Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France;
An irresistible energy irradiates the entire sound material of Thierry Pécou's orchestral music, right down to the silences. This almost spiritual celebration of rhythm is extremely rare in contemporary composers. Impelled by their rhythmic drive, the Symphonie du Jaguar and Vague de pierre explore the mysteries of the pre-Columbian mythologies of Maya Mexico and the literary painters of ancient China.The Symphonie du Jaguar refers to the cyclic course of time and the trajectory of the sun (Kin), in its incarnation as the daystar, and in the form of a red jaguar in its journey into the bowels of the earth where it is regenerated. Here there are five cardinal points - east, west, north, south, and centre, symbolised respectively by the four solo instruments (clarinet, trombone, violin and cello) and, in the centre, the female chorus; at the end of the work, the clarinet and trombone emit calls in the five directions. Whereas the Symphonie du Jaguar was inspired by Mayan civilisation, Vague de pierre - 'Stone ave', a literal translation of 'Shi Tao', the name of a Chinese literary painter of the late Manchu dynasty - is underpinned by an external source, the writings of François Cheng and François Jullien on art and philosophy in China. Born in Boulogne-Billancourt in 1965,Thierry Pécou has received many prizes for his compositions, which have been commissioned by leading institutions and performers. He frequently performs his own works at the piano, as director of Zellig, a flexibly sized ensemble devoted to new music of which he is the founder, or as soloist with orchestra in his piano concertos (Tremendum and L'Oiseau innumérable).