New orchestral work commission

Orchestre National de Lille
Leonore III
ROBIN Quarks, concerto for cello and orchestra
WAGNER Siegfried Idyll
BARTÓK Le Mandarin merveilleux, suite

Conductor Peter Rundel
Cello Éric-Maria Couturier

“Quarks are the elementary particles of matter, the smallest known to this day. They were discovered by the American physicist Murray Gell-Mann. The story of their name, as told by Philippe Sollers, inspired me.
Here’s how. These remarkable particles, the quarks, are locked up in the atom’s core, inside protons and neutrons. When they were discovered, they had to be named. Murray Gell-Mann wanted to avoid using Ancient Greek at all costs, notably because his predecessors had obtained the word “atom” in this way (from “atomos”, signifying  “indivisible, undivided”); a name rendered obsolete by later scientific discoveries […] The physicist was determined to come up with a name that would not be rendered meaningless, even if it became lasting. To prepare for every outcome, he imaged a new name, something which carried no meaning, which was just a sound: “Kwork”. And for a time, this remained a mere sound for Gell-Mann, until he came upon these words from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake: “Three quarks for muster mark”. The sound became embodied in a word, and the elementary particles had found a way to spell their name…”
Yann Robin

12:00 am
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Orchestre National de Lille