At Atelier Lyrique de Tourcoing, rediscovering Eugène Walckiers, a handsome eccentric

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Tourcoing. Great hall of the conservatory. 8- Eleventh-2022. Eugène Walckiers (1793-1866): quartet for flute, viola and cello, in D Major opus 50; Flute quintet and string quartet in major composition 49, given in their version with double bass ad libitum. Anton Reicha (1770-1836): 18 Variations, Fantasy and Fugue on the Theme “Se Vuol Ballare” from Noz de Figaro for Mozart, in G major, for flute, violin and cello in G major. Alexis Kosenko, flute. Daniel Seebeck and Gillon Joubert, violin; Leah Henino, Viola; Christoph Quinn, cello; Gauthier Blondel, double bass

As part of the season of the Atelier Lyrique de Tourcoing, enthusiastic Alexis Kossenko and his musician friends in the room allow us to rediscover the name and above all the unclassifiable work of the northern composer Eugène Walckiers, an atypical and erotic figure of romance. Paris.

It has been ten years since Alexis Kosenko, today known for his activities as music director of Les Ambassadeurs / La Grande Écurie, but above all a flutist by trade, turned his attention first, at the instigation of his colleagues, to the life and work of Eugene Walkers (1793-1866). He somehow used his confinement period to conduct his research. Sure enough, instrumentalists celebrated the name of this brilliant stranger for his flute style in 1829, a work “Exquisitely written, with a mastery of psychology, a musical approach and an educational aspect out of the ordinary and with great accuracy” (Alexis Kossenko dixit) For anyone interested in the historical practice and techniques of instrument playing, then in a complete organic revolution during this Romantic period. But this educational aspect overshadowed, to tell the truth, the life and work of a rather disturbing character.

Eugene Walkiers was born in Avisin-sur-Helpe in 1793, in the present-day North County, near the future Belgian border. An orphan at the age of ten, he was put into education with a land surveyor who discovered his exceptional musical abilities. Participated as an oboeist in the emperor’s military music with his brother, he attended the Battle of Waterloo in retreat. During the restoration he persevered in the career of a military musician and lived in the provinces (Soissons, Le Havre). Then on the advice of Boieldieu, he “climbed” to Paris to follow the theoretical and synthetic education of Aton Richa and also benefited from the advice of the flautist Tolo.

His work can be divided into three stages. First of all, a talented flutist “arranges” or alters fashionable opera songs, sometimes with the help of Kalkbrenner to compose the piano part. Both publishers and the public are very fond of such editions that have been adapted for private or salon teaching practice. Then, from 1835, he tried his hand at “brilliant” chamber music, with larger and more original works (from the treble to the quintet), with the same romantic and sometimes humorous, sometimes theatrical influences: scores where the flute, in the middle of the partner’s strings, fuses a dense dialogic structure . Towards the end of his life, perhaps after contacts with George Onslow, who claims his friendship and kinship, he further abandoned his major instrument and writes, in addition to comic and symphonic operas, more ambitious chamber works, sometimes unedited, unlike all his previous productions, and consequently some of them have been lost (Like the septum and octagon, mixing woodwinds and strings in the manner of Onslow’s last composition, which he considered one of his masterpieces.) He died in relative indifference in 1866, despite a long obituary published in a pamphlet Musical Composers Association.

This evening, the composer’s (re) middle period is presented with two flute and string chords: the 50 quartet plus the 49th quintet composed … to six through the welcoming use of the double cello bass “ad libitum” and the granting of the symphonic aura of the “parlor” – as Reicha said – for the entire work. This is skillfully constructed music, oddly well done in many respects, whether in its polyphonic setting, knack for flattering instruments, or subtlety in colorful nuances (sometimes sati deserves: to heat up! With a flabby, tender lick, with a naive expression, among other examples) but his influence is straying in humor, as amazing as it is an iconoclasm, twisting the neck of any telephone or well-intentioned rhetoric. Harmony wanders a lot due to incongruent modifications of tones too far from the basic tonic as it is by using amazing and often unprepared dissonance!

So it turns out that Walker, like his daguerreotype, evokes it “Doc Emmett Brown’s Character in Back to the Future” (A. Kosenko) is a deliberate marginal or even eccentric composer, whom we can compare in other latitudes with his Swedish contemporary Franz Berwald. His two processes are not just chips for the flute player, but they remain demanding of every player, and are democratically pleaded for their ingenuity and participation in crafting discourse. Admittedly, the marina is still a reviewer: a reference to popular music can make one think of Papa Haydn, like the Auvergne polka theme, as the quartet’s finale chorus. But the ‘crazy’ treatment imposed on this movement according to its varied intervals (accents of rhythms, tempi) leads in the middle of the movement to a subtle sub-textual quotation undoubtedly intended, and very slowly of the waltz. A wonderful symphony by Berlioz, by coda, Shaggy can can Anticipate Offenbach!

sOpus 49 uintette Very original in its formal interruption is more ambitious (thirty-five minutes of full music) especially in its first movement, a sort of semi-large, half-americ arcade, with almost symphonic proportions. The theme and track of slow motion with differences (but in secondary mode) takes the harmonic scheme of the final end of the game symphony Beethoven’s “Eroica”, airy scherzo, with dwarf fluctuations, evokes the French Mendelssohn, while the epilogue, hypersensitive, with almost operatic loops, undoubtedly reminds Rossini, especially the opening storm Gillum Tell Or the comic storm that blew in the monastery scene count ori By Rossini before you end in a nutshell after all these episodes.

Alexis Kosenko, a brilliant virtuoso, with a historical instrument – not specified in the program – leads the chamber group with all the requisite vitality of the mind but also with that emotional voice, this pungent and unbuttoned music. This music is dictated so evocative and intentional. He can count on the complicity of historically informed musicians known for their solid background, led by the German violinist Daniel Seebeck, the Konzertmeister of the Deutsche Kamerfelharmonie Bremen, the regular room musician’s partner of Andreas Steyer among others, and a more veteran French cellist. And the famous Christoph Quinn: The Three Musicians also satisfy us in the trio, as the interval between two degrees of domestic genius, eighteen hilarious variations of fantasy and fugues on se vuol ballare subordinate Noz de Figaro Mozart, whose venerable master created a feather that he has to decompose, mock and reduce to crumbs, before making a subject for the contrapuntal, the rudimentary, simplified harmonious painting of the well-known opera song.

Let us mention for two pieces of resistance from the program the wonderful participations of young Léa Hennino, a sought-after chamber player and promising violinist of the new generation for the first time. 49the second alternating and reliable violin by Gillon Joubert, member, among others, of singing talents by Christophe Rousset or the Pulcinella Ensemble by Ophele Gillard, as well as an important career as a soloist on violin and piano Forte! In this same work, double bassist Gauthier Blondel, well known in the field of early music (particularly within the Celeste Banquet by Damien Gillon) brings his sense of enduring revival to speech with a touch of fresh, irresistible swing.

This exhilarating concert off the beaten track is gearing up for the January 2023 release of a four-CD set by Aparté, dedicated exclusively to the lovable and unpredictable Eugène Walckiers, which will include, among others, the quartet and quintet presented this evening. by the same performers, amidst countless previously unpublished records. Without a doubt, a novelty not to be missed for lovers of unknown or unknown anecdotes or pieces of music from romantic Paris.

Les Ambassadeurs/La Grande Ecurie photo credits: © Atelier lyrique de Tourcoing

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Tourcoing. Great hall of the conservatory. 8- Eleventh-2022. Eugène Walckiers (1793-1866): quartet for flute, viola and cello, in D Major opus 50; Flute quintet and string quartet in major composition 49, given in their version with double bass ad libitum. Anton Reicha (1770-1836): 18 Variations, Fantasy and Fugue on the Theme “Se Vuol Ballare” from Noz de Figaro for Mozart, in G major, for flute, violin and cello in G major. Alexis Kosenko, flute. Daniel Seebeck and Gillon Joubert, violin; Leah Henino, Viola; Christoph Quinn, cello; Gauthier Blondel, double bass

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