Composed as part of the soundtrack for the 2001 film Amélie, Comptine d’un autre été, l’après midi was written by Yann Tiersen. Loosely translated as “Nursery Rhyme from Another Summer – Afternoon”. This lovely and intriguing piano solo is the film’s most iconic track.
With a duration of around 2.5 minutes, Comptine d’un autre été, l’après midi begins with a fluctuating lower line. The main melody then enters in groups of three. The piece’s simplicity and relentlessness creates a sense of both unease and sweetness. The result is utterly charming.
The overall effect it has on me is one of nostalgia, sadness and a profound sense of the irrevocable nature of existence. Nonetheless, I am left feeling hopeful and optimistic for the future as a result of listening to it.
I made a little film recently of a visit to a lovely spot close to my home on the River Trent. It was a beautiful afternoon and reminded me of summers past. Consequently, I decided to use Tiersen’s music as the backdrop to the images. Hope you enjoy both the video and the music.
My first musical thrill of the New Year in 2020 was to listen to Max Richter’s re-imagining of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”, a Christmas gift from my son, Julien. Richter refers to his work as a re-composition and in many ways it is. Although one recognises the more familiar melodies of Vivaldi, it is no mere re-arrangement.
For me, he navigates a difficult pathway between the splendour of the past and the beauty of the modern, in a piece dripping with exhilarating musicality. Right from the beginning, one is flying with the birds in the sky and soaring over an ever-changing landscape of musical images and sounds. Whatever your musical tastes, you will most probably find this a thrilling and fulfilling experience. Richter really does tick all the boxes. Although written some time ago, it is fresh and new and has amazing sound quality.
I highly recommend this Deutsche Grammophon recording (2012) which features Daniel Hope on violin, Raphael Alpermann on harpsichord and the Konserthaus Kammerorchester Berlin, conductor Andre de Ridder. The composer himself is on moog synthesiser.
So why not sit back in a comfortable chair with your favourite drink and be transported, in your imagination, to a world beyond your dreams. Enjoy!