Ornamented zone

Chamber music without conductor
Clarinette Sib
Violon alto
10 min.
for clarinet, viola, cello and piano
Date de création
The numerous ornaments, trills, embroideries, grupetti and mordents that are to be found in Ornamented Zone take refuge behind the face of a mask and the baroque sculptural fold.  Ornamentation is here only possible in a harmonic context that defines, according to each occurrence, what is ornamental in character and what is not.  If one ornament came to lose its very privilege of precedence, then the next would no longer need to be resolved and would thus lose all its expressive value.  This is perhaps the reasoning behind the initial intervals, with the harmony on one hand defining the ornamentation, and the ornamentation on the other defining the primacy of the harmonic structure.  This is even more so, when the centre of the work becomes denser and the hazard of a multitude of superfluous events, being not any vanity of compositional style at all but rather a serious divertissement.  The abundance of ornamentation is superposed onto itself, not allowing suspension in the momentary absence of all harmonic pre-eminence.  The affirmation and the overabundance of these divergences that are finally authorised link up with another baroque influence; more than in the asceticism of one single note or interval that remains unchanged, music as art takes part in the refinement of a geometry of situations, of a topology, of a space or of an ornamental region.  The ornamentation disappears from time to time in a glissando that seems to annihilate and reduce every attack and every staccato into a levitation that is slowed down and inflected into the most perfect legato, in the very image of the frail harmony with which the piece ends.  It is only the alliances formed by the instrumental ensemble, Brahmsian if not fin-de-siècle in colour that seem to contradict the baroque flavour of the work’s inspiration.  Ornamented Zone was commissioned by the Ensemble Intercontemporain.