Parabolique d'Enfer

SR 318CD SR 318CD

This recording will be Sub Rosa's first posthumous recording of Henri Pousseur. It is the sixth release (out of eight) in their catalog devoted to this composer's experimental and electronic works. It also marks the end of the trilogy of the Parabolic works (following the 1972 unreleased recordings and the 2001 collective performance). This time around, we have a piece built through another major Pousseur work: Leçon d'Enfer (composed in 1990-1991 around Arthur Rimbaud). This previously-unreleased version was realized by Henri Pousseur in Cologne in 1992. This release was important to Henri Pousseur, as it concludes, in a sense, the Paraboles trilogy, after 1972's 8 Etudes Paraboliques (released as a 4CD box set comprised of all the études to be used as the basis for all current and future mixes) and 4 Parabolic Mixes (2001), on which four composers -- Robert Hampson, Philip Jeck, Markus Popp, and Pousseur himself -- tackled those source tapes. This suite of works was gradually pushing composition further into the territory of destruction and abstraction. This final installment, a mix made from the 1972 Études, as it should be, integrates a major external element (something already planned in the initial design), another work by Pousseur, "Leçons d'Enfer," a complex piece of musical theater dedicated to the memory of Arthur Rimbaud and composed in 1991 for the centennial of the poet's death. This work, over 100 minutes long, was written for two actors, three singers, seven musicians (clarinet, alto saxophone, tuba, harp, piano, and two percussions), tapes (including traditional Ethiopian music and field recordings from that area), and electroacoustic devices. With this version, Henri Pousseur shows how the deep impression left by a work in constant mutation can take different guises. The Rimbaud pictured in this flux is neither the promising teenager, nor the striking genius, nor even the desperate man struggling in vain in an empty landscape; it is an appeased hybrid breathing the ebullient air of the final times.