Aperçus / Symétriques

for 2 cellos
à Lola Ramirez et Diederik Smulders


Aperçus / Symétriques is a virtuoso tit- for-tat that brings both cellos to move together in a constant exchange of little glimpses of musical ideas. Those musical aperçus are viewed, and reviewed in a symmetrical way all throughout the piece, although twisted, shortened or extended, bringing an overall narrative directed towards the last five bars of the piece.

A slow central passage exploring the colors of natural harmonics brings space and contrast in between the other two very dense and busy parts. There, the tempo is much freer and the focus directed towards the shaping of the different ideas constituting this ‘interlude’. Still, the concept of little musical aperçus is kept and the new colors that are then explored shape the two central minutes of the piece into an aerial and ethereal atmosphere, before re-entering the dense and energetic tension of the beginning.


Structure & Segments

Although the form of little aperçus is central in the piece, those are articulated in a larger ternary structure that over-rules the entire piece. This is rendered in two ways, first with tempo changes (fast- slow-fast), but also in a larger harmonic plan (12 tones-‘natural harmonics’-12 tones).


The thirteen segments in the piece are organized as follows:

A: « Très acéré. » (M.M.76-80)

I  – Mordant et très contrasté (1-17)

II  – (18-24)

III  – Strictement (25-27)

IV  – Comme une mécanique déréglée (28-37)

V  – En relâchant petit à petit (38-53)


B: « Apaisé et contemplatif. Libre » (M.M.55-60)

VI  – Flexible (54-60)

VII  – Cristallin (61-67)

VIII  – Soudainement très brillant, aérien (68-75)

IX  – De nouveau cristallin et plus fragile (76-82)


A’: « De nouveau très acéré. Avec plus d’énergie. » (M.M.76-80)

X  – Très bouillonnant (83-92)

XI  – Strictement (93-95)

XII  – Très mordant (96-111)

XIII  – Le plus violent possible (112-116)

Den Haag, 4-v-21