Le malheur adoucit les pierres
for bass flute, English horn and bassoon

Samuel Andreyev
Composition Date: 2002
Revision Date: 2015
Duration: 00:05:00
Genre: Woodwinds, Solo / Ensemble, Mixed Trios


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Flute
  • 1 x English horn
  • 1 x Bassoon
Programme Note:
These five pieces were written in pencil over the course of a very long day, on December 11th, 2002 in Toronto. Somewhat in the spirit of automatic drawing, I wanted to see if I could produce a musical work in a single sitting, writing the full score directly and without producing any sketch material—something highly atypical of my normal working practice, and which I have not attempted since. Le malheur was rehearsed once but was not performed in Toronto (or anywhere else) at the time. The score reflects my then-current preoccupation with writing wind music, and prefigures the three solo pieces—Locus Solus, Nombres imaginaires and Passages—written respectively in 2003, 2004 and 2005.In March 2005, two years after moving to France, I revised the score, making a new pencil manuscript for the premiere performance, which took place in Paris on 19 January 2006 (I played the English horn part myself). Shortly afterwards, I withdrew the piece from my catalogue and the score of Le malheur has not been seen or heard since.In June 2015, I finally had a look at Le malheur again in view of producing the present edition. Rather than base this new score on the 2005 version, I decided to return to the 2002 pencil manuscript, in order to stay as close as possible to the spirit of the original, which was, of course, written very spontaneously. Egregious errors or inconsistencies have been corrected, and in a few spots, where clearly necessary, I have incorporated elements of the 2005 revision.Le malheur adoucit les pierres takes its title from a painting of the same name by Yves Tanguy (1900 - 1955). It is an obscure pun based on the French expression, 'la musique adoucit les mœurs', which could be translated as 'music softens spirits'; Tanguy’s surrealist distortion being ‘misfortune softens stones'.These very short pieces do not develop; instead, they briefly expose a world, like a beam of light passed over a foreign nocturnal landscape and then summarily extinguished. The sonority of the instrumentation, a trio of three low wind instruments, relates poetically to Tanguy’s obscure, murky paintings, with their permanent ambiguity between land, sea and sky.

Premiere Information:
19 January 2006, Kiron Espace, Paris, France
Katherine Anderson, bass flute; Samuel Andreyev, English horn; Dylan Corlay, bassoon.


  • Call Number:
  • MI 5136 A568mal
  • Genre:
  • Woodwinds, Solo / Ensemble, Mixed Trios
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • July 8, 2015
  • Type:
  • Print-music, published
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (11 p.);
    11 Pages
    Height: 30 cm
    Width: 23 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • Original score in C. A transposed score in F is also available by contacting the Canadian Music Centre.
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Le malheur adoucit les pierres for bass flute, English horn and bassoon
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