Pulau Dewata (île des dieux) (1977; arr. 1986)

Claude Vivier (John Rea, arrangement)

orchestra (1010/1100/harpe, 3 perc, 10022); (1010/1100/piano, 3 perc, 11111)

Pulau Dewata, the island of the Gods, Bali. On his return to Asia in 1977, Vivier composed several pieces that have remained the most striking of his output, including Pulau Dewata for variable ensemble. Since its premiere, this work has been orchestrated for some very different ensembles: the possibilities of this single melodic line superimposed over itself seem infinite and new arrangements continue to proliferate.

As a musician in a gamelan ensemble in Bali, Vivier commented, “I was a child who learned music.” As such, he guides listeners to appreciate two of his greaest sources of joy: composition and the feeling of being a child! But for Vivier, childhood is telling, “There is one thing that is completely foreign to art in Bali, and that is the poetry of great sadness, the kind of grief that love of life can engender. This is not the sorrow of persons who do not love life, but the sadness of those who love life in a profound way.”

Martine Rhéaume

Performances