Les espaces infinis (2001)
for chamber orchestra
Instrumentation: 2222 / 2100 / harp / strings
Duration: 10 minutes
World Premiere: Commissioned and premiered by the Albany Symphony on Feb. 10 and 11, 2001, Albany, NY. Also performed by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra on Sept. 28 and 29, 2002, Los Angeles, CA.
Les espaces infinis (The Infinite Spaces) is, for the most part, a quiet meditation on the nature of time and space. The title is derived from a quote of Pascal: ‘Le silence éternal des espaces infinis m’effraie’ (‘The eternal silence of the infinite spaces terrifies me’). It is meant to evoke a sense of spaciousness and timelessness. At the beginning of the work, a series of falling chords is heard in the strings. This leads to the main motive of the entire work, a quiet melodic fragment in the upper strings which also forms a diatonic cluster. The music gradually builds, and eventually the quiet main motive is heard forcefully in the brass. The stillness of the opening returns, and a quiet coda concludes the work.
-- Pierre Jalbert
© 2016 Pierre Jalbert, Les espaces infinis