromatic passages and abruptly ending phrases.  It has a desperate quality throughout, as tension is built but never resolved.

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