12 musicians

This work is the fourth in an ongoing cycle that began with Trame I, for oboe and ensemble. Trame II featured the harpsichord, while the third work in the cycle called for a solo cello with full orchestra. Of the cycle and Trame IV in particular, Matalon writes: “My interest in the essence of the concerto resides in the tension between a writing style that highlights a single soloist, and another that grants equal importance to all instruments, by establishing complex relationships amongst them. The generic title given to each work, Trame, derives from the homonym poem by Jorge Luis Borges that unveils the synchronization that exists amongst all the elements of universal history. Less ambitious and more circumscribed, my own Trames evoke more simply the manner in which each composition is woven together, its Ariadne’s thread, both hidden and in plain sight. Each Trame explores specific compositional problems that preoccupied me as I wrote each work, like a personal diary. Variation, or more aptly, ‘reinterpretation’ serves as the underlying idea of Trame IV, cast over five continuous movements. A prologue and epilogue frame three central movements. The first cycles through five of these ‘reinterpretations’ ending with a final loop, grounded in pianistic writing that is based on colour and lightness; the second movement is based on a harmonic succession that is commented upon and paraphrased, all within a slow tempo; the third amounts to a series of reinterpretations of a single polyrhythmic figure. The prologue encapsulates the entire piece, while the epilogue, departing from its normal concluding function, serves to open the work to further possible developments.”

Martin Matalon