… e poi c’era… (Symphony n° 1)

Composed in
3/3/3/3 – 4/3/3/1 – 4 Perc. – H – P – Strings
First performance
September 27, 1985 at Hoogpoort Hall in Groningen (NL). Philharmonic Orchestra of the NOS (Dutch Radio) conducted by David PORCELIJN.
Dedicated to
John Califra
This work was awarded the Third Prize at the Competition for Young European Composers in Amsterdam (NL) in 1985, and the mention “Best Work” in the category young composers at the International Rostrum of Composers at the UNESCO in Paris (F) in 1986.
Commercial recordings
Cyprès CYP 2609 (2cd)
Luc on “…e poi c’era… (Symphony n°1) :
This work was composed in januari 1985 on request of my former teacher André Laporte to be originally first performed at the occasion of a EBU-concert in Madrid in december ’85. That performance finally became the second, since the work received the 3rd Prize at the European Competition for Young Composers organized in Amsterdam and received its premiere on september 27, 1985 in the Cultural Center Hoogpoort in Groningen by the NOS Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by David PORCELIJN. The italian title means “.., and then there was…”. The composition got this title because it was the first I wrote after a year of absolute (creative) silence. I used to compose in so-called post-serial style, exception made for one work (“Het Raadsel van de Sfinks” – “The Enigma of the Sphinx” – filmmusic for 6 Players) in which were elements of overtone-techniques, which are now a constant in my output. After this silence came “.., e poi c’era…”. The work is in one single movement, divided into 5 sections, of which only the 4th is clearly different. The basic idea consists in a kind of noise -described by a Dutch critic as “an organ with leaky pipes”- based upon harmonics in the low string instruments, their strings tuned even very ‘loose’, with percussion. This noise is very regularly “coloured” in the most diverse ways. It’s actually not very much more than that, but elaborated until the smallest details. Everything is on the edge of the inaudible. After some 10 minutes comes a Tutti in fortissimo, followed by a huge crescendo. The last section is some sort of mirror of the start. The score end with a question mark : I supposed things would be clarified in “Komm! Hebe dich…”, my Second Symphony. This Symphony is dedicated to my American friend and fellow-composer John Califra.
Luc Brewaeys