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01684 773883

John Pickard
Bardic Edition BDE1403

Catalogue Number: BDE1403

ISMN: 9790502447403

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Verlaine Songs (Sop+10 instruments) image
For soprano and 10 instruments - Flute, Oboe, Clarinet in Bb, Horn in F, Harp, Piano, Violin, Viola, Violoncello & Contrabass.

I. Chanson d’automne; II Spleen; III Marine; IV Le Squellette; V L’heure exquise; VI Le soleil d’or

This cycle of songs sets poems by the great nineteenth-century French poet Paul Verlaine (1844-1896). The poems are mainly drawn from collections published in the earlier part of Verlaine’s career: Chanson d’Automne and Marine come from the Poemes saturniens of 1866; L’heure exquise and Le soleil d’or (both of which are untitled in the published text) come from La Bonne Chanson published in 1870; Spleen is from the 1874 Romances sans paroles; Le Squelette, the latest of the poems in this cycle, was published in 1884 as part of the collection Jadis et naguere.
Verlaine has always been a popular poet with French composers, with Faure, Debussy and Ravel among the many who set him. Critics frequently point to the innate musicality of Verlaine’s verse as an important inspiration. Even as a non-native, and not particularly accomplished, French speaker, I strongly sensed that musicality while attempting my own settings.
I chose these particular poems for their broad range of expression and grouped them in an order that provides dramatic contrast and an overall progression of mood. The first two poems are languorous and subjective, the third is a vivid description of a storm at sea, the fourth is a macabre and comical account of two drunks who try to offer a drink to a skeleton, who sits up and sends them on their way, the fifth is a romantic nocturne and the final song is a joyful description of the rising sun. John Pickard

Duration 17 minutes

A Soprano & Piano reduction is available - BDE1403A

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