Jeu de Paume (Harp and Guitar) (2006) · 11 min

For harp and guitar

Written for Jacques Dubois for Le Festival de Musique de Sancerre 2006

Program Note

Jeu de Paume for harp and guitar was written at the request of Jacques Dubois, Director of the Le Festival de Musique de Sancerre; and premiered by harpist Danielle Riegel and guitarist Robert Ward, at the Eglise Notre-Dame de Sancerre on August 13, 2006 under the name “Ensemble Zéphir.”

Jeu de Paume for harp and guitar is a reimagination of De Ritis’s earlier work Explorations (1991) for chamber ensemble and two voices without text, premiered at the Salle du Jeu de Paume, Château de Fontainebleau, France, on August 17, 1991 (hence, the title). De Ritis was a student at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau that summer, studying composition with Philippe Manoury and Tristan Murail. Jacques Dubois, an accomplished violinist and conductor, was a member of the string faculty. “Jeu de paume” translates as “game of palms,” which is a ball-and-court game that originated in France in the 17th Century, and is a precursor to modern tennis.

In 2008 De Ritis created a second version of Jeu de Paume for Chinese pipa and guitar, which was premiered by Wu Man (pipa) and Eliot Fisk (guitar) on June 11, 2008 at Williams Hall, New England Conservatory; and was later published in Selected Works for Pipa Composed by Anthony Paul De Ritis, Central Conservatory of Music Press, Beijing (October 2016).

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