Rite Of The End


LP version. A panoramic "wide screen" music which sounds like the missing link between the grandeur of Richard Wagner and the orchestral work of someone like Nick Cave. This is the ambition underlying Rite Of The End by the Polish composer Stefan Wesołowski, the second album to be released at Ici D'ailleurs following Kompleta in 2015 (MTS 004CD/LP). The album derives from an order from Stéphane Grégoire, boss of Ici D'ailleurs, who asked Wesołowski to write the music for a photo exhibition by Francis Meslet. The Rite Of The End by the composer's own admission ended up nothing like what had been initially ordered. Wesołowski shuffles the cards and mixes influences such as Prokofiev, Gregorian chants, Steve Reich or even Michael Mann. Rite Of The End is in fact actually quite close to Max Richter's classical surprises, a composer with whom Stefan Wesołowski shares a taste for elevation, and takes its religious source in Stefan Wesołowski's own childhood. He was born in 1985, in Poland, in the late Cold War era and is the son of a "spiritual and uncompromising" man who guided to the path of the beauty of the gesture. After having followed the same path as his two elder brothers and studied classical music, very early on he had a revelation thanks to a friend who was a Dominican monk. "We were teenagers," recounts Stefan, "and this friend asked me to write him liturgical songs. That's how it all started." As Wesołowski grew up, he lost his religious faith and transposed it into a growing belief, into what is called "beautiful music". A music which permits transcendence, contemplation, wonderment, because it is, in itself, the only means for man to extricate himself from his animal condition. Wesołowski also admits to a part of his musical education coming from the Beatles and the Stranglers, so it's understandable that the rituals here are those that push us every day to prostrate ourselves in front of two loud-speakers, regardless of the name of the gods. The six slow ceremonies of Rite Of The End are attractive through their praise of slowness and appreciation of the beautiful. This music is certainly classical in its foundations but is not when you listen to it. Americans would use the word unconventional. A term that fits Wesołowski perfectly, as he is punk to the very tip of his violin bow.