Still Life: Loïe Dances

Loïe Fuller was an American dancer who moved to Paris in 1892. It is believed that she and her dances while wearing long, flowing silk dresses was the inspiration for Claude Debussy’s Voiles. The principal inspiration for Still Life: Loïe Dances is a gouache entitled The Dream by dancer and painter Joseph Paget-Fredericks, a depiction of Loïe Fuller performing Claude Debussy’s La Mer.

Still Life: Loïe Dances makes use of small motives, gestures, and textural planes borrowed from Debussy’s Nuages and Fêtes from Nocturnes, his piano prelude Voiles and La Mer, that culminate in very brief quotes of from all three. Like Paget-Fredericks’ painting, the work makes use of textural development and shifts of both density and tonality in favor of gradual harmonic progression. 

Still Life: Loïe Dances was commissioned by Jean-Michel Goury for Jean-Michel Goury and Friends Saxophone Ensemble for the 100th anniversary of Claude Debussy’s death.

Here is a complete performance of the U.S. Premiere by The University of Michigan Saxophone Studio under the direction of Timothy McAllister:

Here is an excerpt of the premiere performance at the Zagreb World Saxophone Congress 2018:

 

premiere

July 10-14, 2018
18th World Saxophone Congress, Zagreb, Croatia

instrumentation

saxophone ensemble
(2,4,3,2,1)

duration

~8'00"

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