Rivage is the generic word for an edge, that which separates two universes. In these terms lies the blueprint of the concerto form of this piece. Rivage designates a place for a stroll, or for landing, or even being washed up.

Symphonic form is stated in repertory works according to two protocols: on the one hand, opposition or fusion (piano and orchestra); on the other, independence and virtuosity. It is undoubtedly the latter that is present in Rivage. One might add the temporal form, whose history is frozen by conventions and varied in its singular propositions, sometimes alluded to in homage to certain instrumental composers, inventors of pianistic phrasing.

The 4 concertos that I wrote before Rivage (Flexus, Plexus, Nexus, Waves, whose virtuoso parts are performed respectively by the flute, the oboe, the clarinet, and the viola) use more limited formations. Rivage deals with a larger ensemble, capable of numerous divisions and actions.

Though it does not exactly begin as the leader, the piano nevertheless embodies the configurations of each new part, of which there are 4, subdivided in 4, 3, 3, and 2 sections. This division, measured by recurrent tempi, also 4 in number (a distant tribute to traditionally contrasted movements), organizes a partially programmed exhaustion of a material that wishes to adopt a purely gestural envelope before concluding by drawing alongside the limit of its end.

Denis Cohen