A composition inspired by the 16th century anonymous motet Miraris Mundum. The original score is shaped like an emblem of a lobster carrying the world on its back (cancer canzicrans), and thus refers to the retrograde theme.

Thierry Pécou (1965-): Esope reste ici et se repose (creation 2020)

Experimental early music ensemble Zefiro Torna, Ensemble Variances, dedicated to contemporary creations and visual artist Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven join forces in an exceptional performance around J.S. Bach’s Musikalisches Opfer and a number of musical puzzles that symbolize a perpetual and existential quest.
The BACHC®AB programme comes in the shape of a retrograde.

Throughout history, chanting backwards has been a returning particularity, which, despite stylistic and compositional evolutions, has survived from the Middle Ages until now. Guillaume de Machaut’s rondo Ma fin est mon commencement, which can be seen as a compact contemplation of time and eternity, shifts into the finesse of the counterpoint in Renaissance and Baroque music. It culminates in the Musikalisches Opfer and Kunst der Fuge by J.S. Bach. But also contemporary techniques seem to have retrograde techniques as a source of inspiration.
Underneath a purely technical charm seems to lie hidden a symbolic purpose. Maybe it is an attempt to control the relentlessly ongoing concept of time? Is it the expression of a negative world view: a waning society in full regression? Or could it be a magical intervention: is it actually possible to rewind an event and undo it by chanting backwards? Or can we, this way, connect the end with the beginning, the alpha with the omega?



« »


    B BACH, Johann, Sebastian (1685-1750)
    Canon a 2 Cancer (Musikalisches Opfer)
    A ANONYME (14thC)
    En la maison Dedalus
      PECOU, Thierry (1965-)
    Danse en cercle pour timbales solo
    C CRUMB, George (1929-)
    Ancient Voices of Children
    Canon a 2 per motum contrarium
    H HOLLIGER, Heinz (1939-)
    Studie über Mehrklänge
    Canon a 2 per augmentationem, contrario motu
    C CORDIER, Baude (1380-1440)
    Tout par compas suy composés
    Canon a 2 per tonos
      PECOU, Thierry (1965-)
    Esope reste ici et se repose (Premiere 2020)
    A ANDRIESSEN, Louis (1939-2021)
    Inanna’s descent pour voix et ensemble
    Canon a 2 violini in unisono
    B BACH, Johann, Sebastian/arr. X
    Ricercar à 6

    Number of people

    Zefiro Torna

    Annelies Van Gramberen soprano, pan flute
    Liam Fennelly viola da gamba, lirone, fiddle
    Kristien Cueppens oboe, oboe d’amore
    Jurgen De Bruyn lute, mandolin, electric bass guitar

    Ensemble Variances

    Carjez Gerretsen clarinet
    Thierry Pécou piano
    Elisa Humanes, Arnaud Lassus, David Joignaux percussion

    Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven video

    Jurgen De Bruyn concept, artistic direction
    Dr. Prof. Katelijne Schiltz musicological research