Quatuor à cordes "Les Ombres", opus 52 - Laurent Coulomb
For String Quartet
Quatuor à cordes "Les Ombres"
to Nicolas Bacri
The subtitle "Les Ombres" can be read in two different ways. On the one hand, it alludes to the context in which the work was written, during the exact duration of the confinement linked to the Covid-19 epidemic, as a distant echo of the strange situation experienced in this unprecedented moment. It also evokes those veils of doubt, sadness, melancholy, spleen, anguish or agitation - in a word: turmoil - that can sometimes arise in the mind of everyone. However, one should not see any program, any descriptive intention, but rather the observation a posteriori of the character of the work.
This quartet is indeed, above all, a study of sonata form, extended to the whole piece. It is organized according to the traditional movements of a quartet, but also according to the general principles of sonata form. We will thus distinguish successively, according to an arch form, four main stages (themselves covering several sections), to which are superimposed and intermingled the stages of the exposition of three fundamental "themes", their melodic-rhythmic development and their varied recapitulation:
1. Prologo - Proposizioni
2. Canto elegiaco
3. Intermezzo: Scherzo - Trio (Ricapitolazione I) - Scherzo
4. Ricapitolazione II - Epilogo
NB : The harmonic discourse is built according to an equal temperament : the enharmonic notations are strictly equivalent and are used to facilitate the reading of the chromatic figures. Alterations are valid for each bar.