Quatuor à cordes no 2 «Tombeau» (2002)

Jean Lesage

string quartet

Commission: ECM+, with support from the CCA

Premiere: May 14, 2002, Bozzini QuartetConcert, Salle Pierre-Mercure — Centre Pierre-Péladeau (Montréal, Québec)

  • 1. Divertimento serioso
  • 2. Round, Catch and Canon Club
  • 3. Divertimento buffo
  • 4. Mr Birdcage’s Ground
  • 5. Tombeau
  • 6. Musique sur laquelle il n’est pas interdit de danser

“A postmodern response to modernism is one that inherently acknowledges the past. Given that the past cannot be destroyed, for its annihilation would only lead to silence, it must be revisited—with irony, in a way that is devoid of innocence.” — Umberto Eco

The function of memory lies at the heart of my artistic concerns. In my work, I try to establish a fertile relationship between the presence of the composition and the artistic past. This playful relationship with the history of music takes shape in several creative ways, for example, in a game of recollection and failure to recall as part of a performance-manipulation of memory. Or in a reconstruction of the past that is presented by means of the composition, in which we show how memory creates, destroys, and remakes its own past, through a constant revaluation of the articles of history, and by continually projecting these on our vision of the future.

This artistic standpoint in no way derives from nostalgia—there is no question here of returning to a musical “paradise lost”. Rather, it derives from a willingness to obliterate the boundaries between the past, present and future. — JL

  • Recording: available at SMCQ’s office

Performances