ResMusica - March 2016

Radio France - Paris / 18-III-2016

ULTIMATUM strikes the audience with an unexpected and violent shock and causes them a deep emotional affect. This is due to the powerful strength of the words and to the young voices that project them.
The composer has used  Fernando Pessoa's famous manifesto where the writer denounces politicians with extreme violence : « Deportation orders for all European mandarins,(....) Ultimatum to all of them, and to those like them. »

Jodlowski has asked four students to recite the text and to use their voices to reach us through the soundtrack mixed with the String Orchestra :
The two male voices take it in turns and are filtered and reverberated in a somewhat saturated context – strings and fixed sounds merging with percussion. This stresses  the tension of that which is heard.
The two female voices superimpose, whispered at first, then screamed when the first part reaches its climax.

Instrumental writing is used to enhance Pessoa's words and to adapt its interpretations both of vocal rhythm and scansion : the incisive strings are treated as compact, vibrating masses ; the efficient percussion multiplies its powerful sounds( bass drum and thunder plate). This takes place especially in the first part which is just a violent protest and where, at a certain point, all  the instrumentalists show their solidarity by raising their bows. A salvo of luminous bells changes the atmosphere in the second part : « Europe is hungry for Creation and thirsty for a new future »
Such are the words shouted with wild energy by the second student, just before the final part purely instrumental, incandescent coda.

Michèle Tosi

Premiere of Ultimatum in Paris
Radio France Symphonic orchestra