Jeu I

by Paavo Heininen


Empty sheet

Paavo Heininen

Jeu I

Edition Wilhelm Hansen


Jeu I was commissioned by the Association of Finnish Soloists for Mika[el] Helasvuo, and around the same time I wrote Jeu II for violin and piano — a comission from the Finnish Broadcasting Company. The two works are very close relations to one another. The series of Discantus works for soloist explore the potential of multi-layered music on a single instrument. The Jeux also contain a multiplicity of layers for one instrument (e.g. the form abc–aXbYcZ–XYZ in the metrical structure binding the characters together), but they are marked by movement in the opposite direction, i.e. the interweaving of two instruments to form a single unbroken, polychromatic line.

The growing length and complexity of the phrasing proceed hand in hand with the shift in the relationship between the instruments. The basic state consists of short, often symmetrical phrases in which the instruments either converse or merge.

At the second stage slightly more complex phrases crystallise around sharp impulses in which one instrument clearly reacts to changes in the other’s timbre.

At the third stage the long, unbroken line of the solo instrument proceeds in step with the long, unbroken piano line nevertheless keeping its distance.

At the fourth stage there are two simultaneous polychromatic lines, neither of which is identical to either of the instrumental parts but which constantly intersect one another.

Jeu I has clearly discernible sections that could be called an opening movement, a slow movement, a scherzo and a finale, though the transition is gradual. The basic events guiding the form are, however, the syntactical accumulation and the progress of the timbre material further and further away from the central area, until it borders on the grotesque — and timbre is here the complex phenomenon embracing a host of dynamic, melodic-harmonic and microrhythmical features.

In the epiloque the melodic-harmonic happening occupies the foreground and the work ends in pastoral-Arcadion mood.

© Paavo Heininen

(from Ondine ODE 742-2)

La struttura base di Jeu I consiste di quattro diverse fasi musicali, create dalle molteplici relazioni che intercorrono fra il flauto ed il pianoforte. Allo stato iniziale gli strumenti conversano o si amalgamano in frasi musicali brevi e spesso simmetriche. Nella seconda fase le frasi si rendono più complesse cristallizzandosi intorno a chiari impulsi ritmici e di modificazione del timbro. Quindi, la terza fase presenta due simultanee linee solistiche che, pur procedendo di pari passo, mantengono una reciproca distanza legandosi alle proprie ed inconfondibili caratteristiche strumentali. Infine, nell’ultima sezione due linee policromatiche, anch’esse strumentalmente distanti, si intersecano vicendevolmente.

Le quattro sezioni di Jeu I possono essere definite anche come introduzione, movimento lento, scherzo e finale.

© Paavo Heininen


fl, pno


Chamber Works

Opus no.


Premiere Fp: Mikael Helasvuo, flute, Paavo Heininen, piano, Helsinki, 23 May 1980
Commisioned by / dedications Commissioned by the Association of Finnish Soloists, dedicated to Mikael Helasvuo

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