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Vançon, Jean-Claire – Les quatuors à cordes de Durosoir. Une analyse de style

Date

2011-2

Description

Lucien Durosoir, who composed three string quartets (in 1920, 1922 and 1933-1934), proved to be a man of his time in this regard—given that the number of French quartets increased significantly in the late 19th century. This is what this article will focus on by conducting a stylistic analysis and historicising its criteria. If at the time the composer of quartets had to arbitrate between choices of texture, those made by Durosoir directed him towards the conception of a dense, often polymelodic (and polyrhythmic) texture, which was not hierarchical. Because the composition of a quartet at the time involved linguistic challenges, it is also clear that there is nothing of the atonal musician about Durosoir in these works. Often requiring a tonal or modal analysis, none of the quartets, however, succumb to neoclassical temptations. The quartet genre moreover allowed the composer to tackle the specific relationship between form and material. However, although everything, in the first quartet, can be taken as development (in which the contrapuntal writing appears to provide the vital impetus), the second and third quartets tempered this tendency, replacing it occasionally with a logic of interruption or alternation. It should be added that Durosoir, when he was preoccupied with the material, sometimes forgot to be lyrical. The last two quartets thus allowed him to “melodise” the linear processes, as if having initially regarded the quartet as a compositional challenge, Durosoir only later remembered that he had once been a violinist.