The Guardian festival blog: Ensemble Variances review – Pécou’s intricate reflections on the slave trade resonates | Music

Thierry Pécou’s quartet Outre-mémoire (Beyond Memory) was written in 2003, conceived as a commemoration of the slave trade. Bristol new music festival’s decision to programme the piece in a city whose very prosperity was based on its historic connection with slave trading was canny.

Pécou’s conscious pursuit of this idea was also an exploration of his own DNA: having trodden the conventional compositional path through the Paris Conservatoire, he became increasingly aware that his family roots in Martinique set him apart in terms of cultural heritage. Outre-mémoire is thus a work that is intensely personal and yet universal for invoking fundamental and still timely questions about wealth and poverty, exploitation and oppression.

Scored for piano, flute/alto flute, clarinet/bass clarinet and cello, its 12 movements span 75 minutes, and the ambition to create a work with a global perspective is reflected in its moments…


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Straight from The Guardian
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