OLIVIER CAPPAROS & LIONEL MARCHETTI – Equus

Pogus

In the 33 minutes of Equus a sensitive individual will find lots of places to visit, the only problem being that those spots keep changing mercilessly due to Capparos and Marchetti’s compositional decisions. They actually define the opus as a journey “through human memory and history”, and what better means than a radio snippet, or a famous voice from the past, to throw us back in the cuddling arms of a breathtaking remembrance? Among the voices in attendance there are Sarah Bernhardt, Pierre Schaeffer, Jean-Luc Godard, Charlton Heston and Alfred Hitchcock. I’m not saying that everybody was recognized; on the other hand, the disturbing fragmentariness exercised with the appearance of these renowned spirits in the piece gifts it with a unique magnetism. The rest, which is essentially a gorgeous example of classic musique concrete, comes courtesy of the illustrious technical proficiency of the couple. These men are able to convert a splinter of nothingness into art via an apparently improbable equalization, thus rendering a subsonic moan as effective as a mother’s heartbeat for a receptive fetus, or a dissonant orchestral stratum the justification of an impermanent enlightenment. A passage at the end of the first movement recalls, curiously enough, Jaroslav Krček’s Raab; it is just a coincidence. And there’s also a layer of subliminal atrocity, so to speak, that headphones help to discern in selected sections. The images evoked, the shades of long-ago fulfilling the need of poignancy that every conscious creature should ideally feel at least once in a while, the sudden awareness that veracity and imagination tend to mesh in unbelievable ways, are but three of the many enthralling features of an important chapter in the book of contemporary music, which you’ll want to possess without further doubts.

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