It was two years ago that Marie
Prost and the trio Besozzi asked me to write a piece for their group
that would link in an original way the soprano voice and three wind
instruments of the "double reed" family (two oboes, one bassoon).
I then looked for quite a long time for texts that would suit this
unique mix of timbres, but also for texts that I could bring this
verb and sound fusion to, which is one of the problematic of the musical
writing on a significant text… Quite by chance, I discovered these
superb poems by Andree Chedid, as well as the warm personality of
their author, who allowed me with an enthusiastic generosity to choose
the texts that would suit me best and to organise them as I pleased.
This is how two cycles were born : "Poemes de Revolte" ("Poems
of Revolt") and "Poemes d'Alliance" ("Alliance
both taken from different collection of poems that Andree Chedid wrote
and published between 1946 and 1960.
The second of these cycles, that I mention here, "Poemes d'Alliance",
comprises of six texts :
When hope deserts us
Song for tomorrow
The woman of long patience
These are - in my eyes at least - poems of love, alliance, hope and
despair, mixed, tinted with some sort of nostalgia, of a melancholy
that makes way to a characteristic smile and tenderness. It is these
subtle expressive nuances that I tried to express in this cycle.
In each of these successive poems, the voice is essentially singing,
melodic, either in vast expressive intervals or like a recitative,
a psalmody around a note. The form, often partially stanzaic, follows
pretty faithfully the form of the poems - the rhythm as well. The
frequent presence of obstinate rhythms (first and fifth poems) or
of held notes (first, second and fourth poems) can give an impression
almost nocturnal, contradicted by certain movements towards the more
luminous soprano's high pitch. Like an homage to ancient music, the
last poem consists of an everlasting melodic counterpoint between
the voice and the oboe d'amore or the English horn. It concludes the
piece in a soothed atmosphere, almost meditative.
sample : performed by Marie Prost, soprano, and the Trio Besozzi
(Marc Badin, oboe/oboe d'amore, Patrice Barsey, English horn, Herve