Thierry Fischer closes his 2017/18 Utah Symphony season this month with the US premiere of Reflections / Reflets III, a new work by pioneering French composer Tristan Murail. Co-commissioned by the Utah Symphony, this complements the Saint-Saens symphony cycle conducted by Fischer throughout the season, which has been recorded for future release.
Murail’s work represents the trajectory of French music from Saint-Saëns’ Romanticism and Debussy’s Impressionism into the modern era. In Reflections / Reflets III, listen for Murail’s signature use of the “spectral” technique, a compositional aesthetic developed in the 1970s. Spectral technique focuses on the color, timbre, and texture of different instruments and pitches, concentrating less on melody and rhythm and more on the acoustical science of sound. This shifting focus changes the way we as listeners engage with music, opening up a whole new world of possibilities while not entirely letting go of our musical foundations. In the words of Thierry Fischer, the Utah Symphony strives to be “an orchestra looking to the future as much as immensely enjoying the past.”