Premiere of La fête de l’été


On September 17th and 18th, 2010, the Ikarus Chamber Players presented a magnificent concert at the Duo Cultural Arts center in downtown New York.

The program was called ‘L’heure bleue,’ after the period in Paris at the turn of the last century.

L’heure bleue

September 17th – 18th, 2010
Duo Multicultural Arts Center, NYC

The blue hour refers to that special time, just before dawn, when a few solitary birds begin to sing and when the heavily cloaked night sky first hints at its inevitable retreat, as well as to a time of innocence in Paris, just prior to World War One, when Maurice Ravel was composing music for piano trio and Claude Debussy was writing his cello sonata. This program celebrates French music, food, and wine, and that time of night – in France or elsewhere – when the electric energy of great friendships finally gives way to the peaceful morning light.

Messiaen ~ Theme And Variations
Debussy ~ Sonate pour violoncelle et piano
Blachly ~ La fête de l’été (commissioned by Salchow & Sons)

Ravel ~ Piano Trio

Owen Dalby (vln), Julia MacLaine (vc), Ilya Kazantsev (pno)

Location: 62 East 4th Street, NYC
My major compositional effort from last year, La fête de l’été, was premiered in fashionable fashion, in the extremely good company of Messiaen, Debussy and Ravel, and was paired with a crisp Chenin Blanc, the wine that inspired the piece as I wrote it last Summer.

It is a substantial work, some 25 minutes in length, in four movements: la bulle, la gitane, le code a changé, and la nuit. It was inspired by my stay last summer in the beautiful town of le Puy-Notre-Dame in the Saumur region of France.