viola and chamber ensemble of 8 players
Mixed Chamber Ensemble, Solo Instrument(s) with Ensemble
solo vla - fl.cbcl.tpt.harp.gtr - perc (1): 3 Taiwanese temple bowls/Javanese gong/2 Korean sheung cyms/crot/2 tam-t/tgl/2 wdbl/5 temple blocks/c.bell/guero/ratchet/vib - vln.vlc

Commissioned by Radio France for the 30th Anniversary of Ensemble L'Itinéraire

First Performance
First performance:: 7.11.03: Olivier Messiaen Salle, Radio France, Paris, France: Christophe Desjardins/Ensemble L'Itinéraire/Mark Foster

score and parts for hire

Programme Notes

As so often with artistic creation, mingled images merged to produce something different, yet bearing vestigial traces. A solitary chanting monk, perhaps in a chapel on Mount Athos, was at the back of Chant for solo viola, a brief piece written in 1992. Jubilus is an expansion of that piece (from 2 to 14 minutes), just as medieval Christian plainchants were extended by interpolations on certain syllables in ecstatic soarings of the voice called jubili. Mingled with that image is an image of a buddhist monastery built high in the precipitous and barren rocks of a Tibetan or north Indian mountain. I imagined how, in such isolation and awe-inspiring austerity, a contemplative monk would pour out his longing and rapture. In fact the piece I wrote, for ensemble with solo viola, has the soloist rising gradually from the modes of the chant to a Tibetan ritual chant of the Drukpa Order called Flower Rain. This sings out in the very highest register of the viola at the end. The work is dedicated to Christophe Desjardins and was commissioned by Radio France for the Ensemble L'Itineraire in honour of their 30th anniversary. Jonathan Harvey

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News & Reviews

'Jubilus' reviews

'La technique qu’elle utilise est empruntée à l’ecriture médiévale, en particulier les interpolations musicales qui se glissaient entre les parties de plain-chant…' Read more

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