Instrumentation: harp solo / 1 (picc, alt) – 1 – 1 (Bcl) – 1 (Ctrb) / 1 – 1 – 1- 0 / perc / pno (cel) / 1 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 1
Duration: 17 minutes
Year composed: 2016
Performers: Natalie Severson (harp), Daniel Curtis (conductor), Carnegie Mellon CME
First performance: Natalie Severson harp, Daniel Curtis conductor, Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Music Ensemble, Kresge Theater, Pittsburgh, PA, February 20, 2016
Program note: Time is a universal notion. It can be observed as a fundamental property of the universe or as an intellectual reflection on its human perception. Sur les ailes du temps is inscribed in this reflection, and suggests different perceptions of time through the different movements of the piece. From the violence of the instant and the balm of oblivion, to the apparent disintegration of the moment, Sur les ailes du temps emphasizes breaks and changes, and it involves our memory.
The three movements of this concerto move away from the traditional form. Each movement is built with the technique of « inserts », blocks of radically different material. This technique can be observed both at a microstructure and at a macrostructure.
The form of the concerto is also revisited in the treatment of the solo instrument. Instead of being against the orchestra, the harp generates all the material. As is the nature of Time, the harp gives birth to synchronistic or diachronistic elements, and as a powerful being sometimes emancipates itself from the orchestra in an exaltation of movement and fate.