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Pascal Dusapin: 7 Solos Pour Orchestre

Pascal Dusapin Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 18.34 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Orchestre Philharmonique de Liege
  • Conductor: Pascal Rophe
  • Composer: Pascal Dusapin
  • Audio CD (5 April 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Naive Sa
  • ASIN: B003757R1K
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 265,951 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Go (solo n 1)
2. Extenso (solo n 2)
3. Apex (solo n 3)
4. Clam (solo n 4)
Disc: 2
1. Exeo (solo n 5)
2. Reverso (solo n 6)
3. Uncut (solo n 7)

Product Description

Product Description

Naïve collaborates with one of today's most exciting and prolific composers, Pascal Dusapin, for a new recording of his symphonic works entitled 'Seven Solos for Orchestra'.

Pascal Rophé directs the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège Wallonie Bruxelles - acknowledged as the finest orchestra in Belgium on this recording. 'Seven Solos for Orchestra' is a collection of works intended to make the orchestra play as one solo instrument. The cycle of seven solos for orchestra started in 1991 with "Go" and ended in 2008 with "Uncut", premiered at the Cité de la Musique in Paris on 27 March 2009.


(4 stars) There is a delicacy and refinement to much of the orchestral writing that sometimes recalls Dutilleux. -- The Guardian, (Andrew Clements), April 16, 2011

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Sound 13 Mar 2011
Format:Audio CD
Composers nowadays tend not to get commissioned for large-scale orchestral works, so Pascal Dusapin surreptitiously used up seven commissions premiered from 1992 up to 2009 to piece together this 90-minute work titled "7 Solos for Orchestra". Due to an abundance of slowish episodes I'm not sure this would work as an actual concert piece, even though this is very much music that rewards concentrated listening and often envelops you in great washes of pure integrated sound. Sounding more German than French, it's modern music that sort of hovers on the edge of tonality, is not afraid of using very long-held string chords and has quite an elemental natural flow to it with plenty of dramatic effects using lots of brass and percussion instruments next to the strings.
The opening orchestral solo is a heroic allegro type of piece having trumpet sounds regular, piccolo and muted. These ever so slightly jazzy trumpet sounds keep returning in the first four solos all written during the nineties. The second solo starts off as an adagio for strings but after a quickening of the pulse yields to a dark ominous atmosphere with lots of rumbling percussion sounds. The third and fourth solos don't do that much for me with their rather hesitant and slightly drunken feel alleviated however by striking orchestral effects such as high flutes set against low trombones.
The final three compositions are in my opinion the most successful: the fifth solo is one big high-energy arc of tension that somehow reminded me of the opening to Shostakovich's 5th symphony; the sixth and at 20 minutes longest piece has a steady pulse in the background on percussion including gongs which makes for a kind of trance-like ritualistic feel; the seventh an inspired conclusion dominated by a horn ensemble.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Xenakis + Mahler = Dusapin 12 Oct 2010
Format:Audio CD
My title for this review is rather crude but thats what I think of when I hear these brilliant works. I know Xenakis is a big influence on Dusapin as he was his tutor at some point early in his career. But rather than creating huge discordant soundscapes like Xenakis, Dusapin's writing is more lyrical and spiritual. Like Mahler, there is much energy and drama in these works, especially in the earlier peices and you may feel like you've been on a huge journey even though a peice may only be 20 mins or so long. The word "Solos" I would say is bit misleading as these are modern orchestral symphonic works and there is nothing solo about them unless you are using the term to describe an orchestra as "one".
Dusapin is one of my favourite living composers, his writing is soulfull and spiritual, complex and minimalist. I would highly recommend his opera "Romeo & Juliet" as I think it is a modern masterpeice.

My favourite disc of the year so far (with the possible exception of P M D's "Tavener"), and one that im constantly going back to. The sound is huge and dynamic and is my current cd of choice to annoy my neighbours. Highly recommended
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning orchestral cycle, a Xenakis-Messiaen hybrid 15 Jun 2010
By Autonomeus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Pascal Dusapin is a leading French composer, almost exactly my age, whose main form is the opera. But he has written many other works, and the release of this 2-disc Naive set of 7 SOLOS FOR ORCHESTRA: THE CYCLE OF THE SEVEN FORMS is one of the major musical events of the year. The 7 Solos are: Go (1992 premiere -- 8'04), Extenso (1994 premiere -- 12'31), Apex (1996 premiere -- 15'55), Clam (1998 premiere -- 11'24), Exeo (2003 premiere -- 13'29), Reverso (2007 premiere -- 19'09), and Uncut (2009 premiere -- 9'36). Dusapin began writing the works here in 1991, and finished in 2008. While the seven constituent parts were commissioned by six different orchestras, the superb performances here are all by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liege Wallonie Bruxelles, led by Pascal Rophe. As Dusapin explains in the liner notes,

"In the early 1990s, I wanted to get away from the running times of between ten and twenty minutes that are invariably associated with commissions for orchestra. Since no one was offering me commissions to produce longer symphonic forms, I decided to bide my time. I dreamt of an extended, complex form comprising seven autonomous episodes regenerating themselves from within, fertilising other possibilities, and proliferating on the interstices left open by the preceding fluxes."

The composer's own liner notes offer fascinating insights into the formal construction of the work(s), especially the links among the different parts. He says, for instance, that "Go" refers both to irrevocable resolve (let's go!), and to the Chinese game of strategy, "the object of which is to build up territories by using the simplest of materials. Which is the concept of the whole cycle." He refers to the transmutation of block chords in "Extenso" as "incessant reptilian movements," which I can scarcely improve on!

But let me turn to the poetic and try to evoke the sound of the piece. The most obvious point of comparison for Dusapin is Xenakis. Dusapin studied with Xenakis from 1974 to 1978, and his work is a maverick outgrowth of that background as Xenakis's work was a maverick outgrowth of his teacher Messiaen, following a unique path independent of the Darmstadt School composers of his generation. Dusapin's 7 SOLOS shares with Xenakis's orchestral writing the use of glissandos, and has a similar organic feel, dynamically developing without reference to standard guideposts of sonata form or standard movements. However, while Xenakis's music typically impresses the listener as awesomely inhuman, developing at the organic/inorganic interface where life springs from the very rocks, or expressing the majestic unfurling of clouds or waves, Dusapin's writing is evocative of myth and ritual, of a sacred mystery. Brass fanfares alert us to our entry into non-linear time, while long, low tones and percussion give us the sensation we are in a deep, dark space where we seek the divine. Messiaen reberverates in this space!

Dusapin, to my ear, has achieved his own unique synthesis of Messiaen and Xenakis in this cycle. Xenakis epitomized heroic modernism, striving to create something utterly new. Dusapin and I are of the more recent period when the old metanarratives were all cracking apart giving birth to strange hybrids, a world of postmodern play in which many worlds and stories jumble and none have primacy. The 7 SOLOS journey through this world evoking wonder and mystery, open to the older realm of the Sacred as well as the newer sense of flux and impermanency. Very Buddhist, it seems to me, though I have no knowledge that Dusapin is explicitly reflecting Dharma teachings.

This is one of three new Dusapin releases this year, along with Naive's expanded reissue of the Concertos (see my review), and Aeon's release of the String Quartets & Trio (see my review), performed by the Arditti Quartet. I was quite happy to see this acknowledged by the New York Times in a May 11th, 2010 article by Steve Smith called "Riding Herd on the Wild Orchestra." Two of the early Solos, "Extenso" and "Apex" were released on an earlier Naive disc in 1998, reissued in 2000. Those recordings were of the Orchestre National de Lyon, which commissioned both works, led by Emmanuel Krivine. I heard those earlier recordings, and it is fantastic to now hear them in the full context that Dusapin has dreamt of all these years!

I consider Pascal Dusapin to be one of the finest composers of our time, and I look forward to the release on disc of his latest opera, PASSION, which had its premiere in 2008.

(verified purchase from ArkivMusic)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bold, satisfying 18 July 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Obviously influenced by Xenakis, and as other reviewers have commented, it avoids the mathematic clinicality that sometimes pervades Xenakis' work, but retains the thick and forceful use of the entire orchestra.

However, that isn't to say there isn't room for subtlety, flutes dart on the surface of "Apex" and add a brightness that complements, rather than counters the lower brass and propulsive timpani.

The production is superb and the range of the recording comes across very well even on small laptop speakers.

Overall, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this release.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dusapin delights in the timbres of a large orchestra, but these seven works are little more than overlong fanfares 27 Oct 2012
By Christopher Culver - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
When Pascal Dusapin wasn't getting commissions to write lengthy orchestral works at the beginning of the 1990s, he decided to fulfill the 10-minute commissions he did receive with the goal of eventually filling out a cycle. The resulting seven pieces, written from 1992 to 2008, were ultimately collected under the heading of Solos for Orchestra and they bear the evocative titles of "Go", "Extenso", "Apex", "Clam" (Latin for "secretly"), "Exeo", "Reverso" and "Uncut". Here Pascal Rophe leads the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège Wallonie Bruxelles.

Dusapin's music has been compared to Xenakis in its visceral impact and use of unusual scales, but during this period he had an individual sound based on a preference for microtonal writing and the overlaying of unrelated lines. To draw an extramusical comparison, this style has always sounded like roaring winds and a sort of barely controlled mourning. Even in Dusapin's poorer works, this highly individual style does merit listening.

Each of the Solos is exceedingly single-minded, either churning very limited material over and over again in a vortex, or spreading it out into a glacial orchestral soundscape. Dusapin is a master of orchestration, and I loved his concertos written around the same time as these works, but I am rather disappointed by this collection, as the pieces feel directionless, essentially extended fanfares for some meatier work to follow on the concert programme. Nor do they segue into one long 90-minute work, as the order is arbitrary and establishes no dramatic arc.

Furthermore, this recording is far too closely miked and lacks much dynamic range, making it exhausting to follow even just a couple of the pieces. Solos No. 2 "Extenso" and No. 3 "Apex" have previously been recorded on a 2000 Naive disc by conducted by Orchestre National de Lyon and Emmanuel Krivine. The 2000 recording is more distantly miked and Krivine takes a slightly more cautious approach, which if not superior to Rophe's reading, is at least easier to bear.
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