Stephane Altier

Parcours I

for cello and a remote piano

duration: 10 minutes


Parcours I
I Soliloque / II Entre-jeux / III Emondage
(Soliloque / Interlude / Pruning*)

This piece is the opening section of a much longer ensemble music work I am currently composing. It can be performed either as a solo violoncello piece (part I and III only), or with a remote (and hidden) piano.

Two slow, expressionistic, and lyrical violoncello sections are separated by a static and void piano interlude, made of a contrasting regular and somehow 'nude' time. The piano impinges on the third section, embodying a kind of outside world, barely related to the violoncello. It remains while the violoncello is gradually 'pruned'. The Journey (parcours) is over.

(*) Emonder, in French, means to prune (a tree, a text, etc.), but sounds like to cut-from-the-world (world = monde).

Stephane Altier studied composition in Rueil-Malmaison with Alain Roizenblat (1er Prix de composition 1995 / Mention d'excellence 1997), then at the Conservatoire Superieur de Paris with Jacques Charpentier (1er prix de composition 1999), and finally at the Royal Academy of Music (London) where he is awarded a Master Degree (M.MUS) in composition 'with distinction' in 2001.

He is currently a research composition student at the Royal Academy of Music where he is undertaking a PhD under the supervision of Professor Simon Bainbridge and teaches composition as second study.

In 2000, Billaudot Editions published his Cinq Pièces brèves (cello & piano) and the Ladislav Kubik International Composition Prize 2000 (State University of Florida) rewarded his string quartet Quatrain – Ascendante tu. In 2001 he was the winner of the Edward Hecht Composition Prize for Follow me (violin, horn and chamber orchestra), the Alan Bush Composition Prize for Nox (clarinet & piano) and was awarded the Arthur Hervey Scholarship, the Pullen Memorial Prize, the GV Turner-Cook Award, and the Mosco Carner Prize by the Royal Academy.

Stephane Altier recently composed for the R.A.M. Symphony Orchestra (Etude - Dans le Ressac, commissioned by the Royal Academy of Music for the Kagel Festival 2001), and the B.B.C. Singers (Ecueil - for 24 solo voices). Sable - Monologue, for 12 instruments, has been premiered by Philharmonia Orchestra players conducted by Martyn Brabbins. Treize Fragments de la Danse, for 19 instruments, won recently the third prize of the Luxembourg International Composition Prize 2002 and has been premiered by the Luxembourg Sinfonietta conducted by Marcel Wengler.

Stephane Altier is currently working on a large-scale work for chamber ensemble, which is to include Parcours I, for cello and a remote piano, Parcours II for 6 players, and Parcours III for string quartet.

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