Le Tombeau de Poulenc



Jean-Christophe Cholet : Piano, composition
Alban Darche : Saxophones, composition
Mathias Rüegg : Composition
Nathalie Darche : Piano
Pascal Vandenbulcke : Flutes
Jean-Louis Pommier : Trombone
Samuel Blaser : Trombone
Matthieu Donarier : Saxophones, Clarinets
Olivier Laisney : Trumpet
Marie-Violaine Cadoret : Violin
Mathias Quilbault : Tuba
Christophe Lavergne : Drums
Stéphane Kerecki : Double base

Jean-Christophe Cholet and Alban Darche had long wanted to work together for a large ensemble project. This idea came to life in 2015, with the creation of the program Le Tombeau de Poulenc, gathering musicians from their two respective formations: Diagonal / JC Cholet and the Alban Darche Orphicube.
This new project is very close to the universe of Mathias Ruëgg’s last records: Third Dream, with the Vienna Art Orchestra and Petites Visions (chamber music). He therefore joined Alban Darche and Jean-Christophe Cholet with great pleasure as a co-composer. The idea is to create an original work inspired by Francis Poulenc’s one, to build his “Tombeau”, like Maurice Ravel who created with his Tombeau de Couperin a timeless work, which deeply anchored its author in a French tradition initiated by François Couperin or Jean-Philippe Rameau.

The instrumentation creates a jazz orchestra or concertino sound, a form that will echo the work of Poulenc: the concerto for two pianos and orchestra. The idea is to alternate each of the three composers, as a concerto grosso would. The fragrance, the spirit of Poulenc are here, but the project and its form are free. It’s not about following in the footsteps of the master, but to soak up his work to invent a new and up-to-date music, free from any codification, and strong from mixing with all the other influences that fed the pencils of Jean-Christophe, Alban and Mathias.




Jean-Christophe Cholet

He appears for the first time on Yolk catalog on Tombeau de Poulenc beside two great composers Alban Darche and Mathias Rüegg.
Jean-Christophe Cholet work is rich and varied, with one constant quality – cross-cultural artistry. He likes to blend contemporary harmonies with traditional tunes, jazz trio with a classical choir or instruments that were never intended to be heard together. His work draws on the great composers, his encounters with the great masters of jazz and the huge gamut of traditional and popular music. Beyond this eclecticism and diversity, we can recognise him in his impressionist colours, his style of composition for large groupings and the rich and deep quality of the material he draws on. He has the knack of surrounding himself with musicians who understand the need for diversity and, above all, quality.
Whether playing a piano solo or in a great orchestra, in a small jazz club in Europe or a concert hall in China, he has performed all over the world and produced a collection of 400 compositions.

Alban Darche

Album after album, through an ever increasing number of line-ups and experiences, Alban Darche has been building a highly original, free-spirited and coherent body of work. He’s the ingenious composer and leader of several bands that bring together some of the most talented French and international soloists.
Destined to scientific studies, Alban Darche chose to flourish in the artistic field: after classical music studies at the Conservatoire de Nantes, he joined the jazz class of the National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Paris.
A saxophonist, composer and arranger, he has about thirty albums under his name. He combines a wide range of talents mixing jazz with pop, rock, opera, cinema, rap and slam, contemporary and chamber music.
He changes labels from dance to musical theater and has worked with the National Jazz Orchestra, Philippe Katerine, Thomas Pourquery, Jeanne Added, Gabor Gado, theatre director Sylvain Maurice, choreographer Nasser Martin- Gousset, writer Pierre Bordage,dramatic author Marion Aubert ans more.
He is the co-founder of the very active label Yolk, who received a Django d’Or award and has released more than 70 references.
Alban Darche and drummer and composer John Hollenbeck were awarded the French-American Jazz Exchange for their collaboration in the US-European quartet JASS. From 2014 to 2016, Alban was an associated composer at the Estran de Guidel and was part of the artistic ensemble of the National Dramatic Center of Sartrouville (Paris).
In 2017, he was awarded the Adami 365 program.
Mathias Ruëgg

Mathias Rüegg is a European musician, composer, and bandleader best known as founder and director of the Vienna Art Orchestra from 1977 to 2010.
Born in Zurich, Switzerland, son of linguist Robert Rüegg, Mathias Rüegg began playing jazz in secondary school. Trained as a schoolteacher, he taught for a while in special needs schools. From 1973 to 1975 he attended the Musikhochschule in Graz, Austria, studying classical composition and jazz piano. In Vienna he performed in a nightclub as a solo jazz pianist, joined later by saxophonist Wolfgang Puschnig. The duo formed the core of an ensemble that in 1977 became the Vienna Art Orchestra.
Rüegg’s distinctive, often humorous compositions have drawn on a range of influences from traditional folk music to classics. He has also led the VAO to explore the big band repertory of American jazz composers such as Duke Ellington.
Besides the traditional big band complement, his orchestrations have prominently featured such instruments as the tuba, piccolo, bass clarinet, alphorn, exotic percussion, and wordless vocals. Rüegg has composed hundreds of pieces for the Vienna Art Orchestra, other European big bands, and classical orchestras, as well as theatre music and film music. Since 1994 he has composed several works for soloist and chamber orchestra.
Besides managing the VAO, Rüegg has conducted workshops in Europe, worked as artistic director for music festivals, and headed multimedia and music-related projects. From 1983 to 1987 he directed the Vienna Art Choir. In 1991 he produced the film Mozart’s Balls, commissioned by the BBC for the 1991 Mozart Year.
Rüegg founded the Porgy & Bess music club in Vienna and the Hans Koller Prize for Austrian jazz.

(wikipedia) In instrumental music, tombeau signifies a musical ‘tombstone’ (French le tombeau = tomb). The musical genre of tombeau is generally connected with music for the lute of the 17th and 18th centuries. Of some 60+ surviving pieces, most are intended for the lute or theorbo, 5 for the baroque guitar, 7 for the viola da gamba and 3 for harpsichord. The earliest example of this genre seems to be the Tombeau de Mezangeau (1638) by French lutenist Ennemond Gaultier.

Musical predecessors are memorial pavans like those by Anthony Holborne (Countess of Pembrokes Funeralle, 1599). In France, where this musical genre emerged first, strong influence of literary models, particularly of memorial poems that were popular from the 16th to the end of the 17th centuries, may have been another important factor.

The tombeau preeminently comes in two forms, as a slow elegiac allemande grave in 4/4 or as a pavan, a tri-partite renaissance dance already long out of date for the era of tombeaux, but with all the trappings of the allemande (cf. Denis Gaultier, Tombeau pour M. Racquette). There are also a few unique tombeaux that appear as gigues; that is because the gigue grave resembles the allemande in a number of respects.

As opposed to the Italian lamento, the tombeau should not have used expressive elements of mourning, which were skeptically viewed in France. Nevertheless, certain typical onomatopoetic features were used: repeated note motifs depicting the knocking of Death at the door, ascending or descending diatonic or chromatic scales which depict the soul’s tribulation and transcendence. Froberger’s Lamentation on the Death of Ferdinand III or the Meditation sur ma Mort Future would be a prime example of such a form. Some tombeaux include a motif of four descending notes, a metaphor for grief given influential expression by John Dowland in his Lachrimae (1604). These genres offered many suitable expressive characteristics: the suspirans figure (a three-note upbeat), dotted rhythms, particularly in repeated notes, and slow-moving harmonies in the minor mode whose gravity is heightened by a tendency to settle on pedal points. Later examples also tend to use chromatic progressions related to the lamento bass. The few courante tombeaux exploit the same rhythmic features in triple metre.

Developed by Parisian lutenists (Denis Gaultier, Charles Mouton, Jacques Gallot, François Dufault), the genre was soon taken over by clavecinists (Johann Jakob Froberger, Louis Couperin, both on the death of their friend Blancrocher in 1652) and was then spread into Central Europe (Jan Antonín Losy, Sylvius Leopold Weiss).

The tombeau genre went into decline at the end of the 18th century. It reappeared in the 20th century with Maurice Ravel’s Le tombeau de Couperin (1919). Other 20th century tombeaux include Manuel de Falla’s Le tombeau de Debussy for solo guitar, Arthur Benjamin’s Le tombeau de Ravel for clarinet and piano, and the last movement of Pli selon pli by Pierre Boulez.

Les projets d’Alban Darche sont soutenus par la DRAC des Pays de la Loire, la Région des Pays de la Loire et le département de la Loire-Atlantique.