… pour le temps perdu
for solo English Horn
(or Oboe d’Amore; or Alto Saxophone; or Tenor Saxophone)
- composition date: 2019
- duration: ca. 9 min.
02/11/2019, Club du Silex, Auxerre, France | Luís Matos (English Horn) | within the program of the 2019 Congress of the French Oboe Association
16/02/2020, Casa Branca de Gramido, Gondomar, Portugal | Luís Matos (English Horn)
Suggested and commissioned by young and talented Portuguese oboist Luís Matos, «… pour le temps perdu», for solo English Horn, pays homage to the memory of another well-known and also Portuguese oboist, Samuel Bastos (1987–2019), who left us suddenly and prematurely at the young age of 32. Samuel’s death shocked not only the closest but in fact, also the entire Portuguese and even international music community. He was a superbly talented artist, as well as a person of affable treatment and extreme sympathy, leaving us all profoundly devastated.
I shared many personal and professional moments with Samuel. For instance, he premiered the version for oboe d’amore and piano of my Trois pièces d’hommage in 2012, and even before he participated in the debut concert of Camerata Nov’Arte, an ensemble that I established in Porto in 2011 and for which I am artistic and music director. Over the years, I have followed with interest the upward trajectory of Samuel’s career, which culminated in his appointment as soloist at the Zurich Opera Orchestra, in Switzerland. For several years, also, I have collaborated with Da Capo magazine, which he created together with his sister Sandra in Portugal, and which has provided an invaluable service for the dissemination of classical music in our country.
When Luís Matos approached me about the possibility of writing a work dedicated to the memory of Samuel, we immediately agreed it should not be a mere elegy on his death, but rather, also a celebration of his life, his successes and the many joys he gave us all. The piece was intended to premiere at the National Congress of the French Association of Oboe, where Luís Matos was to be a guest artist.
So, more than writing another extremely virtuosic piece, as I already have several in my catalog, I chose, given the intention of homage, for a musical discourse more of expressiveness and emotion, dimensions so often overlooked in contemporary music.
There are two direct references to Samuel Bastos in the score. For once, the first six notes represent, in musical cryptogram, the name of Samuel:
S = e[S] = Eb B = B
A = A As = a[i]s = A#
M = mi = E
U = ut = C
Likewise, the quote from the iconic English horn solo that opens the third act of Richard Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde, intends to honor Samuel as an opera instrumentalist, while carrying some of the original Wagnerian anguish to my work.
I hope Samuel will appreciate this modest tribute, wherever he is. His memory will forever live in the hearts of all those who knew him.
World Premiere: November 2, 2019, Auxerre, France, at the Congress of the French Oboe Association; English Horn – Luís Matos.
Note: given the similarities of register, the composer authorizes the execution of this work also on Oboe d’Amore, Alto Saxophone or Tenor Saxophone.
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contact the composer here.