• Paavo Heininen
  • Jeu I, Op. 42 (1980)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Helsinki (World)
  • fl, pf
  • 14 min

Programme Note

Jeu I was commissioned by the Association of Finnish Soloists for Mika[el] Helasvuo, and around the same time I wrote Jeu II for violin and piano — a comission from the Finnish Broadcasting Company. The two works are very close relations to one another. The series of Discantus works for soloist explore the potential of multi-layered music on a single instrument. The Jeux also contain a multiplicity of layers for one instrument (e.g. the form abc–aXbYcZ–XYZ in the metrical structure binding the characters together), but they are marked by movement in the opposite direction, i.e. the interweaving of two instruments to form a single unbroken, polychromatic line.
The growing length and complexity of the phrasing proceed hand in hand with the shift in the relationship between the instruments. The basic state consists of short, often symmetrical phrases in which the instruments either converse or merge.
At the second stage slightly more complex phrases crystallise around sharp impulses in which one instrument clearly reacts to changes in the other's timbre.
At the third stage the long, unbroken line of the solo instrument proceeds in step with the long, unbroken piano line nevertheless keeping its distance.
At the fourth stage there are two simultaneous polychromatic lines, neither of which is identical to either of the instrumental parts but which constantly intersect one another.
Jeu I has clearly discernible sections that could be called an opening movement, a slow movement, a scherzo and a finale, though the transition is gradual. The basic events guiding the form are, however, the syntactical accumulation and the progress of the timbre material further and further away from the central area, until it borders on the grotesque — and timbre is here the complex phenomenon embracing a host of dynamic, melodic-harmonic and microrhythmical features.
In the epiloque the melodic-harmonic happening occupies the foreground and the work ends in pastoral-Arcadion mood.