Evocation III Prom's Departures .p.134 .pdf

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The Big Score


n September 4, Thierry
Escaich, the French
organist and com­poser,
premieres his new piece for
solo organ, Evocation III, in the
UK at the BBC’s annual Proms,
the eight-week classical music festival that has been held at London’s
Royal Albert Hall since 1941.
Escaich, a versatile composer—
he recently wrote the music for
Benjamin Millepied’s ballet
Why Am I Not Where You Are—
and the resident organist at Paris’s
St.-Etienne-du-Mont, took a
moment to explain his new work.

This is my third
Evocation. The first
was based on early
music; the second,
on an 18th-century
composer named
Guillemain. This is
based on a theme
from Bach’s chorale
Nun Komm, der
Heiden Heiland.

The piece opens
with the theme
from Nun Komm.
I like the theme
because it revolves
around itself. The
beginning is the
same as the end.
This is my first
time playing the
organ at Royal
Albert Hall. I’m
very excited. It’s a
very big organ.



I play with the
theme of echoes
to give the piece a
sense of movement.
Sound should
move; it shouldn’t
be static. It should
move around the
church or the room.

This is where the
pedal comes in.
It’s part is from a
different world. It
is very mysterious
and polytonal, a
peek at what the
piece will become.

The récit expressif is
the highest part. It’s
also, you might say,
mysterious. When
I compose, I try to
hear many planes.
How a paint­ing has
a fore­ground, a mid­
dle ground and a
background, I want
levels in my music.


For a complete list of BBC Proms
concerts, go to bbc.co.uk.

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