Diptyque entourant la caresse


The Diptyque surrouding the caress is a concerto for harpsichord and instrumental ensemble inspired by the concerto for harpsichord by Manuel de Falla. Manuel de Falla was the first to write his harpsichord concerto for an instrumental ensemble composed of a flute, clarinet, oboe, violin and cello. An atypical chamber music formation. To pay tribute to this brilliant Spanish composer, I wanted to write my concerto using the same instrumentist. I wanted to find a different point of view, a singular color. My desire was to lead the music into the root of sound, in what may be physical and corporeal: the grave register. With the idea of ​​economy of means which animates me, I decided to employ the same instrumentists but to use the « bass » instruments of the family of flutes, oboes and clarinets and to write thus for bass flute, contrabassa clarinet, oboe baritone, violin and cello. Can a partition burst the light with a darker color palette ?

The form. From the beginning, I had the title of the work, Diptyque, so a work in two movements. Nevertheless when I started writing I had the need to write three movements … What had to be done, change the title? Write only two movements? It is perhaps painting that gave me another reading and another imaginary. During the writing of the piece, I discovered the paintings of Jerome Bosch and a few months later visited the Dali Museum in Figueras … And I understood that my Diptyque would be two movements that would surround a central piece : the Diptyque surrounding the Caress, caress being the caress of the rough hand, the central movement which is the piece for harpsichord alone …

The title of the movements. The slippery eye, the receding leg or the rough hand could be characters of a painting by Jerome Bosch or a surrealist painting. There is a quirky side in the titles that I like and which brings absurdity, irony, farce and, in my opinion, gives a step back in order to better express deep and serious things.

The command. This score received a commission from the Marcelle and Robert de Lacour Foundation.


1 harpsichord
1 bass flute (+piccolo)
1 baritone oboe
1 contrabassa clarinet
1 violin
1 cello


duration 25′

premiere 29 november 2016, Arsenal de Metz, Vincent Bernhardt harpsichord, Jean-Pierre Pinet conductor, Ensemble Stravinsky

commissionned by de la Fondation Marcelle et Robert de Lacour



last performance

29 november 2016 at the Arsenal de Metz