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La Monnaie - Atlas Borealis
La Monnaie ¦ Chamber music ¦ Atlas Borealis ¦ Intro

Atlas Borealis

Arne Deforce

Whether or not one agrees with the musicologist Heinz-Klaus Metzger that John Cage’s Etudes Boréales are the work of God, one is forced to admit that there is very little that’s human about them: Cage composed them by copying a star chart and converting the resulting dots and lines into musical notation, effectively abdicating his will as a composer to create a work whose very contingency assumes cosmic proportions. Arne Deforce, a formidable Flemish cellist who specialises in the music of this century and the last, tackles it among other modern explorations of spirituality: Giacinto Scelsi’s minimal and meditative Latin Prayers, James Dillon’s Eos, a mercurial homage to the Greek goddess of dawn, and Jonathan Harvey’s extraordinary Curve with Plateaux, which depicts man as a sum of his attributes, from the body, to the emotions, to the soul, and back again. Daunting music it may be, but hearing it performed live by such a superlative artist is not something you’ll forget anytime soon.


Co-production La Monnaie / De Munt, Festival van Vlaanderen-Brussel / KlaraFestival

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