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Works Levées Gilles Tremblay


  • Gilles Tremblay
  • Year of composition: 2009
  • Duration: 10:29
  • Instrumentation: saxophone quartet
  • Commission: Quasar, with support from the CCA

Written at the request of Quasar, Levées incorporates three interlinked sections. Floral effervescence is shared among the instruments in the ensemble, from which four branches emerge: alto, soprano, tenor, and — later — baritone, whose low register transforms into a “split sound”, a cry releasing reciprocal melodic celebrations and variations. Jubilation alternates with effervescent ripples that transpose upon themselves (in the manner of bubbles varying in intensity depending on the level of heat). These develop through increasingly elaborate sequences (Levées). The final sequence, abbreviated and conclusive, branches off immediately into the second slower part with an expressive unison passage inspired by Monteverdi. This involves — a transition in which, through the deployment of a slow melody, an uncommon quality of the saxophone is heard: “cloud sounds” imbued with fine, poetic sweetness. This prelude prepares a “chant expressif” (expressive song), a lengthy phrase that grows in intensity to a point of rupture leading to… Éclats (Flashes). This third section is formed of brief, winged cells, multifaceted — like crystals — with a variety of angles, registers, transpositions, and permutations. All to create an increasingly magnified sense of jubilation. To organize disorder. Vertigo.


  • February 19, 2009, Montréal / Nouvelles Musiques 2009: Quasar cent voix en l’air!, Salle Pierre-Mercure — Centre Pierre-Péladeau, Montréal (Québec)



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