Jean-Baptiste Robin: Cercles Réfléchissants

The American Organist, September 2011 | Go to article overview

Jean-Baptiste Robin: Cercles Réfléchissants


JEAN-BAPTISTE ROBIN: CERCLES RÉFLÉCHISSANTS. Jean-Baptiste Robin, organist. Organs of L'Eglise Saint-Louis-en-l'Ile (111/69 Bernard Aubertin, 2004) and L'Eglise Saint-Etienne-du-Mont (IV/89 Dargassies, 1991; Gonzales. 1975; Beuchet-Debierre, 1956; Cavaille-Coll, 1863/1873; Clicquot, 1777; Pescheur, 1636), both in Paris, France. Naxos 8.570892. www.naxos.com. Jean-Baptiste Robin is a brilliant performer and, as this recording attests, a composer of significant, substantial music. His compositions have won prestigious awards, including the SACEM George Enescu Composition Prize, the audience prize of the Dom Bedos International Composition Competition, and the Roubaix Prix Frangois. While Robin's music is unmistakably grounded in the modern French idiom, he has created a uniquely personal style that stems from the use of twelve "repetitive symmetrical" modes and 23 "reflecting" modes of his own creation. These result in distinctly colorful harmonies that create a kaleidoscope of sonorities. Robin's thematic material is likewise unique, shaped by a variety of intervals and rhythms. In the program note, Michel Gribenski aptly describes Robin's music as "evocative, poetic and colorful, while at the same time abounding in strength, energy, and passion . . . highly expressive music with something to say and full of ideas to fire our imagination: Robin creates a world in flux, whose moving pictures and living images flow through a new sound fabric... both complex and clear, perceptible and striking . . . embodied ... in the meticulous but never affected play of ever-changing organ sonorities. …

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