ANTHONY GIRARD (b.1959): Voyage au gré des illusions for Violin, Harp and String Orchestra, La Colombe et le Lys for Harp and String Quartet, Entre le souffle et le murmure for Flute, Viola and Harp, Plus haut que les oiseaux for Flute and Harp.
Catalogue Number: 05Q082
Label: Harp & Company
Description: Girard's idiom is very approachable, with an intriguing polymodal approach to his largely consonant, tonal harmonic thinking. Voyage is a double concerto in which the violin boldly takes the lead, leading to a lively, and increasingly collaborative discourse with the harp's gentler, more harmonically ambiguous material, which occupies the slow central section. Girard's fondness for post-minimalist ostinati propels the folk-dance-like opening of the finale, which unexpectedly resolves into a gorgeous slow modally inflected epilogue very reminiscent of the meditative, ecstatic 'spiritual minimalism' of Alexandre Rabinovitch-Barakovsky. "The Dove and the Lily" depicts two important symbols found in depictions of the Annunciation, with a persistent ostinato pulse anchoring restlessly modulating melodic gestures, shining threads spun by the harp. The work seems suffused by radiance, its quickening energy surrounded by images of tranquility and serenity. "Between Breath and Whisper" shares this sense of creative energy, lively ascending gestures reaching upward into sunlight while Girard's trademark ostinati suggest a constantly motivating life-force. The flute and harp duo contrasts a mysterious slow chant in limited pitches from the flute with a rippling harp accompaniment, the former expanding and becoming more elaborate and ornamented as the piece progresses and gathers momentum before fading out in a recapitulation of the meditative opening. Rachel Talitman (harp), Alexei Moshkov (violin), Marco Fregnani-Martins (flute), Pierre-Henri Xuereb (viola), Antoine Maisonhaute, Jan Peters (violins), Maxime Desert (viola), Jeanne Maisonhaute (cello), Orchestra Il Sono; Michel Lysight.