Composer supervised first recordings.
This disc of French composer Joël-François Durand's music amplifies his ongoing interest in the classical 'four elements': air, earth, fire and water.
World class performers include the London Sinfonietta, BBC Symphony Orchestra, conductor Pierre-André Valade, and renowned Swedish organist Hans-Ola Ericcsson.
The oboe concerto, La terre et le feu features a hallmark of Durand's work: rising figures that gradually strain upwards. The work consists of an introduction and four principal sections, with a coda. Embedded within this is the entire structure of the requiem mass. In the last main section, figures from earlier sections contest with, and, as Durand puts it, 'consume' one another, leaving the oboe to rise from the ashes at the end.
The title of the solo organ piece Les raisons des forces mouvantes comes from a treatise by Salomon de Caux, published in 1615, which concerns itself with scientific experiments based on the four elements, and various machines that arise from their interaction (including hydraulic organs!). Durand's composition follows Caux's water - earth - air - fire sequence.
Reviews"Seattle composer JoÃ«l-FranÃ§ois Durand's recent CD, La terre et le feu (Mode) has two fine orchestral pieces: the title track, with its wan, astringent oboe/string textures, and the blazing Athanor, whose sweeping strings and bell-like brass crossbreed Brahms and Birtwistle. I really like the disc, but it's telling that these two tough and challenging compositions were recorded by the London Sinfonietta and the BBC Symphony Orchestra." - Chris DeLaurenti, thestranger.com online review, March 2005