Symphony of Space, by the Ensemble Instrumental de l’Ariège
Conductor: Eric Villevière
with the Chœur of Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées
and the Chœur Fleur d’Espine (Carcassonne)
2 Picc. (+ 2 Fl.), 2 Fl. (+ A. Fl., Bass Fl.),
2 Ob. (+ Eng.Hn. 2), Eng.Hn. (+ Bass Ob.),
3 Bsns (+ D.Bsn), Eb Cl., Bb Cl. I-II-III, A. Cl.,
Bass Cl., Cb. Cl., Sop. Sax., 2 A. Sax., T. Sax.,
Bar. Sax., 6 Hns, Eb Tpt., 3 Tpts (+ Flhn.),
4 Trbs, 2 A. Saxhns, 2 Euph., 2 Tubas,
Cb. Saxhn, 2 Cb., 2 Hp., Pno (+ Cel.),
2 Timp., 4 Perc., O. Martenot (+ Theremin),
Mixed Choir, Audio Files.
Level: Grade 6
An extra-terrestrial symphony
Commissioned by the Ensemble Instrumental de l’Ariège, premiered on June 27th 2009 at the Niaux caves (Ariège, France), with the Chœur de Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées joined by the Fleur d’Espine choir (Carcassonne, France), under baton Eric Villevière. After being revised and modified or completed, the score has been played by the same ensembles on October 18, 2009 in Toulouse, and on March 21, 2010 at the Conservatory of Paris. It came back to the National Theater of Foix in Ariège, for the last time, on February 26th 2011.
With its 6 movements and a choral interlude, the Symphony of Space takes us from the creation of the world to the edge of the Universe, where many questions are still not answered. Thus, from the universality of these, Maxime Aulio uses, for the choral part, texts from different civilizations or domains ; so, Japanese poetry rubs with Latin religion, the Mayas’s credences comminutes with the modern science of NASA.
1. Et facta est lux
2. That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind
3. Silence au fond des cieux, planètes, mes vassales !
Interlude (chœur a capella) – Howdy Strangers
4. The Learn’d Astronomer
5. De revolutionibus orbium celestum
6. Eppur si muove
The orchestration is based on a duality of tone colors : 2 harps, 2 timpanists, 2 contrabasses, 2 tenor horns, etc.
A reminder of the important place of mathematics and arithmetics in music and astronomy, two intimately linked sciences as yet told by Pythagorus in his Harmony of the Spheres, as well as Sylvie Vauclair, astrophysicist, who has been the scientific referent with the Science Academy for the project of Symphony of Space label International Year of Astronomy 2009.