... Et que le soir est beau


Claude Debussy, A Legacy

What is the first image that comes to mind at the word “impressionism”? Probably a painting by Monet. Whether it is the garden at Giverny, the cathedral of Rouen or the impressive cliffs and the sea, they all have one thing in common: Normandy, the cradle of impressionism. Its landscape inspired painters, whose pictures inspired the musical pioneers like Claude Debussy to paint with notes. Many artists visited the region, and we know for a fact Debussy has been one of them. His music is ageless, the start of a new development, away from the rigid laws of classical music. And it never lost its power to trigger one’s imagination. Many contemporary composers owe him, even though they might not be aware of it. So as a Normandy based, French ensemble, being led by a composer who considers Debussy as one of his main inspirators.

... Et que le soir est beau is a tribute to Claude Debussy. We have created a picturesque voyage through Debussy’s world, combining his music with contemporary works inspired by the most beautiful landscapes in nature and the effects that changing light has on them. Without Debussy, would John Luther Adams have been able to share his love for the rough nature in Alaska this clearly? Or would Thierry Pécou have been able to make the listeners actually feel like being a fly on the wall during his travels? Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you our vision on the legacy of Debussy.

For this new version of the program, Ensemble Variances has invited talented pianist Marie Vermeulin to perform Thierry Pécou’s Sonata for piano. Her latest CD dedicated to Clara and Robert Schumann was released in the spring of 2019 and received a Clic from Classicnews as well as ***** from rbb Kultur in Germany. Res Musica called it “A pure jewel. Marie Vermeulin plays these pages bathed in amber tones with great tenderness“.



Claude Debussy

Beau soir for cello and piano

Claude Debussy

Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune for flute, clarinet and piano (arr. Michael Webster)

John Luther Adams

Three High Places for solo cello

Thierry Pécou

Sonata for piano

Claude Debussy

Syrinx for solo flute

Thierry Pécou

Manoa for flute, clarinet and cello

The cast

Anne Cartel flute
Carjez Gerretsen clarinet
David Louwerse cello
Marie Vermeulin piano