Country : Quebec Label : Independant Genres and styles : Contemporary Year : 2024

Vanessa Marcoux – Cendres

· by Frédéric Cardin

Vanessa Marcoux is a violinist who graduated from McGill and studied composition with Ana Sokolovic at the Université de Montréal. It’s an impressive background that gives her the rare ability to play her own compositions on the violin (something much more common among pianists). Cendres (ashes) is her second recording. If you’ve heard the first, entitled La jungle (The Jungle) and released in 2023, you’ll recognise Vanessa Marcoux’s neo-romantic/cinematic universe. That said, on Cendres and especially in the disc’s main piece, a substantial Sonata for violin, piano and strings, Marcoux sprinkles her soundscapes with modernist asperities and avant-garde techniques that spice up the recipe and give it enhanced depth. Although it remains very much immersed in the work’s moderno-consonant structure (the last movement is full of nods to Le Sacre!), the influence of Ana Sokolovic is clearly evident.

…over the years I’ve accumulated a lot of ideas for textures and soundscapes
unexplored. This sonata was therefore an opportunity for me to synthesise all this language in a single work, in which I pay tribute to my instrument and to all its expressive potential.
– Vanessa Marcoux

The Petite suite aquatique (aquatic little suite) is an impressive emotional release for violin and piano, full of evocative impulses. The first movement, Aquarium, is typically undulating, but navigates through turbulent eddies rather than following a tranquil river. In my imagination, Deep Blue Saloon is a spectacular and truculent projection of a bar frequented by the motley fauna of the deep sea, who have come to witness the burlesque stripping of a wanton octopus. By the end of the show, it looks as if the battle is going down to the wire between inebriated spectators. 

It ends with Cendres, the title piece, for string quintet. It’s a tempestuous, melancholy piece. It sounds like a mixture of post-minimalism and the greyness of Bernard Herrmann, Hitchcock’s composer. Very nice.

Vanessa Marcoux’s next concerts : 

  • February 18, 2024 Garden Room, KC Irving Environmental Science Centre, Wolfville (Wolfville, Nova Scotia)
  • 22 February 2024 De Coste Centre for Arts and Creativity, Pictou, Nova Scotia
  • March 19, 2024 Centre Culturel Henri-Lemieux, LaSalle, Qc
  • April 6, 2024 Saint-François-Xavier Church, Prévost, Qc

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