My first encounter with Cécilia Tsan goes back to the last century. At that time, I still was a simple student in Normandy and Cécilia was starting an impressive career as a soloist and chamber musician. In the meantime, everyone was steering their musical boat and then, through the magic of luck, we happily reconnected at the end of the 2000s. Cécilia had transposed her existence to California while remaining closely linked to French and European musical life. As far as I was concerned, I had developed an intense activity as a composer throughout the world. We saw each other again in Paris and Cécilia was eager to ask me to write a trio for violin, cello, and piano. After much hesitation — because I said to myself that after Schubert, Brahms, Ravel, Shostakovich, Takemitsu and a few others, the task would be particularly arduous — I accepted her offer.
It was the beginning of an intense and magnificent musical endeavor and multiple concerts throughout the last decade. After playing the world premiere of my trio at Radio France in Paris in 2012, Cécilia gave its American premiere the following year in the Jacaranda concert series in Santa Monica CA. It was an opportunity to collaborate with wonderful pianist Steven Vanhauwaert and later to meet fantastic violinist Ambroise Aubrun. It was also an immense joy, for my Two Violin Sonata, to see again Martin Chalifour, Concertmaster of the prestigious Los Angeles Philharmonic: I met him at Walt Disney Hall in 2016 during the concerts of the LA Philharmonic that included my piece Affettuoso, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. Finally, another great joy in 2021: virtually meeting (because the pandemic did not allow transcontinental travel) soprano Elissa Johnston, during a Skype rehearsal of my piece for soprano and cello, Le Lys et la Lyre, shortly before it was premiered at Mount Wilson Observatory.
The program of this album therefore includes seven of my pieces (trio, duos, solos). Each of them illustrates what characterizes my work as a creator, especially on the matter of pitches, harmony, melodic scansion, research in rhythm and form. I develop my music with a constant desire for consonance which nonetheless is not based on the concept of tonality but really of modality. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank Cécilia, Steven, and Ambroise who are at the center in making and producing this album, as well as Elissa and Martin, for their fabulous artistic contribution to this project.
– Eric Tanguy (translation by Cécilia Tsan)