18/10/2018 - Chicago (United States), Symphony Center - Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop (conductor)
The term "Threnos" came into existence in Ancient Greece and designates a funereal lamentation - be it musical or literary. If modern composers such as Igor Stravinsky or Krzysztof Penderecki have given this title to their works, the Renaissance constitutes the Golden Age for this contemplative lament. Generally, a "Threnos" is a slow piece, even a static one.
I have made the opposite choice. In fact, here it entails a celebration that is at once violent, virtuostic and extraverted. The military quality comes from the use of four snare drums which create a continuum extended to the orchestra through string tremolos and woodwind bisbigliandi.
The texture is thus very dense, even in the most ethereal sections, and leans towards white noise, even saturation.
Threnos is a commission of the Chicago Symphony Orchesta on the occasion of the celebration of the Centennial of the First World War.