The Spirit of Melody: A Homage to Bernard Andrès


  • Artist(s): Avalokite Duo
  • Composer(s): Bernard Andrès, Edoardo Bruni, Richard Galliano
  • EAN Code: 7.46160916095
  • Edition: Da Vinci Classics
  • Format: 1 Cd
  • Genre: Chamber
  • Instrumentation: Harp, Percussion
  • Period: Contemporary, Romantic
  • Publication year: 2023
SKU: C00771 Category:

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The fusion of the harp and percussion embodies a captivating sonic interaction, where different timbres and hues intertwine to create a spellbinding synergy, inherently brimming with expressive potential. The harp, with its delicacy and multifaceted tonal range, seamlessly blends with a diverse array of percussion instruments, presenting an inexhaustible palette of rhythmic and percussive sonorities. This enchanting and extraordinary amalgamation manifests as an eclectic and immersive musical experience, vividly showcased in Avalokite Duo’s latest opus, aptly titled “The Spirit of Melody: A Homage to Bernard Andrès.” This Da Vinci Classics album unveils a fascinating panorama of compositions, many of which are world premieres. Each piece demands technical virtuosity and profound mutual comprehension among the musicians, striving to unlock a sonic continuum that fully explores the tonal and compositional possibilities within this distinctive ensemble.
What truly sets this album apart is the inclusion of original arrangements and elaborate adaptations specifically tailored for harp and percussion, underscoring Avalokite Duo’s experimental and innovative approach. These adaptations offer fresh artistic perspectives, beckoning the listener on an enthralling musical odyssey, delving into the nuanced sounds and evocative emotions that only this unique combination can conjure.
“The Spirit of Melody: A Homage to Bernard Andrès” stands as a vibrant and poignant tribute to the music and compositional genius of Bernard Andrès, prominently showcasing his inimitable style. It is an album that celebrates innovation, creativity, and the remarkable expressive power inherent in the harp and percussion, inviting discerning listeners to embark on an exploration of a singular and captivating sonic universe.
Bernard Andrès (1941)
He encompasses both traditional music and contemporary exploration in his distinct style, always emphasizing melodic expression.
However, he constantly ventures beyond familiar ideas, resulting in an array of captivating compositions that evoke dreams and imagination. Notable among these are “Spices,” “Duke,” “The Gimblette,” and “The Preludes.”
As a teacher, Andrès shaped an entire generation of harpists. While his compositions have garnered significant recognition, he has not limited himself to writing solely for the harp. With over 60 published works, he has ventured into orchestral compositions and various chamber music ensembles. His exceptional talent has earned him numerous awards in composition competitions.
Currently, Bernard Andrès devotes himself primarily to composing and publishing his works. He strongly believes in conveying a personal vision of his compositions and shares his expertise through master classes worldwide. Additionally, he actively participates in competition juries.
According to harpist Isabelle Perrin, to whom Bernard Andrès dedicated his “Danze d’Erzulie” (for harp, string orchestra and percussion), his music resonates with the grandeur and mellifluous poetry of the French musical tradition.

Richard Galliano (1950)
Richard Galliano, the virtuoso of accordion and bandoneon, is a versatile musician and composer who effortlessly traverses the realms of classical and jazz. Born in 1950, Galliano’s musical journey began at the tender age of 4, guided by his father Luciano, an accordionist of Italian heritage. His formative years were marked by an unwavering dedication to learning, including studies in trombone, harmony, and counterpoint at the Academy of Music in Nice. At the age of 14, driven by a desire to expand the horizons of accordion music, he delved into the world of jazz, finding inspiration in the artistry of trumpeter Clifford Brown and incorporating his influences into his own craft.
In 1975, during his relocation to Paris, fate led him to Claude Nougaro. This serendipitous encounter sparked a close collaboration that yielded numerous iconic songs now cherished in the realm of French music, such as “Allée des Brouillards,” “Des Voiliers,” and “Vie Violence.” In 1980, Galliano’s path intersected with Astor Piazzolla, who encouraged him to create the distinctively French style known as “New Musette,” mirroring Piazzolla’s own creation of the Argentine “New Tango” style.
Throughout his career, Galliano has left an indelible mark, boasting an extensive discography of over 50 albums under his own name and collaborating with a plethora of renowned artists.
From the realm of jazz, notable figures such as Chet Baker, Eddy Louis, Ron Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Charlie Haden, and Gary Burton have shared the stage with Galliano, while the French genre has seen collaborations with Serge Reggiani, Claude Nougaro, Barbara, Allain Leprest, Charles Aznavour, and Serge Gainsbourg. His exceptional contributions to music have garnered him numerous accolades, including the prestigious title of Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters. In 2020, Richard Galliano celebrated an impressive 50-year career, a testament to his enduring passion and unwavering commitment to his art.
Claude Debussy (1862 – 1918)
The third piece of Claude Debussy’s Suite bergamasque, Claire de lune, marks his first significant piano composition, completed in 1890 and published in 1905. With a restrained archaism, it merges the baroque dance suite with the spirit of Verlaine’s “Feste galanti” poetry. The jewel of the Suite bergamasque is undoubtedly Clair de lune, drawing its title from Verlaine’s eponymous poem, whose verses inspire Debussy’s choice for the entire composition (“Votre âme est un paysage choisi / Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques” – “Your soul is a chosen landscape / How charming the masks and the bergamasques pass by”). In a serene D-flat major, Clair de lune resonates with enchanting and sensuous sounds, with a livelier middle section adorned with harmonies of remarkable beauty. The piece exemplifies an aesthetic that could be labelled impressionistic, although Debussy himself rejected the term. Clair de lune stands as one of the most renowned works in classical music, endowing Debussy with a fame unmatched by his other compositions, even the most esteemed ones. (The piece has been frequently featured in advertisements and films, including Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Seven Years in Tibet, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Tokyo Sonata, and Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven, to name just a few examples.) Countless arrangements of Clair de lune have been created, including notable orchestrations such as the one by André Caplet, a disciple of Debussy.

Golliwogg’s Cake-walk holds a distinguished place among Debussy’s compositions and is widely celebrated. It stands out as the liveliest and most rhythmic piece in the collection, evoking the spirited African-American cake-walk dance envisioned through the character of Golliwogg, a children’s book figure resembling a young girl of African descent. The middle section includes an ironic quotation of a theme from Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, to be performed “avec une grande émotion” as an indication for those who may have missed the reference. The succession of staccato chords in Golliwogg’s Cake-walk exudes a distinctly clownish atmosphere reminiscent of certain preludes.

Edoardo Bruni (1975)
The Metatropés (2016) consist of seven compositions originally written in 2016 for harp and later, in 2022, expanded with the addition of percussion, thanks to percussionist Guido Facchin.
The writing process began on the Greek island of Paxos in 2016 and concluded in Trento, Italy, in the same year. The inspiration for these pieces stems from both the serene and tranquil atmosphere of the beautiful Greek island, which provided the ideal conditions for composing music, and the captivating reading of fragments of Greek mythology associated with the island. These fragments include the tale of Poseidon and Amphitrite (Hesiod – Apollodorus) and the enigmatic phrase “the great Pan is dead” (from Plutarch).
The Greek title “Metatropés” is a translation of the Italian term “trasmutazioni”, coined to describe specific aspects of the composer’s technique (pan-modality).
Thus, an intriguing intertwining of Greek legends emerged within the seven pieces, evoking the spirits of Amphitrite, Poseidon, Dolphin, and Pan (though the assumption that it refers to the satyr Pan may not be entirely philologically accurate). For the Metatropés, the composer collaborated with the Paxiote poet Eutuchìa Mastora, who wrote seven poems in modern Greek inspired by the music (translated into Italian by Donatella Bruni). These texts are meant to be recited at the beginning of each piece. The solo harp score was edited by Francesca Tirale, who premiered it on the CD “Ars Modi,” released by Tactus Recording. This CD showcases four out of the seven Metatropés:
Pan’s Oddities (No. 2) (joking) – The satyr Pan playfully runs and frolics through the island’s woods.
Three Solitudes (No. 4) (vague) – Three solitudes (those of Amphitrite, Poseidon, and Pan) are expressed through ethereal melodies, melancholic and suspended.
The Pursuit of Dolphin (No. 5) (stealthy) – Poseidon’s loyal companion, Dolphin, searches for Amphitrite across the seven seas. Upon finding her, he successfully seduces her on behalf of the god, employing words sweeter and more fitting than those previously uttered by Poseidon.
The Feast of the Gods (No. 7) (vigorous) – Poseidon and Amphitrite celebrate their union at a Dionysian feast organised by the satyr Pan on the shores of Paxos. The festivities involve wild dances, characterised by the vigorous and masculine strides of the god and the sensual and restless movements of the nymph.


Avalokite Duo harp and percussion, was born from two teacher colleagues, Patrizia Boniolo and Guido Facchin, with the aim of making known the pedal concert harp and the various world of percussion, in the chamber music field, to disseminate contemporary music and enhance popular music using typical folk instruments, so as to unite the various styles and cultures of the various peoples in music. The Duo wanted to stimulate the interest of composers, in order to expand their repertoire, by commissioning their works to be performed in concert. Among the authors who have collaborated with the Duo are: C. Colazzo, M.B. Furgeri, P. Furlani, F. Mengozzi, E. Bruni, M. Pagotto, R. Riccardi, P. Samoggia, C. Scannavini, E. Schiesari, L. Signorini, A. Talmelli and M. Zuccante, S. Bianchera, A. Fontana, M.G. Armaleo, B. Yoffe, A. Bruzzese, A. Costantini, S. Ottomano. The repertoire of the Avalokite Duo, which also includes transcriptions and adaptations of important classical and popular pieces, includes compositions by Guido Facchin himself, G. Mainerio, F. G. Lorca, L. Harrison, B. Andrès, J. L. Adams, T. Dun, A Nazarian, M. Schafer.
The Avalokite Duo has recorded "The Spirit of Sounds", Works for Harp and Percussion and “The Spirit of Harmony” for Dynamic Records and “The Planets” for Stradivarius.

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