J.B. Robin: Time Circles / Alsop, Orchestre National de France et al.

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There is a prevailing theme at the heart of Jean-Baptiste Robin’s work, one from which this album draws its name (Time Circles) and can only be translated by the language of sounds: that of time moving inexorably forward, gradually altering beings and things in its path, on into death and oblivion. The title of the first piece, Crop Circles (2012), refers to the man-made, symmetrical, geometric shapes found in crop fields. The slow introduction reveals two motifs: the first based on a symmetrical mode with a swirling melody, symbolizing the geometrical designs of the Crop Circles in question; the second introduces the human element into this semi-natural, semi-artificial world. In the Allegro, ‘the initial swirling becomes a whirlwind’ (J.-B. Robin), then in the slow central section the second theme appears on the solo violin, evoking man at the center of nature.

Following the example of Crop Circles, Zénith (2020) brings together man and passing time through two juxtaposing or overlaying themes. A first section introduces the pizzicato tick-tock of time, then later the human theme appears alone and rises to an intense lyricism. A brief coda on the tick-tock: the struggle between man and time inevitably ends in the latter’s victory. The theme of passing time is placed in a nocturnal setting in the three Poèmes de l'aube et de la nuit (Poems of the Dawn and the Night), wherein the unfolding of the night is ever perceived more slowly than the day. As such, there are no fast movements in these three poems, but instead alternating recitative sections and lyrical passages.

Product Description:

  • Release Date: December 09, 2022

  • Catalog Number: BRI96569

  • UPC: 5028421965697

  • Label: Brilliant Classics

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: Contemporary

  • Composer: Jean-Baptiste Robin

  • Conductor: Marin Alsop, Jean Deroyer, Nicolas Chalvin

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Orchestre National de France, Orchestre des Pays de Savoie

  • Performer: Sarah Nemtanu, Delphine Haidan, Victor Julien-laferriere, François Salque, Romain Descharmes