Written on the fly, a momentous impression during a short stay at the Atlantic coast. Rain, wind, happiness, a little nocturnal melancholy a few days ago. This unscheduled post does not follow my ordinary logic, my careful planning, my meticulous research, no, it obeys its own laws if any and the outcome is unclear. For a few minutes I felt the urge to write in verses. From a long slumber the poet woke, without pain, bewilderd and exhilarated by the idea to play again with words. I fell asleep again, but I had to think about that moment for the rest of the day.
The photographer had been awake already for a few days, his passion inhibited only by his limited technical means – the ubiquitous smart phone – and his respect for his fellow travellers. The music lover had to be reigned in too as there never was the right time for this indulgence. But something was stirring inside me and I had to make time! I made time. For an impressionist pulsation. For an unforeseen moment of creativity. For a rendez-vous with the muse.
The burning passion of a trio
Writing on the fly… Lalo, again, a composer from northern France, not well-known, not often performed, but my guest on the evening I made time to write. Not in verses though. Lalo, most welcome, an escape? A return? A discovery: Piano Trio No. 2 in B minor. A Romanic piece in four movements, first published around 1852, dedicated to Lalo’s friend Jules Armingaud (1820-1900), a violinist, with whom he would form in 1855 the “Quatuor Armingaud”. In an article for the magazine “Gramophone”, Geoffrey Nortis detected in the trio the “burning passion” that Lalo’s biographer Georges Servières has identified as one of the composer’s driving forces.
The first movement – I could imagine myself sitting in the cosy living room of a “Malounière”, looking through the window at the grey sky, the low hanging clouds, the rain… Occasional spells of sunshine, a hint of blue in the sky, the wind dying down for a moment or two – the second movement. Weather changes so quickly in Britanny, people say: “Il fait beau en Bretagne plusieurs fois par jour.” (Weather is fair several times a day). Those are the moments I quickly venture outside to enjoy the sight of the sea, of the distant horizon, the serenity and beauty of this part of France.
Minuetto allegro – the third movement. A dance! Brittany is well-known for its folk music tradition and its dance festivals. People like to laugh here. People welcome you with open arms here. Bright moments compensating for a history full hardship. The last movement – solemn. A departure? A farewell? Sadness. And the firm conviction: I will return! I am happy here.
Edouard Lalo’s Piano Trio in B minor has been recorded by the Trio Henry.
© Charles Thibo