Critiques

Parmi les heureuses découvertes de ces journées Xenakis, l’ensemble canadien Transmission – un sextuor non dirigé réunissant des artistes solistes - assurait ses premières prestations françaises. (…) On pouvait apprécier la plasticité des lignes et l’extrême soin accordé à la matière sonore et au travail sur les énergies du mouvement qui président à l’interprétation de Continuo(ns) de Philippe Leroux. Clarinettiste hors norme mais aussi compositrice, Lori Freedman dédiait Reimsix donnée en création mondiale à Sharon Kanack, co-responsable de cette 22ème  édition du festival. D’un parcours sinueux, avec de grandes fractures de silence, l’oeuvre puise son énergie dans les ressources de l’improvisation et l’hybridation des timbres au sein d’un groupe extrêmement soudé.

On retrouvait l’ensemble Transmission dans un programme cette fois entièrement dédié à Xenakis : de Rebonds – athlétique Julien Grégoire – à À R. (hommage à Maurice Ravel) – féline Brigitte Poulin – en passant par Kottos par Julie Trudeau, les pièces solistes ou en duo (Dikthas and Charisma) précédaient Plekto (en grec, Tresser) pour six instruments; donné en seconde audition, la pièce mettait en lumière ce « quelque chose de riche et d’étrange » (on pense à Ligeti et ses ocarinas dans le Concerto pour piano) qui, chez Xenakis, émane de  sonorités uniques « qui lavent celui qui l’écoute du temps qui l’engorge » selon l’expression pertinente de Jean-Noël Von der Weid.

hommage à Xenakis aux Flâneries musicales de Reims, Francesca Ferrari, ResMusica, musique classique et danse, 23 juillet 2011



Ensemble Transmission est en fait une sorte de « super groupe » formé de virtuoses qui veulent transmettre leur passion pour les musiques nouvelles

Réjean Beaucage, Voir Montréal, Septembre 2008

 
Transmission is the name of six dedicated Montreal musicians who overcame nightmarish scheduling problems to gather here because they very much wanted to play this challenging chamber music program.
 
Brigitte Poulin and D’Arcy Philip Gray teamed up to play my favourite piece of the evening, “Quatre Pièces febriles (1995)” for marimba and piano.
Composer Georges Asperghis describes it as “a game of mirrors…games between dry attack and their resonances…games where one gets lost not knowing who is who and what is what.” A piece by Asperghis is always amusing: this one is like one of those animations where your mirror image takes on an independent life and imitations fall in and out of synch, often echoing with unpredictable delays, rather than mirroring, as if your reflection were developing intelligence, knowledge of you, and a sense of humour as the piece develops. The incredible sense of timing between the players and some beautiful mellow tones of the marimba remain in the mind with great pleasure.
I also enjoyed Tristan Murail’s “Treize couleurs du soleil couchant (1978)”. Murail, a student of Messiaen and an admirer of Ligeti, is known as the composer of ‘spectral’ music—music based on the analysis of the natural acoustic qualities of sound as a way of avoiding the serialism of Boulez, Stockhausen, and so on. This particular piece expresses his fascination with the changes of colour and light of a sunset.
 
Murail expresses this musically through the sounds of flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano which each have defined structural roles within the sonic layering of this composition. The quiet parts of the composition based on the resonance of one or two notes gently take over the mind.
The mood grows excited to the level of hysteria, generating spectacular textures, though I preferred the passages where the energy melts into an enveloping fullness. Also interesting were the concluding combinations of Lori Freedman’s eerie clarinet sounds ground into a mix with hoarse, gritty violin work by Clemens Merkel and Poulin’s piano thunder that suggested the wistfully sad aspect of sunset. It is striking how wonderful is the silence at the end of such an energetically intense piece.
The evening began and ended with compositions by Boulez and Xenakis for the full ensemble including Guy Pelletier on flutes and Julie Trudeau on cello. “Plekto (1993)” by Xenakis is a confrontation of strong materials of contrasting textures, meters, and chording whose overlapping variations suggest hostile aggression, such as one associates with land-and-sky war. The satirical, hallucinatory and horrifying albeit riveting paintings of Goya, Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud came to mind. This music is not shy. It ended with a bray and a loud bang and the audience loved it.
This concert was a New Music Arts Project presented as part of soundaXis ‘08 and will be rebroadcast several times in the coming months on CBC radio 2.
 
Showtimemagazine.ca, 6. June 2008