Dedicated to Henry Dutilleux
See also: Version for Violin and Viola

  • 5 min

Programme Note

Shadows of Time in five episodes for orchestra by Henri Dutilleux is a work that I particularly admire. It is a rich and extraordinarily shaped composition. I find the third movement, "Mémoire des ombres" (Memories of Shadows) deeply moving in its subject (the text is a sentence from Anne Frank’s diary: "Why us, why the star?"), in its dedication – "for Anne Frank and for all the children in the world, all innocent (1945-1995)" – and in its unforgettable compositional mastery.

I took a phrase, the first one sung by the child’s voice, as a point of departure for my little homage because it has often come to my mind since 1998, the year I first heard the work.

I wrote this piece originally as an homage to Henri Dutilleux’s 95th birthday.
The present version for violin and cello has been created for Jennifer Koh and Anssi Karttunen, and is dedicated for them.

Aure, physics, old word. Breeze, breath, air:
We were caressed by a gentle breeze that our ancient language called "aure"; a kind of delicate morning breeze, misty and scented in the dew.

Chateaubriand, Mémoires d'outre-tombe (Memories from Beyond the Grave).

© Kaija Saariaho


Cassini, Bathgate