De Bronze et de Lumière Thérèse Brenet
Comments from the composer: “Why this title? I was fascinated, when I met Michel Godard [renowned French serpentist who contacted Douglas Yeo and suggested that he premiere this work], by the different facets of the Serpent.
Why bronze? Because the light reflects on this noble alloy in which silver was mixed by some ancient artists. I was impressed by the dark and almost tragic color that the magnificent instrument is able to transpose, for example, in the trills, and this explains why the serpent plays a trill, on two occasions, in the full range of dynamics from ppp to fff. The piano punctuates briefly these two trills by an incisive intervention, hard-hitting: the light here represents lightning which precedes the rumbling of the storm. But in what follows, I wanted gentleness to be sung. The serpent can be very expressive.
At the end of the piece, one can find the bronze at the serpent and the light, having become very soft, at the piano. The serpent's part fades away, descending to the low register while the piano rises progressively and softly towards the light, reaching higher and higher registers. Therefore, I hope that I was able to bring out the many different facets of this instrument.”
(English translation by Alexandre Lecarme)
photo credit: Paul R. Johnson