By Pierre Vigué
The Valse d'automne is a fine and radiant waltz written for orchestra. The whole piece is based on a four notes motive, played either in B minor or in D major and developed in many ways; the mood varies from the nostalgia of fall ("automne" in French) to the great joy of remembering the sweet conclusion of summer.
The first section is in B minor and alternates the haunting motive with some other themes: a deranged pendulum with woodwinds and pizzicato strings, later on a nostalgic romance. Then the first violins softly repeat the motive and a modulation toDmajor rises before the waltz movement starts again.As the theme develops, the strings become more confident, joined by woodwinds, brass and percussions. The orchestra reaches a climax, full of cheerful panache.A brief return of B minor tone reminds the listener of the beginning of the piece, but another modulation brings the atmosphere back to the joyful mood as violins lead the final accelerando that announces the conclusion.
This piece is dedicated to Didier and Pascal Apparailly, Simon Limbrick and Andrew Sherwood.
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