Apres les Oiseaux, L'Abîme
violin and piano
Commissioned by the Nuova Consonanza Festival as part of "catalogue d'hommages" in honor of Messiaen
Premiered by Duo Ardoré, December 12, 2017, Rome, Italy
The Eurasian curlew (Courlis cendré) is the subject of the 13th and final movement of Messiaen’s catalogue d’oiseaux. Like many bird species around the world, and curlew species in particular, its population numbers are trending downward. What happens if and when the curlew disappears? It is difficult to imagine a world without birds, apres les oiseaux, but perhaps we should try. In this world, the sky is a silent void, a vast and hollow monument to the dead: l’abîme.