Alleluiah Graffiti - Jean-Philippe Audin
32 acoustic perfumes for solo cello
Alleluiah Graffiti - 32 acoustic perfumes
variations on the prelude of the suite BWV 1007 by J.-S. Bach
The Prelude in G occupies a special place in music.
After having held for a long time the role assigned by its composer, Johann Sebastian Bach, of inaugural piece of the series of the six Suites for solo cello, the Prelude began, from the second half of the XXth century, a brilliant career as a solo piece in cinema and advertising. Etched in the marble of the collective unconscious, it is always welcomed with gratitude by audiences of all ages and persuasions.
My experience of multiple performances of the complete six Bach Suites has shown me that the court dances that follow do not, by far, receive the same reception as this first piece. Except for replaying the preludes at the end of each suite, after the gigues, satisfaction is never there, replaced by the fear of being lost in the counts and of missing the last chord of the last movement, intoxicated by the emotion and abused by the multiple repeats and the three parts of the minuet. Moreover, the rhythmic stability of the prelude contrasts paradoxically with the liberties taken in the interpretation of dances whose traces have long since been erased.
In short! The opening bars of the prelude live with cellists for life.
With just the index finger of the left hand they could play the notes of the first bar, the second with two and so on to the fourth. How many of our friends have asked us to show them? How many of them stammered over and over again these first notes, poking the lock of a sky that was supposed to be inaccessible? Like professionals, alone between play and I!
Joyful, the motif - I hear the "Alleluiah" of universal joy - is accompanied by the obstinate "G" of the bass on the strong beats, while the intermediate notes complete the harmony and ensure the rhythmic continuity. But how to get out of it while staying in it?
By varying the motive and the modes of play, by feeding it with rhythms and harmonies captured during travels and meetings.
Here are 32 variations on the motif of the prelude to J.S. Bach's first suite, written for the cello, this formidable machine that travels in time and space, and a part of its infinite variety of acoustic perfumes. Micro-preludes, graffiti (tags). Like so many variegated doors that a same key would open.
They can serve as a continuation of the prelude's interpretation, as greedy declensions or as separate executions. The order of the pieces here is only an editorial constraint. Depending on the moment, one will prefer continuity to surprise, convention to provocation. The only things that count are the pleasure of the performer and that of his audience. I hope to share with my cellist friends the joy I had in writing and performing them.
They will become familiar with techniques and sounds that are not included in any classical method. In order to allow for a performance where vigilance is focused on defending the spirit rather than on performance, the difficulties, rare, are all surmountable.
For the same reason, I usually close with an abridged version. This is why there is a Coda indication for the final prelude.
Recorded at the now destroyed Davout studio, temple of recorded music where I participated in so many recording sessions, with so many great composers, Delerue, Legrand, Coulais, John Barry, Lalo Shifrin, Cosma, Kravitz, etc.
For solo cello