COVID-19 Update

Despite the problems caused by the Corona-virus our Webshop and the contact forms on our website are fully available. You may also address your inquiries to Thank you for your understanding if our answer takes longer as usual because of the current restrictions. Your Universal Edition Team

David Fennessy: La Rejouissance, La Paix

  • for two ensembles and electronics
  • 2 2 2 2 - 3 2 2 0 - perc(3), hp, pno, vln(3), vla, vc(4), cb
  • Duration: 14’
  • Instrumentation details:
    ONSTAGE: flute (+d. ‘Party Blower’)
    oboe (+Party Blower)
    clarinet in Bb (+bass cl(Bb))
    bassoon (+Party Blower)
    horn in F (+Party Blower)
    Piccolo Trompete in B (+Party Blower)
    trombone (+Party Blower)
    1st violoncello
    2nd violoncello
    OFFSTAGE: flute (+Party Blower)
    oboe (+Party Blower)
    clarinet in Bb (+bass cl(Bb))
    bassoon (+cbsn)
    horn in F
    1st trumpet in C (+Party Blower)
    2nd trumpet in C (+Party Blower)
    1st percussion
    2nd percussion
    1st violin (+Party Blower)
    2nd violin (+Party Blower)
    viola (+Party Blower)
    1st violoncello (+Party Blower)
    2nd violoncello (+Party Blower)
    double bass (+Party Blower)
  • Composer: David Fennessy
  • Dedication: For Ensemble Modern on the occasion of their 30th Anniversary
  • Commission: La Rejouissance, La Paix was commissioned by Ensemble Modern with kind support by Friends of Ensemble Modern e. V.

Work introduction

Two separate but similar ‘real life’ incidents provided the inspiration for the second part of this piece, La Paix. The first came during a concert I was at by a well known contemporary music ensemble when all of a sudden, outside the auditorium, completely oblivious to what was going on inside, a massive fireworks display exploded into life. The second concerned a concert I myself was performing in of the music of Alvin Lucier (itself extremely quiet, where almost nothing happens) and again, for some reason, a brief fireworks display came and went outside the walls of the concert hall. What was strange about the second incident was that it seemed to fit somehow. I wasn’t upset, rather my listening had become so focused that this intrusion seemed only to change the colour of the canvas onto which the sounds were painted, making them even more beautiful and delicate.

What was common to both experiences was that there was something mysterious going on outside, something unseen, a party at which we, the audience, became unintended guests.

The first part of my piece La Rejouissance uses material borrowed from Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks. Actually, it is no more than a climactic cadence from the overture but it is stretched out by the ensemble onstage and elaborated upon in an extrovert and solistic manner by the unseen, offstage ensemble.

My gratitude goes to Ensemble Modern and the International Ensemble Modern Academy (of which I am a graduate) for performing this piece. In a way, the physical positioning of the two ensembles acts as a metaphor for Ensemble Modern’s nurturing of the younger generation of players.

Happy Birthday!

David Fennessy


The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

Previously Viewed Works

No previously viewed works