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This collection of four short pieces explores resonance and interactive sonority between two pianos. In his childhood, Dutilleux would sit at a piano and try to imitate sound of the town carillon in Douai; the completion of these pieces in his sixtieth year is perhaps an expression of that early interest in bell-like sonorities. Clearly influenced by Debussy, especially in terms of the generally modal language and ear for color, these pieces also owe something to the brevity of Webern and the general character of Eastern philosophies such as Zen Buddhism. Experimentally focusing on acoustic, timbral and harmonic parameters, they are based on a conception of piano sound that is fundamentally sensual. Dutilleux uses unusual pedal techniques and silently depressed chords and clusters to create sympathetic vibrations between the pianos. Subtle and beautiful relationships develop between the two instruments, as acoustic phenomena interact with recurring pitches, sonorities, and “mirror” structures.

[traduction française: Djerroud Safia]