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Fame Jr. - Broadway Junior Menu LEARN MORE About Broadway Junior What Comes With the Showkit™? How to License a Broadway Junior Musical Order an Audio Sampler Frequently Asked Questions 60-Min.ute Musicals [JR.] 60-Minute Musicals Aladdin Jr. (Disney) Annie Jr. Beauty and the Beast Jr. (Disney) Bugsy Malone Jr. Children Of Eden Jr. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. Dear Edwina Jr. Doctor Dolittle Jr. Elf The Musical Jr. Fame Jr. Fiddler on the Roof Jr. Finian's Rainbow Jr. Flat Stanley Jr. Frozen Jr. (Disney) A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr. (Magic Tree House) Godspell Jr. Guys and Dolls Jr. Hairspray Jr. High School Musical Jr. (Disney) High School Musical 2 Jr. (Disney) Honk! Jr. Into the Woods Jr. James and the Giant Peach Jr. (Roald Dahl) Junie B. Jones Jr. Legally Blonde Jr. The Lion King Jr. (Disney) The Little Mermaid Jr. (Disney) Madagascar - A Musical Adventure Jr. Mary Poppins Jr. (Disney/Cameron Mackintosh) Matilda Jr. (Roald Dahl) Moana Jr. (Disney) The Music Man Jr. My Son Pinocchio Jr. (Disney) Newsies Jr. (Disney) Once on This Island Jr. Peter Pan Jr. (Broadway) The Phantom Tollbooth Jr. The Pirates of Penzance Jr. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Jr. Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. Seussical Jr. Shrek Jr. Singin' In The Rain Jr. Sister Act Jr. Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. Willy Wonka Jr. (Roald Dahl) Xanadu Jr. 30-Min.ute Musicals [KIDS] 30-Minute Musicals 101 Dalmatians KIDS (Disney) Aladdin KIDS (Disney) Annie KIDS Aristocats KIDS (Disney) Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS (Magic Tree House) Frozen KIDS (Disney) The Jungle Book KIDS (Disney) The Knight at Dawn KIDS (Magic Tree House) The Lion King KIDS (Disney) The Music Man KIDS Pirates Past Noon KIDS (Magic Tree House) Seussical KIDS Willy Wonka KIDS (Roald Dahl) Winnie the Pooh KIDS (Disney) A Year with Frog and Toad KIDS Product Information Musical Numbers Cast of Characters Credits Conceived and Developed by David De Silva Book by José Fernandez Lyrics by Jacques Levy Music by Steve Margoshes Overview / Synopsis From the hit motion pictures, television series, and international stage success, FAME is nothing short of a global phenomenon. Set during the last years of New York City's celebrated High School for the Performing Arts on 46th Street (1980-1984), FAME JR. is the bittersweet but ultimately inspiring story of a diverse group of students as they commit to four years of grueling artistic and academic work. With candor, humor and insight, the show explores the issues that confront many young people today. With its topical subject manner, multi-ethnic cast of actors, singers, dancers and instrumentalists and high-energy, contemporary pop score which includes the hit title song, FAME JR. is an ideal musical for young performers. Audio Sampler - HL08753949 $10.00 ShowKit - HL09971623 $695.00 This ShowKit includes: 30 Actor's Scripts Piano/Vocal Score Director's Guide 2 Performance/Accompaniment CDs Choreography DVD Media Disc 30 Family Matters Booklets 60-Minute JR. Request Individual Components 09971625 - Piano/Vocal Score $40.00 09971626 - Director's Script $100.00 09971624 - Actor's Script $10.00 09971627 - Actor's Script 10 Pak $75.00 09971449 - Performance/Accompaniment CD $75.00 09971629 - Choreography DVD $50.00 09971630 - Student Rehearsal CD $10.00 09971631 - Student Rehearsal CD 20 Pak $100.00 09971632 - Media Disc $10.00 08753949 - Audio Sampler $10.00 Hear A Sample Hard Work (Part 1) Hard Work (Part 2) Hard Work (Part 3) Hard Work (Playoff) Locker Tag 1 Locker Tag 2 I Want To Make Magic Intro To Dance Class Dance Class Sophomore Year There She Goes! / Fame Fame (Playoff) Let's Play A Love Scene Bring On Tomorrow (Part 1) Bring On Tomorrow (Part 2) Bring On Tomorrow (Part 3) After Tomorrow The Teacher's Argument Junior Year Locker Tag 3 The Junior Festival Only Time Will Tell Locker Tag 4 Carmen's Goodbye Mabel's Prayer Locker Tag 5 Senior Year Let's Play A Love Scene (Reprise) Graduation Bring On Tomorrow (Reprise) Bows Exit Music The Actors Nick Piazza Serena Katz Joe (José) Vega The Dancers Tyrone Jackson Carmen Diaz Iris Kelly Mabel Washington The Muscians Schlomo Metzenbaum Grace (Lambchops) Lamb Goodman (Goody) King The Teachers Miss Esther Sherman Ms. Greta Bell Mr. Myers Mr. Sheinkopf Other Students Male and Female Ensemble
Benjamin Britten Article Distributed by Britten Home YouTube Festival Biography Choral Publications Article: Explore the Choral Music of Benjamin Britten by Paul Spicer Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) was a unique force in British music. Of the fine composers among his contemporaries, none wrote such a wide variety of music across such a broad spectrum of genres and for such a range of ages and abilities. In many ways, though he might have been surprised by the comparison, he was the natural successor to Vaughan Williams, whose instincts for community and the nurture of amateur musicians brought him an almost cult-like status in Britain. Britten did not devote himself so wholeheartedly to these things, but a sizeable proportion of his choral music is easily within the reach of a good ordinary choir, another part is well within the grasp of a reasonable church choir, and there is, of course, all the music he wrote specifically for children. Among the 60 or so non-operatic choral works there are also works which are exceptionally demanding and perhaps best left to professionals and outstanding amateurs. The range of this output and the frequency of performance of the better-known works underline Britten's ubiquity in the world of choral singing, not just in the English-speaking community but far beyond. As with many composers who have devoted themselves to writing a large corpus of music for one particular genre, Britten has suffered from being too well-known for a few familiar pieces. Rejoice in the Lamb, A Ceremony of Carols, Hymn to the Virgin, Hymn to St Cecilia, Jubilate Deo in C and others have tended to obscure the fuller picture of Britten's choral output and, if nothing else, I hope that choral directors will look beyond their favourites and explore the rich variety of music which is still almost undiscovered. Schools, or choirs of upper or lower voices, will find music here of wonderful quality which rarely sees the light of day. Similarly, there is a genuine mix of sacred and secular and some useful blurring of the edges where words can be equally appropriate in either context. I hope that the corresponding online guide will also be of real practical help to those who aim to build programmes which may be structured in specific ways - thematically, by voice type, by religious or non-religious setting, or by the balancing of a well-known piece by a less-familiar or almost unknown work. It is a spirit of discovery and adventure which should fire the imagination, and it is a love of all this music which has inspired the commentary writing. Britten was a practical composer. He knew that the music he wrote was performable because he himself was an accomplished professional musician. This is, again, where the Vaughan Williams analogy holds true. To be there, in among those doing the singing, directing the performance, advising other conductors and acquiring great expertise and experience over a creative lifetime, gave him an unusual insight into what choirs enjoy singing. He discovered what levels were attainable by different types of group, and did much to encourage that sense of ambition which has led to a genuine rise in the quality of amateur choral music-making. Britten was also a practical composer because he gave his performers all the information they need to deliver a convincing and 'authentic' performance - his scores have clear and unambiguous performance directions throughout. He is known to have remarked that, if musicians follow his instructions to the letter (and can play or sing the notes in an accurate and musical fashion), they will give a performance of which the composer would approve. So the principal instruction to choral directors is to prepare the score thoroughly prior to embarking on rehearsals. Read the words in order to understand Britten's setting of them, and mark, learn and inwardly digest Britten's clear instructions about speed, dynamics, phrasing, and, often most importantly, articulation. The mood of a piece so often comes from the composer's approach to the text. Britten tended to choose texts which were not widely set by other composers. But to compare, for instance, his two connected settings of Gerard Manley Hopkins' "God's Grandeur" in A.M.D.G. and "The World of the Spirit" with Kenneth Leighton's version is to clearly demonstrate the point. No two responses could be more different and yet each excitingly shows the composer's individual reaction to the poem. To examine Britten's popular Jubilate Deo in C alongside Howells' Collegium Regale setting of the same words written some fifteen years earlier is, again, to emphasize how their idiomatic interpretations of the text helped shape each piece. Britten's style grew out of the English choral tradition he knew so well. He had not been a cathedral chorister but had boarded at Gresham's School from the age of 14. There he was exposed to the standard repertoire of the Anglican Church and his earliest well-known piece, "A Hymn to the Virgin," was written when he was only 16 and still a schoolboy. It unequivocally shows his feeling for the beauty and potential of choral sound, so it is no wonder that such precocious talent should develop to the extent it did. While there are pieces from his output which are more stylistically searching, this early gem sets the scene for a choral output that is essentially approachable, tonal, lyrical, and pleasing to both performer and listener. It is a remarkable legacy.
Frequently Asked Questions - Broadway Junior Menu LEARN MORE About Broadway Junior What Comes With the Showkit™? How to License a Broadway Junior Musical Order an Audio Sampler Frequently Asked Questions 60-Min.ute Musicals [JR.] 60-Minute Musicals Aladdin Jr. (Disney) Annie Jr. Beauty and the Beast Jr. (Disney) Bugsy Malone Jr. Children Of Eden Jr. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. Dear Edwina Jr. Doctor Dolittle Jr. Elf The Musical Jr. Fame Jr. Fiddler on the Roof Jr. Finian's Rainbow Jr. Flat Stanley Jr. Frozen Jr. (Disney) A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr. (Magic Tree House) Godspell Jr. Guys and Dolls Jr. Hairspray Jr. High School Musical Jr. (Disney) High School Musical 2 Jr. (Disney) Honk! Jr. Into the Woods Jr. James and the Giant Peach Jr. (Roald Dahl) Junie B. Jones Jr. Legally Blonde Jr. The Lion King Jr. (Disney) The Little Mermaid Jr. (Disney) Madagascar - A Musical Adventure Jr. Mary Poppins Jr. (Disney/Cameron Mackintosh) Matilda Jr. (Roald Dahl) Moana Jr. (Disney) The Music Man Jr. My Son Pinocchio Jr. (Disney) Newsies Jr. (Disney) Once on This Island Jr. Peter Pan Jr. (Broadway) The Phantom Tollbooth Jr. The Pirates of Penzance Jr. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Jr. Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. Seussical Jr. Shrek Jr. Singin' In The Rain Jr. Sister Act Jr. Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. Willy Wonka Jr. (Roald Dahl) Xanadu Jr. 30-Min.ute Musicals [KIDS] 30-Minute Musicals 101 Dalmatians KIDS (Disney) Aladdin KIDS (Disney) Annie KIDS Aristocats KIDS (Disney) Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS (Magic Tree House) Frozen KIDS (Disney) The Jungle Book KIDS (Disney) The Knight at Dawn KIDS (Magic Tree House) The Lion King KIDS (Disney) The Music Man KIDS Pirates Past Noon KIDS (Magic Tree House) Seussical KIDS Willy Wonka KIDS (Roald Dahl) Winnie the Pooh KIDS (Disney) A Year with Frog and Toad KIDS Frequently Asked Questions about Broadway Junior Musicals How long can we perform this show? Your Performance License is good for 12 months. You can keep all the materials after the 12 month period, but the materials are not reusable. Can I perform the same show the next year and just purchase the rights since I already have the materials? You will need to purchase a new kit and sign a new performance license if you would like to perform the show again at another time. The materials are not re-useable, refundable or transferable. Can I videotape the performance? The shows that can be videotaped with the purchase of a Video License at $75 include: Disney's Aladdin JR. Disney's Aladdin KIDS Annie JR. Annie KIDS Disney's The Aristocats KIDS Disney's Beauty and the Beast JR. Disney's Cinderella KIDS Dear Edwina JR. Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs before Dark KIDS Elf The Musical JR. Fame JR. The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley JR. Disney's Frozen JR. Magic Tree House: A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens JR. Guys and Dolls JR. Disney's High School Musical 2 JR. Disney's High School Musical JR. Honk! JR. Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach JR. Disney's The Jungle Book KIDS Magic Tree House: The Knight at Dawn KIDS Disney's The Lion King JR. Disney's The Lion King KIDS Disney's The Little Mermaid JR. Madagascar - A Musical Adventure JR. Mary Poppins JR. Disney's My Son Pinocchio JR. Peter Pan JR. Magic Tree House: Pirates Past Noon KIDS Seussical JR. Seussical KIDS Shrek The Musical JR. Singin' in the Rain JR. Disney's Winnie the Pooh KIDS Main restrictions: video recordings are for cast/crew/families only, can't be sold and can't be broadcast in any way including on the Internet. The remaining shows do not allow videotaping. Parents cannot tape, even just for their own personal in-home use. It has nothing to do with how the tape would be used, not being sold, etc. It all comes down to legal copyright rights. Here is how Music Theatre International explains it: Unfortunately, the rights to videotape are not available. Copyright law gives authors the exclusive right to control the reproduction of their work. When a license is granted for a live stage production of a show, that license does not include the right to tape it because the authors retain the sole right to decide when or if their work is recorded in any way. Even a videotape made for classroom use, as a personal memento or as an archival school record violates the authors' separate right to reproduce their work. In most cases, the authors have already granted such rights exclusively to film or television companies, in which case videotaping this show would also be infringing upon the rights granted by the authors to a third party. Can I post a video of our performance on YouTube? There is no broadcasting of the show in any way, even if you've signed a video license. The license specifically restricts the right to broadcast your performance on YouTube, any school channel, etc. I have a few students who were in the 9th grade last year and are going into the 10th grade, can I still allow them to perform in the show? No. All performers are required to be in the 9th grade or under when the show is performed. Can I perform only certain musical numbers from the show? No. The show must be performed exactly as it has been provided to you in the ShowKit™ materials and you cannot delete, alter or make changes of any kind in the text of the play, the musical numbers, characters or characterizations. I have a question that's not listed. How do I contact a person? Call us on our Teacher VIP line: 1-800-322-1127 or email us at broadwayjunior@halleonard.com
Curtains - Young @ Part Menu LEARN MORE About Young @ Part Showbox/Added Resources Order a Perusal Pack Online License Request 60-Min.ute Musicals [Young@Part] 60-Minute Musicals Addams Family All Shook Up Curtains Monty Python's Spamalot We Will Rock You Wind In The Willows 30-Min.ute Musicals [Younger@Part] 30-Minute Musicals Addams Family All Shook Up How I Became A Pirate Miss Nelson Is Missing Product Information Musical Numbers Cast of Characters Credits Book and Additional Lyrics: Rupert Holmes Music and Additional Lyrics: John Kander Lyrics: Fred Ebb Original Book and Concept: Peter Stone Overview / Synopsis It's the brassy, bright, and promising year of 1959. Boston's Colonial Theatre is host to the opening night performance of a new musical. When the leading lady mysteriously dies on stage the entire cast & crew are suspects. Enter a local detective, who just happens to be a musical theatre fan! Packed with glorious tunes and a witty, charming script filled with delightful characters, CURTAINS Young@Part® is a hilarious journey for both performers and the audience. Print Perusal - HL00237281 $19.95 ShowBox - HL00237276 $675.00 This ShowBox includes: 30 Cast Script/Vocal Books Director's Script 2 Piano/Vocal Scores Guide Vocals CD Performance Tracks CD Logo Pack CD Young @ Part Request Individual Components 00251192 - Director's Script $50.00 00251193 - Cast Script/Vocal Book $10.00 00251201 - Piano/Vocal Score $40.00 00251202 - Guide Vocals CD $50.00 00251203 - Performance Tracks CD $100.00 Hear A Sample Wide Open Spaces What Kind of Man? Show People In the Same Boat Thataway! He Did It Kansasland A Tough Act to Follow Transition to Stage A Tough Act (Finale) Lieutenant Frank Cioffi Sweetly endearing local Boston detective who idolizes the world of musical theatre and has reveled in the thrill of performing in community theatre. Called upon to solve the murder of the star of "Robbin' Hood" (a musical intended for Broadway that is currently out of town in Boston), Cioffi is very good at his job and, lamentably, married to his work. He is instantly smitten with ingénue Niki Harris. The undisputed central character of the musical. Requires deft and charming comedy, good singing, solid dancing in one extended "Fred and Ginger" number. Gender: Male Vocal Range: Ab3-G5 Niki Harris Pretty, almost too innocent ingénue, a local performer in a small role hoping "Robbin' Hood" will be the Boston production that at last takes her to Broadway. Love interest for Lieutenant Cioffi, apparently reciprocated. Requires a legit soprano and strong dancing in an extended "Fred and Ginger" number. Gender: Female Vocal Range: C4-E5 Georgia Hendricks Female half of our show-within-a-show's songwriting team on the lyric-writing side. Ends up taking on the leading lady role. Must sing and dance extremely well. Gender: Female Vocal Range: G3-E5 Carmen Bernstein Brash and brassy Broadway producer. Terrific comedic actress with a belt. Gender: Female Vocal Range: Bb3-E5 Aaron Fox The composer of the show-within-the-show. His songwriting partner, Georgia, is also his wife, from whom he's separated but for whom he still pines. He's a handsome, intense, somewhat tortured artist-type. Requires a strong vocalist with comedy. Gender: Male Vocal Range: Bb3-E5 Christopher Belling English director. Very camp. Very droll. Noel Coward meets Addison DeWitt meets Clifton Webb. Requires a superb comic actor. Gender: May be cast male or female Vocal Range: B3-E5 Bambi "Bernét" Performer in the chorus, daughter of Carmen, step-daughter of Sidney. Genuinely brassy and artificially blonde. Hungry to work her way out of the chorus; many think she was only hired because of her mother. She surprises everyone, however, when she shows genuine dancing and singing talent when at last called upon. Requires great dancing, strong "street-smart dumb blonde" comedy, and singing. Gender: Female Vocal Range: C4-E5 Oscar Shapiro From the garment district and sole investor in "Robbin' Hood." A likeably gruff man who knows nothing about theatre and frets over every dime of his that's spent. Requires good "rough around the edges" comedy and singing. Gender: Male Vocal Range: Bb3-E5 Bobby Pepper The Gene Kelly of "Robbin' Hood," its choreographer and male star, and a handsome rival to Aaron for Georgia's affection. Requires strong dancing, singing, comedy. Gender: Male Vocal Range: A3-E5 Johnny Harmon Stage Manager of the show-within-the-show, and both drill sergeant and mother hen to the cast. Barks orders but has a pleasant side as well, he keeps the company in line and on their toes throughout the rehearsal process. Comic actor who can sing. Gender: May be cast male or female (using the name Jenny Harmon) Vocal Range: E4-Eb5 Jessica Crenshaw Faded Hollywood star, a grand diva with no right to be one, and a plague to the show-with-the-show and to her cast. An absolutely dreadful singer and inept actress who stars in the show-within-a-show and gets murdered on its opening night in Boston. Must be skillful enough to sing hilariously out-of-tune and ineptly, and adroit enough to dance perfectly out of step with the rest of the cast. Appears only in the first minutes of the musical; on Broadway, this performer then adopted a different look and became part of the ensemble. Gender: Female Vocal Range: G4-D5 Randy Dexter A member of the singing & dancing ensemble featured in "Kansasland," pleasant but with a sensitive side. Gender: Male Vocal Range: A3-E5 Harv Fremont A member of the singing & dancing ensemble who bears a bouquet. Gender: Male Vocal Range: A3-E5 Ensemble
Disney's The Little Mermaid Jr. - Broadway Junior Menu LEARN MORE About Broadway Junior What Comes With the Showkit™? How to License a Broadway Junior Musical Order an Audio Sampler Frequently Asked Questions 60-Min.ute Musicals [JR.] 60-Minute Musicals Aladdin Jr. (Disney) Annie Jr. Beauty and the Beast Jr. (Disney) Bugsy Malone Jr. Children Of Eden Jr. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. Dear Edwina Jr. Doctor Dolittle Jr. Elf The Musical Jr. Fame Jr. Fiddler on the Roof Jr. Finian's Rainbow Jr. Flat Stanley Jr. Frozen Jr. (Disney) A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr. (Magic Tree House) Godspell Jr. Guys and Dolls Jr. Hairspray Jr. High School Musical Jr. (Disney) High School Musical 2 Jr. (Disney) Honk! Jr. Into the Woods Jr. James and the Giant Peach Jr. (Roald Dahl) Junie B. Jones Jr. Legally Blonde Jr. The Lion King Jr. (Disney) The Little Mermaid Jr. (Disney) Madagascar - A Musical Adventure Jr. Mary Poppins Jr. (Disney/Cameron Mackintosh) Matilda Jr. (Roald Dahl) Moana Jr. (Disney) The Music Man Jr. My Son Pinocchio Jr. (Disney) Newsies Jr. (Disney) Once on This Island Jr. Peter Pan Jr. (Broadway) The Phantom Tollbooth Jr. The Pirates of Penzance Jr. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Jr. Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. Seussical Jr. Shrek Jr. Singin' In The Rain Jr. Sister Act Jr. Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. Willy Wonka Jr. (Roald Dahl) Xanadu Jr. 30-Min.ute Musicals [KIDS] 30-Minute Musicals 101 Dalmatians KIDS (Disney) Aladdin KIDS (Disney) Annie KIDS Aristocats KIDS (Disney) Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS (Magic Tree House) Frozen KIDS (Disney) The Jungle Book KIDS (Disney) The Knight at Dawn KIDS (Magic Tree House) The Lion King KIDS (Disney) The Music Man KIDS Pirates Past Noon KIDS (Magic Tree House) Seussical KIDS Willy Wonka KIDS (Roald Dahl) Winnie the Pooh KIDS (Disney) A Year with Frog and Toad KIDS Product Information Musical Numbers Cast of Characters Credits Lyrics by Glenn Slater Book by Doug Wright Lyrics by Howard Ashman Music by Alan Menken Overview / Synopsis In a magical kingdom fathoms below, the beautiful young mermaid Ariel longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above. But first, she'll have to defy her father, King Triton, make a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, and convince Prince Eric that she's the girl with the enchanting voice. Adapted from Disney's 2008 Broadway production, Disney's The Little Mermaid JR. features the hit songs such as "Part of Your World," "She's in Love," and the Oscar®-winning "Under the Sea." Audio Sampler - HL08754783 $10.00 ShowKit - HL09971687 $695.00 This ShowKit includes: 30 Actor's Scripts Piano/Vocal Score Director's Script Performance/Accompaniment & Guide Vocal Audio (Digital Only) Choreography Videos (Digital Only) Downloadable Media Resources (Digital Only) Digital Delivery Update Now you can receive digital access to many of the ShowKit components you know and love. Look forward to easily distributing these crucial components to your cast and creative team: Performance Accompaniment Tracks and Guide Vocal Tracks (Formerly Accompaniment CD & Rehearsal CD, respectively) will now be delivered together as a digital download and easily shared with your entire team, cast, and crew Choreography Videos (formerly the Choreography DVD) will be available to stream directly from mtishows.com. Now not only your choreographer but the entire cast will have access to fantastic step-by-step instruction for every Broadway Junior title! Downloadable Resources (formerly the Resources (or Media) Disc), including Audition Materials, a customizable press release, program and other helpful templates, and more can all be accessed with a click of a button 60-Minute JR. Request Individual Components 09971685 - Piano/Vocal Score $40.00 09971684 - Director's Script $100.00 09971686 - Actor's Script $10.00 09971745 - Actor's Script 10 Pak $75.00 09971688 - Performance/Accompaniment CD $75.00 09971689 - Choreography DVD $50.00 09971691 - Student Rehearsal CD $10.00 09971744 - Student Rehearsal CD 20 Pak $100.00 09971690 - Media Disc $10.00 08754783 - Audio Sampler $10.00 Hear A Sample Fathoms Below [Pilot, Sailors, Prince Eric, Grimsby] Daughters of Triton [Mersisters] Human Stuff [Scuttle, Gulls, Ariel, Flounder] Part of Your World [Ariel] Under the Sea [Sebastian, Sea Creatures] Part of Your World (Reprise) [Ariel] She's in Love [Mersisters, Flounder] Poor Unfortunate Souls [Ursula, Flotsam, Jetsam, Tentacles] Beluga Sevruga [Ursula, Ariel] Les Poissons [Chef Louis, Chefs] One Step Closer [Prince Eric] Kiss the Girl [Sebastian, Lagoon Animals] The Contest [Grimsby, Princesses] Poor Unfortunate Souls (Reprise) [Ursula, Tentacles] Part of Your World (Finale) [Ariel, Company] Under the Sea (Bows) [Company] Ariel Ariel, the heroine of our story, is a little mermaid who longs to be human. Cast a strong singer and dynamic performer in this role. Ariel has some beautiful solos but must be able to convey meaning through gesture once she loses her voice. PRINCE ERIC Prince Eric is the adventurous prince who captures Ariel's heart. Look for a charming performer with a sensitive nature. Prince Eric has a few small solos, but it is more important to cast a strong actor in this role. SEBASTIAN Sebastian is the meticulous and anxious crab who tries to keep Ariel safe while getting to lead some of the most memorable songs in the show! Sebastian can be played by a boy or girl. FLOUNDER Flounder is Ariel's sincere and sensitive best friend who is loyal to the end. This spunky fish also has a show-stopping solo in "She's in Love." Flounder can be cast with a girl or a boy with an unchanged voice. KING TRITON King Triton rules the sea and is a force to be reckoned with. This non-singer needs to command the stage as a strong leader but also show the tenderness of a parent. Cast a mature performer who feels comfortable playing father to Ariel and the Mersisters. The Mersisters The Mersisters (Aquata, Andrina, Arista, Atina, Adella, Allana) are Ariel's siblings and full of personality and sass. These are great roles to showcase talented singers and dancers who can create and play six distinctive characters. URSULA Ursula is the manipulative sea witch who tries to overthrow King Triton. She is cunning and devious and will stop at nothing to get what she wants. TENTACLES The Tentacles are extensions of Ursula, perhaps the poor unfortunate souls who are now trapped in her lair. FLOTSAM & JETSAM Flotsam & Jetsam are Ursula's slippery spies. These electric eels are sinister and sneaky, so look for performers who can be underhanded and devious while still being heard on stage. Flotsam and Jetsam can be played by boys or girls. SCUTTLE Scuttle is the know-it-all seagull who serves as Ariel's expert on humans. He is funny and off-beat. Look for a performer with good comedic timing who is willing to have fun with Scuttle's eccentricities. Gulls The Gulls are Scuttle's flock of zany "back-up singers" who help explain human stuff to Ariel. GRIMSBY Grimsby is Prince Eric's prim and proper valet. He is rigid in personality and constantly trying to guide Prince Eric towards the throne. CHEF LOUIS Chef Louis is the over-the-top head chef in the palace. He is always wild and frenetic. This is an excellent featured role for a comedic performer. THE CHEFS The Chefs are Chef Louis's assistants. CARLOTTA Carlotta is the headmistress in Prince Eric's palace and Ariel's greatest human ally. This non-singing role needs to be warm and maternal to make Ariel feel welcome. THE SIX PRINCESSES The six Princesses try everything they can to win the heart of Prince Eric. The six Princesses can double as the six Mersisters. THE PILOT The Pilot is the head sailor on Prince Eric's ship. THE SAILORS The Sailors are the crew of Prince Eric's ship. THE SEAHORSE The Seahorse is the court herald for King Triton. SEA CHORUS The Sea Chorus is responsible for creating each world within the show. The Sea Chorus can double as Merfolk, Sea Creatures and Lagoon Animals. MERFOLK The Merfolk of King Triton's Court and can double as Sea Creatures. LAGOON ANIMALS The Lagoon Animals try to convince Prince Eric to kiss Ariel. This ensemble can double as the Sea Creatures.
Kim André Arnesen Arnesen's music is lovely and worth hearing… Sacred and secular, there is much to admire.– American Record Guide Kim André Arnesen Born in 1980, Kim André Arnesen is one of the most frequently performed composers from Norway today. He grew up in Trondheim where he was a chorister in the Nidaros Cathedral Boys’ Choir, later being educated at the Music Conservatory in Trondheim. With an interest in baroque music, contemporary classical music, and popular music, Kim could have taken many roads, but choral music became his greatest passion. As a composer, he had his first performance at the age of 18 with the boys’ choir. Since then he has written music that has been performed and recorded by choirs all over the world. In 2015–16, Kim was Composer-in-residence for the Denver-based choral ensemble Kantorei and Artistic Director Joel Rinsema. The residency concluded with the recording of Kim’s second CD album released in early 2018 on Naxos Records. He continues to enjoy a busy international schedule of commissions. Kim André Arnesen Born in 1980, Kim André Arnesen is one of the most frequently performed composers from Norway today. He grew up in Trondheim where he was a chorister in the Nidaros Cathedral Boys’ Choir, later being educated at the Music Conservatory in Trondheim. With an interest in baroque music, contemporary classical music, and popular music, Kim could have taken many roads, but choral music became his greatest passion. As a composer, he had his first performance at the age of 18 with the boys’ choir. Since then he has written music that has been performed and recorded by choirs all over the world. In 2015–16, Kim was Composer-in-residence for the Denver-based choral ensemble Kantorei and Artistic Director Joel Rinsema. The residency concluded with the recording of Kim’s second CD album released in early 2018 on Naxos Records. He continues to enjoy a busy international schedule of commissions. I denna ljuva sommartid (In this sweet summertime) SSAA (with divisi) a cappella Duration: c5 minutes 48024604 $2.50 More Info Commissioned by Kvindelige Studenters Sangforening, Oslo, Norway, and Marit Tøndel Bodsberg Weyde, conductor Commissioned by Kvindelige Studenters Sangforening, Oslo, Norway, and Marit Tøndel Bodsberg Weyde, conductor I denna ljuva sommartid (In this sweet summertime) is a well-known traditional summer psalm in Sweden. The text is of German origin, written in 1653 by Paul Gerhardt (1607-76) with the title Geh aus, mein Herz, und suche Freud and also called Sommerlied. The Swedish version is sung with different melodies, including one that is part of the Swedish Hymnal Songbook and sung in schools before the summer holidays. In this arrangement, I’ve used a traditional melody from Malung in Sweden and three of the eight verses of the psalm, which describe summer as a gift from God. As a composer, arranging songs that can be regarded as a national treasure in another country is something that is done with great respect. But also, working with another country’s traditional music, music that is not in one’s own blood, can hopefully result in a fresh and new take on the original. Arranger's note Arranger's note I denna ljuva sommartid (In this sweet summertime) is a well-known traditional summer psalm in Sweden. The text is of German origin, written in 1653 by Paul Gerhardt (1607-76) with the title Geh aus, mein Herz, und suche Freud and also called Sommerlied. The Swedish version is sung with different melodies, including one that is part of the Swedish Hymnal Songbook and sung in schools before the summer holidays. In this arrangement, I’ve used a traditional melody from Malung in Sweden and three of the eight verses of the psalm, which describe summer as a gift from God. As a composer, arranging songs that can be regarded as a national treasure in another country is something that is done with great respect. But also, working with another country’s traditional music, music that is not in one’s own blood, can hopefully result in a fresh and new take on the original. Falling into Mercy SATB (with divisi) & optional piano (maximum divisi SSAATTBB) Text by Euan Tait Duration: 4 minutes 48024608 $2.50 More Info Commissioned by the Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy of the Oregon Bach Festival, in honor of the Academy’s 20th Anniversary; and St. Olaf College and Anton Armstrong, Professor of Music and Conductor of the St. Olaf Choir Commissioned by the Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy of the Oregon Bach Festival, in honor of the Academy’s 20th Anniversary; and St. Olaf College and Anton Armstrong, Professor of Music and Conductor of the St. Olaf Choir This work comes from amazement – that the encounter with divine love, our relationship with the sacred, is to be constantly astonished by the endlessness of the depths of love. Love's persistence, again and again, whatever our failures to be people of love, is our reassurance of our precious and limitless value in the eyes of our Creator. And this mercy, this depthless mercy, frees us to become ourselves most fully, uncertain, but tenacious pilgrims. The music should be driven forward with particular attention to phrases and the detailed dynamics. For a piece like this, the various possible dynamic choices are endless and, as long as they substantiate the text and the performance remains fervent, the dynamics may be altered at the discretion of the conductor. As a composer, I always try to give each work its own identity, and this piece is characterized by first inversion chords. It is fascinating how nothing is really changed, and yet everything has changed. If one tries to move the bass to the root note it is a completely different work; the first inversion chords give a feeling of something endless, and from a musical image echoing the text, “to keep falling, endlessly.” Notes from the Poet and Composer Notes from the Poet and Composer This work comes from amazement – that the encounter with divine love, our relationship with the sacred, is to be constantly astonished by the endlessness of the depths of love. Love's persistence, again and again, whatever our failures to be people of love, is our reassurance of our precious and limitless value in the eyes of our Creator. And this mercy, this depthless mercy, frees us to become ourselves most fully, uncertain, but tenacious pilgrims. The music should be driven forward with particular attention to phrases and the detailed dynamics. For a piece like this, the various possible dynamic choices are endless and, as long as they substantiate the text and the performance remains fervent, the dynamics may be altered at the discretion of the conductor. As a composer, I always try to give each work its own identity, and this piece is characterized by first inversion chords. It is fascinating how nothing is really changed, and yet everything has changed. If one tries to move the bass to the root note it is a completely different work; the first inversion chords give a feeling of something endless, and from a musical image echoing the text, “to keep falling, endlessly.” The Gift to Sing SATB (with divisi) & piano (maximum divisi SSAATBB) Text by James Weldon Johnson Duration: 4:30 48024607 $2.50 More Info Commissioned in honor of Dr. H. Morris Stevens Jr., music educator, conductor, church musician and founder of the St. Edward’s University Masterworks Singers Commissioned in honor of Dr. H. Morris Stevens Jr., music educator, conductor, church musician and founder of the St. Edward’s University Masterworks Singers If there is one thing anyone who has sung in a choir (or other context) knows, it is how singing can “turn the gloom to a cheerful day,” as James Weldon Johnson writes in his poem. We know it from our own experience, but it is even scientifically proven. There are many reasons to sing, and one of them is to bring light into our surroundings powered by our very own voices. And if someone does not think of themselves as a singer, I feel quite confident that Johnson’s poem will make them want to sing at the top of their voice! Composer’s note Composer’s note If there is one thing anyone who has sung in a choir (or other context) knows, it is how singing can “turn the gloom to a cheerful day,” as James Weldon Johnson writes in his poem. We know it from our own experience, but it is even scientifically proven. There are many reasons to sing, and one of them is to bring light into our surroundings powered by our very own voices. And if someone does not think of themselves as a singer, I feel quite confident that Johnson’s poem will make them want to sing at the top of their voice! The Holy Spirit Mass Mixed Voices with Organ or Strings and Piano Vocal Score 48024610 $19.95 Release date in the US: May 2019 Composed to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, The Holy Spirit Mass interweaves the familiar Mass texts with English translations of the 9th-century Veni Creator Spiritus (‘Come Creator Spirit’) and Martin Luther’s hymn Come Holy Ghost, God and Lord. This major new choral work encourages unity and reconciliation in the world and celebrates hope for its future. Arnesen’s characteristic rich harmonies and memorable melodic lines combine to create an inspirational and uplifting work suitable for concert performance. This vocal score, which includes accompaniment for organ, can also be used for performing the versions of The Holy Spirit Mass with orchestral accompaniment available on rental from Boosey & Hawkes. Composed to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, The Holy Spirit Mass interweaves the familiar Mass texts with English translations of the 9th-century Veni Creator Spiritus (‘Come Creator Spirit’) and Martin Luther’s hymn Come Holy Ghost, God and Lord. This major new choral work encourages unity and reconciliation in the world and celebrates hope for its future. Arnesen’s characteristic rich harmonies and memorable melodic lines combine to create an inspirational and uplifting work suitable for concert performance. This vocal score, which includes accompaniment for organ, can also be used for performing the versions of The Holy Spirit Mass with orchestral accompaniment available on rental from Boosey & Hawkes.   I will light candles this Christmas SATB (with divisi) & piano (maximum divisi SSAATTBB) Text by Howard Thurman Duration: c4 minutes 48024571 $2.95 More Info Commissioned by Celia Ellington through LutheranArts in honor of Gary Aamodt’s 80th birthday, and dedicated to the annual St. Olaf Christmas Festival. Commissioned by Celia Ellington through LutheranArts in honor of Gary Aamodt’s 80th birthday, and dedicated to the annual St. Olaf Christmas Festival. Advent and Christmas are times of excitement and celebration. However, it is difficult not to see the darkness of the world. Where the treetops glisten and behind the toys and goodies it can be cold and unsafe. And it is in darkness that we need light. The candle can light our hope and remind us that we are much more than what is darkest in our lives. Therefore this time of the year can be one of light over darkness. I hope the message in this carol can guide us to become carriers of a light that brings joy, hope, courage, peace, grace, and love, now and when the star dims. “Let your light shine before others.” (The Sermon on the Mount) Composer’s note Composer’s note Advent and Christmas are times of excitement and celebration. However, it is difficult not to see the darkness of the world. Where the treetops glisten and behind the toys and goodies it can be cold and unsafe. And it is in darkness that we need light. The candle can light our hope and remind us that we are much more than what is darkest in our lives. Therefore this time of the year can be one of light over darkness. I hope the message in this carol can guide us to become carriers of a light that brings joy, hope, courage, peace, grace, and love, now and when the star dims. “Let your light shine before others.” (The Sermon on the Mount) My flame the song SATB (with divisi) & piano (maximum divisi SSATBB) Text by Euan Tait Duration: 5 minutes 48024605 $2.95 More Info Commissioned in honor of Dr. H. Morris Stevens Jr., music educator, conductor, church musician and founder of the St. Edward’s University Masterworks Singers Commissioned in honor of Dr. H. Morris Stevens Jr., music educator, conductor, church musician and founder of the St. Edward’s University Masterworks Singers We share a fierce, impassioned singing of the life of love. We sing in the lives we lead, by the way we respond to the cry in the human heart. Our lives unfold the powerful potential of love that lives in each one of us, as friends, parents, siblings, partners, colleagues. In making music, singing together lights an extraordinary process in us: we connect from the depths of our beings with each other, with this shared spiritual flame within us, we connect to those we have lost, to those who have sung the same music, we connect to the eternal singing of that vast eternal chord of being human. In performing this work, you will pass on the flame to others. You become its music, its words: your spirit cries out, here. Composer’s note Composer’s note We share a fierce, impassioned singing of the life of love. We sing in the lives we lead, by the way we respond to the cry in the human heart. Our lives unfold the powerful potential of love that lives in each one of us, as friends, parents, siblings, partners, colleagues. In making music, singing together lights an extraordinary process in us: we connect from the depths of our beings with each other, with this shared spiritual flame within us, we connect to those we have lost, to those who have sung the same music, we connect to the eternal singing of that vast eternal chord of being human. In performing this work, you will pass on the flame to others. You become its music, its words: your spirit cries out, here. Ubi caritas et amor Duration: 4 minutes Release date in the US: March 2019 SATB (divisi) a cappella (maximum divisi SSAATTBB) 48024606 $2.50 More Info SSAA a cappella 48024609 $2.50 More Info Commissioned by the Athens Master Chorale, Athens, Georgia, for Joseph S. Napoli, founder and conductor, in honor of his 50 years of loving devotion to the art of choral music. Commissioned by the Athens Master Chorale, Athens, Georgia, for Joseph S. Napoli, founder and conductor, in honor of his 50 years of loving devotion to the art of choral music. The actual origin of the text Ubi caritas et amor is unknown, but it has been dated to some point between 300 and 1100 AD. The text is typically sung during the Washing of the Feet at the Mass of the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday). The word “caritas” has many shades of meaning, and there are some nuances that seem to be lost in its translation. While the word “charity” is mostly used about voluntarily giving, the word “caritas” also means honesty, heartfeltness, dearness and tolerance. In a world with a lot of tension and disunity I wanted to write a piece that sings about the commandments to love one another. As ever, choirs performing this work should aim for a good balance between the voice parts, and the music should always be flowing but never hurried. Composer’s note Composer’s note The actual origin of the text Ubi caritas et amor is unknown, but it has been dated to some point between 300 and 1100 AD. The text is typically sung during the Washing of the Feet at the Mass of the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday). The word “caritas” has many shades of meaning, and there are some nuances that seem to be lost in its translation. While the word “charity” is mostly used about voluntarily giving, the word “caritas” also means honesty, heartfeltness, dearness and tolerance. In a world with a lot of tension and disunity I wanted to write a piece that sings about the commandments to love one another. As ever, choirs performing this work should aim for a good balance between the voice parts, and the music should always be flowing but never hurried.
Disney's The Lion King Experience Jr. - Broadway Junior Menu LEARN MORE About Broadway Junior What Comes With the Showkit™? How to License a Broadway Junior Musical Order an Audio Sampler Frequently Asked Questions 60-Min.ute Musicals [JR.] 60-Minute Musicals Aladdin Jr. (Disney) Annie Jr. Beauty and the Beast Jr. (Disney) Bugsy Malone Jr. Children Of Eden Jr. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. Dear Edwina Jr. Doctor Dolittle Jr. Elf The Musical Jr. Fame Jr. Fiddler on the Roof Jr. Finian's Rainbow Jr. Flat Stanley Jr. Frozen Jr. (Disney) A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr. (Magic Tree House) Godspell Jr. Guys and Dolls Jr. Hairspray Jr. High School Musical Jr. (Disney) High School Musical 2 Jr. (Disney) Honk! Jr. Into the Woods Jr. James and the Giant Peach Jr. (Roald Dahl) Junie B. Jones Jr. Legally Blonde Jr. The Lion King Jr. (Disney) The Little Mermaid Jr. (Disney) Madagascar - A Musical Adventure Jr. Mary Poppins Jr. (Disney/Cameron Mackintosh) Matilda Jr. (Roald Dahl) Moana Jr. (Disney) The Music Man Jr. My Son Pinocchio Jr. (Disney) Newsies Jr. (Disney) Once on This Island Jr. Peter Pan Jr. (Broadway) The Phantom Tollbooth Jr. The Pirates of Penzance Jr. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Jr. Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. Seussical Jr. Shrek Jr. Singin' In The Rain Jr. Sister Act Jr. Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. Willy Wonka Jr. (Roald Dahl) Xanadu Jr. 30-Min.ute Musicals [KIDS] 30-Minute Musicals 101 Dalmatians KIDS (Disney) Aladdin KIDS (Disney) Annie KIDS Aristocats KIDS (Disney) Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS (Magic Tree House) Frozen KIDS (Disney) The Jungle Book KIDS (Disney) The Knight at Dawn KIDS (Magic Tree House) The Lion King KIDS (Disney) The Music Man KIDS Pirates Past Noon KIDS (Magic Tree House) Seussical KIDS Willy Wonka KIDS (Roald Dahl) Winnie the Pooh KIDS (Disney) A Year with Frog and Toad KIDS Product Information Musical Numbers Cast of Characters Credits Music and Lyrics by Elton John and Tim Rice Additional Music and Lyrics by Lebo M and Mark Mancina and Jay Rifkin and Hans Zimmer Book by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi Based on the Broadway production directed by Julie Taymor Overview / Synopsis Disney's The Lion King has captivated the imagination of audiences around the world, and now - for the first time ever - you have the opportunity to produce this one-of-a-kind musical. The Lion King Experience is an immersive, project-based exploration of theater-making. This easy-to-use program has been developed to give you all the tools you need to introduce theater in the classroom and to produce your very own production of The Lion King. In addition to a performance license to produce The Lion King JR., a 60-minute adaptation created especially for the strengths and skill levels of middle school students, The Lion King Experience includes a ShowKit® of materials to help bring your production to life and an 18-session curriculum that explores the fundamentals of theater-making. Audio Sampler - HL00137491 $10.00 ShowKit - HL00137481 $795.00 This ShowKit includes: 30 Actor's Scripts Director's Guide Director's Script 2 Performance CDs / 2 Accompaniment CDs Choreography DVD Demonstration DVD Resource CD Piano/Vocal Score 3 Pack of Djembe Experience Binder Includes Activities and Sessions for the Kids Experience DVD and CD 30 Family Matters Booklets 60-Minute JR. Request Individual Components 00137483 - Piano/Vocal Score $40.00 00137482 - Director's Script $100.00 00137484 - Actor's Script $10.00 00137485 - Actor's Script 10 Pak $75.00 00137486 - Performance/Rehearsal CD $75.00 00137489 - Choreography DVD $50.00 00137487 - Student Rehearsal CD $10.00 00137488 - Student Rehearsal CDs (20-Pak) $100.00 00137490 - Media Disc $10.00 00137492 - Experience Binder $100.00 00137493 - Djembe $50.00 00137494 - Djembe (3) $150.00 00217285 - Totems (10-Pak) $5.00 00137876 - Demonstration DVD $50.00 00137491 - Audio Sampler $10.00 Hear A Sample Circle of Life with Nants' Ingonyama Grasslands Chant The Lioness Hunt I Just Can't Wait To Be King Be Prepared They Live In You The Stampede The Mourning Hakuna Matata (Part 1) Hakuna Matata (Part 2) Shadowland Can You Feel The Love Tonight He Lives In You Luau Hawaiian Treat Finale BANZAI A slick yet childish hyena who works for Scar. He would be the leader of the group if hyenas weren't so lazy. Look for an outgoing and confident actor who can portray nastiness and gruffness. As Banzai is always featured with Shenzi and Ed, consider auditioning the hyenas in trios. Male, Any Age ED The third member of Scar's trio of lackeys. He has a loud, cackling laugh that is his only form of communication. Ed should be played by an actor who can laugh unabashedly and communicate through physicality and facial expressions rather than words. This role can be played by a boy or girl. Male or Female, Any Age ENSEMBLE The ensemble plays various inhabitants of the Pridelands, such as giraffes, elephants, antelopes, wildebeest, and other creatures you choose to include. This group can have as few or as many performers as your production permits. Be sure to cast many strong singers. There are also several moments to showcase individual dancers in "The Lioness Hunt" and "I Just Can't Wait to Be King." HYENAS Scar's army, helping carry out his evil plot to take over the Pridelands. Hyenas are mangy, mindless creatures who sing in "Be Prepared." Cast actors who are able to sing the background parts of that song while playing the loud and raucous characters. Your hyenas can double as animals of the Pridelands or lionesses. Male or Female, Any Age LIONESSES The fierce hunters of the Pridelands and featured in "The Lioness Hunt," "The Mourning," and "Shadowland." These actors should be strong singers, as the material can be challenging. Depending on the complexity of your choreography, particuarly for "The Lioness Hunt," strong dancers may be desirable as well. Female, Any Age MUFASA The strong, honorable, and wise lion who leads the Pridelands. Mufasa should command respect onstage and also show tenderness with his son, Simba. Cast a mature actor who can convincingly portray the king. Male, Any Age Range: B3 - C5 NALA Grows from a cub to a lioness before she confronts Scar, so cast a more mature actress to play the character beginning in Scene 10, As with older Simba and Young Simba, ensure that this switch in actors performing a single role is clear. Direct the actors to share a mask or costume piece that distinctly represents Nala, as well as a movement vocabulary. Female, Any Age Range: G3 - E5 PUMBAA A kindhearted, sensitive warthog who enjoys his simple life of grubs and relaxation. Cast a boy or girl who can portray this loveable and loyal friend to Timon and Simba with deadpan humor. Male or Female, Any Age Range: D4 - G5 RAFIKI A wise mandrill who acts as healer of the Pridelands and guides Simba on his journey home. She is an omniscient character, evincing an air of mystery. Rafiki has significant solos in "Circle of Life" and "He Lives in You," and leads the African chants throughout the show, so cast a confident performer with a strong singing voice. Female, Any Age Range: A3 - C5 SARABI A featured lioness, Mufasa's mate, and Simba's mother. Sarabi has a few key speaking lines for an actor who can deliver the care and command of a queen. Female, Any Age SARAFINA A featured lioness and Nala's mother. She has one short, spoken line, so consider giving this part to an actor who is putting in a lot of effort and hard work in rehearsal as a lioness. Female, Any Age SCAR The antagonist of the show, overcome with jealousy of his brother, Mufasa, and nephew, Simba. Coldhearted and wickedly intelligent, he will stop at nothing to become king of the Pridelands. Cast a mature performer who can bring out this villain's dark side while handling Scar's sarcastic sense of humor. As his solos can be spoken, opt for an actor over a singer. Male, Any Age Range: A3 - A4 SHENZI One of Scar's hyenas who plot to take over the Pridelands. She is the sassy one of the trio and is always looking out for herself. With Banzai and Ed, she should be able to laugh loudly and long, as well as be menacing to Young Simba and Young Nala. Female, Any Age SIMBA Grows from a cub to lion in "Hakuna Matata." Older Simba has more complex moments as he reunites with Nala, mourns his father, and returns to confront Scar, so cast a more mature actor. Be sure that the change in actors is clear: Try having Young Simba hand-off a costume piece, such as a medallion, to older Simba. Also be sure that Simba and Young Simba share a movement vocabulary. Male, Any Age Range: B3 - E5 TIMON An outcast meerkat who lives in the jungle with Pumbaa. He is afraid of his own shadow, but pretends to be the confident, relaxed leader of the duo. Timon is one of the funniest characters in the show and should be played by a charismatic actor who understands comic timing. This part can be played by a boy or a girl. Male or Female, Any Age Range: B3 - B4 YOUNG NALA A courageous lion and Young Simba's best friend. She is not afraid to speak her mind. While Young Nala does sing a little, look for a strong female performer who can portray this confident cub. Female, Any Age Range: A3 - C5 YOUNG SIMBA The protagonist of the story, is an adventurous and endearing cub who can't wait to be king of the Pridelands. Simba is playful, energetic, and naive, but after his father Mufasa's death, Simba struggles with shame and his destiny. Cast a strong singer and dynamic performer in this role. Male, Any Age Range: B3 - E5 ZAZU The anxious yet loyal assistant to Mufasa who is always busy trying to do his duty. Zazu's lyrics are spoken rather than sung, and the role can be played by a boy or girl. Male or Female, Any Age
Peter Pan Jr. - Broadway Junior Menu LEARN MORE About Broadway Junior What Comes With the Showkit™? How to License a Broadway Junior Musical Order an Audio Sampler Frequently Asked Questions 60-Min.ute Musicals [JR.] 60-Minute Musicals Aladdin Jr. (Disney) Annie Jr. Beauty and the Beast Jr. (Disney) Bugsy Malone Jr. Children Of Eden Jr. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. Dear Edwina Jr. Doctor Dolittle Jr. Elf The Musical Jr. Fame Jr. Fiddler on the Roof Jr. Finian's Rainbow Jr. Flat Stanley Jr. Frozen Jr. (Disney) A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr. (Magic Tree House) Godspell Jr. Guys and Dolls Jr. Hairspray Jr. High School Musical Jr. (Disney) High School Musical 2 Jr. (Disney) Honk! Jr. Into the Woods Jr. James and the Giant Peach Jr. (Roald Dahl) Junie B. Jones Jr. Legally Blonde Jr. The Lion King Jr. (Disney) The Little Mermaid Jr. (Disney) Madagascar - A Musical Adventure Jr. Mary Poppins Jr. (Disney/Cameron Mackintosh) Matilda Jr. (Roald Dahl) Moana Jr. (Disney) The Music Man Jr. My Son Pinocchio Jr. (Disney) Newsies Jr. (Disney) Once on This Island Jr. Peter Pan Jr. (Broadway) The Phantom Tollbooth Jr. The Pirates of Penzance Jr. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Jr. Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. Seussical Jr. Shrek Jr. Singin' In The Rain Jr. Sister Act Jr. Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. Willy Wonka Jr. (Roald Dahl) Xanadu Jr. 30-Min.ute Musicals [KIDS] 30-Minute Musicals 101 Dalmatians KIDS (Disney) Aladdin KIDS (Disney) Annie KIDS Aristocats KIDS (Disney) Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS (Magic Tree House) Frozen KIDS (Disney) The Jungle Book KIDS (Disney) The Knight at Dawn KIDS (Magic Tree House) The Lion King KIDS (Disney) The Music Man KIDS Pirates Past Noon KIDS (Magic Tree House) Seussical KIDS Willy Wonka KIDS (Roald Dahl) Winnie the Pooh KIDS (Disney) A Year with Frog and Toad KIDS Product Information Musical Numbers Cast of Characters Credits Lyrics by Carolyn Leigh Music by Morris "Moose" Charlap Additional Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green Additional Music by Jule Styne Overview / Synopsis Based on J.M. Barrie's classic tale and featuring an unforgettable score by Morris "Moose" Charlap and Jule Styne with lyrics by Carolyn Leigh and Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Peter Pan is one of the most beloved and frequently performed family favorites of all time. This high-flying Tony Award-winning musical has been performed around the world and delighted audiences for 60 years and is now adapted for young performers. Peter and his mischievous fairy sidekick, Tinkerbell, visit the nursery of the Darling children late one night and, with a sprinkle of pixie dust, begin a magical journey across the stars that none of them will ever forget. In the adventure of a lifetime, the travelers come face to face with a ticking crocodile, a fierce Indian tribe, a band of bungling pirates and, of course, the villainous Captain Hook. Featuring the iconic songs, "I'm Flying," "I've Gotta Crow," "I Won't Grow Up" and "Never Never Land," and a rousing book full of magic, warmth and adventure, Peter Pan JR. is the perfect show for the child in all of us... who dreamed of soaring high and never growing up. It's is a dream come true for groups looking to bring magic to their stage and entertain countless families. Audio Sampler - HL00173430 $10.00 ShowKit - HL00173420 $695.00 This ShowKit includes: 30 Student Books Director's Guide Piano/Vocal Score 2 Accompaniment CDs Media Disc Choreography DVD 60-Minute JR. Request Individual Components 00173421 - Director's Guide $100.00 00173422 - Piano/Vocal Score $40.00 00173423 - Student Book $10.00 00173424 - Student Book 10-pak $75.00 00173425 - Perf/Accomp CD pack $75.00 00173426 - Student Rehearsal CD $10.00 00173427 - Student Rehearsal CDs 20-Pak $100.00 00173428 - Choreography DVD $50.00 00173429 - Media Disc $10.00 00173430 - Audio Sampler $10.00 Hear A Sample Neverland [Peter, Lost Boys, Brave Girls, Darling Family] Prologue Tender Shepherd [Mrs. Darling, Wendy, John, Michael] I'm Flying [Peter, Wendy, John, Michael, Ensemble] Pirate March [Pirates, Lost Boys] Hook's Tango [Hook, Pirates] Brave Girl Dance [Tiger Lily, Brave Girls] Wendy [Peter, Lost Boys] Hook's Tarantella [Hook, Pirates] I Won't Grow Up [Peter, Lost Boys, John, Michael] Ugh-A-Wug [Peter, Tiger Lily, Brave Girls, Lost Boys, Children] Distant Melody [Wendy, Peter, Lost Boys] I Gotta Crow [Peter, Tiger Lily, Brave Girls, Lost Boys, Children] Nursery Music [Wendy, John, Michael] Finale Ultimo [Full Cast] Peter Pan Peter Pan is a boy without a care in the world. Originally written for and cast as a female, this role is for a girl with a soaring can-do spirit who most certainly "won't grow up!" Cast a young girl who can do it all: act, sing, and be as physical as the part demands. Again, Peter Pan is intended to be played by a girl. Gender: Both Vocal range: C5-F3 Wendy Wendy is the eldest of the Darling children and has a certain maternal quality. Wendy is very bright, ever-practical and ready for an adventure! Cast a young lady with warm presence and great singing voice. Gender: Female Vocal range: Ab3-Db5 John John is the middle Darling child and has an amicable and open presence. A little more proper than his younger brother, look for a good actor and singer who is the perfect complement to his siblings. Gender: Male Vocal range: Ab3-Db5 Michael Michael is the youngest Darling boy and seems to have unlimited energy. Find a good actor who can easily portray the youngest and most stubborn of the Darling children. If your actor also possesses a terribly cute disposition, that's perfect! Gender: Male Vocal range: Ab3-Db5 Nana Nana is a dog, but you don't need to find a real dog to fill the part! Cast a young performer who is unafraid to jump in and play this iconic part of the story. This performer should have a knack for physicality and be comfortable making bold acting choices. Gender: Both Mrs. Darling Mrs. Darling is the mother of Wendy, John and Michael, and she is the perfect picture of a mother. Cast a young lady who reads onstage as an older character and is experienced in acting and singing. Gender: Female Vocal range: Ab3-Db4 Mr. Darling Mr. Darling is the father of Wendy, John and Michael, and he is a man with one concern: keeping his house in order. Cast a young man with an older presence who is a perfect complement to Mrs. Darling. Gender: Male Liza Liza is the Darling's housekeeper who always seems to be in a bit of a frenzy as she tries to keep everyone pleased. This is a great cameo role for a young woman who can make strong character choices. Gender: Female Tiger Lily Tiger Lily is the fearless leader of the Brave Girls. Cast a young lady who can command the stage and is a good actor, singer and mover. Gender: Female Vocal range: Ab3-Db5 Brave Girls The Brave Girls, including Brave Girl #1, Brave Girl #2 and Small Brave Girl, are a group of Neverland inhabitants. They are a fun bunch of girls who are as strong as they are kind. Cast a group of young ladies who are proficient movers as well as competent singers. Gender: Female Vocal range: Ab3-Db5 Lost Boys The Lost Boys are a group of lads who live in Neverland without a care in the world! Cast advanced performers (and good singers) in the roles of Nibs, Slightly, Curley, Tootles, Twin #1 and Twin # 2. There is no need for the actors playing the Twins to be identical. If you create strong physical action to link the two, they can be anybody. Feel free to cast as many Lost Boys as desired, ideally making sure that the group is comparable in size to that of the Brave Girls. Gender: Male Vocal range: Bb3-C5 Pirates The Pirates are a gaggle of villains who are looking to cause some trouble. Cast a group of young performers, male, female or both that can act, move well, and aren't afraid to sing! Noodles, Cecco, and Starkey are all are great cameo roles for young performers to make strong acting choices. Gender: Both Captain Hook Captain Hook, the leader of the Pirates, has a bone to pick... or rather a Peter Pan to hook! This is the perfect role for a young performer who can sing and act, but above all, has great comedic timing. Though Captain Hook is the villain of the show, he's also a bit of a clown who just can't seem to get what he wants. He has to be as treacherous to the Lost Boys as he is a complete wimp around the Crocodile. Cast a strong actor who can make bold choices. Gender: Male Vocal range: B3-E5 Smee Smee is Captain Hook's sidekick who wants nothing more than to see Captain Hook succeed in his evil plotting. Cast a young performer who is a solid actor and a great complement for Captain Hook. Gender: Male Crocodile Like Nana, the Crocodile is a silent part for a young performer who can take a leap and become the wickedest beast that ever was! Cast a performer who can fill the role with life and great presence. Gender: Both
Singing In The Rain Jr. - Broadway Junior Menu LEARN MORE About Broadway Junior What Comes With the Showkit™? How to License a Broadway Junior Musical Order an Audio Sampler Frequently Asked Questions 60-Min.ute Musicals [JR.] 60-Minute Musicals Aladdin Jr. (Disney) Annie Jr. Beauty and the Beast Jr. (Disney) Bugsy Malone Jr. Children Of Eden Jr. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. Dear Edwina Jr. Doctor Dolittle Jr. Elf The Musical Jr. Fame Jr. Fiddler on the Roof Jr. Finian's Rainbow Jr. Flat Stanley Jr. Frozen Jr. (Disney) A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr. (Magic Tree House) Godspell Jr. Guys and Dolls Jr. Hairspray Jr. High School Musical Jr. (Disney) High School Musical 2 Jr. (Disney) Honk! Jr. Into the Woods Jr. James and the Giant Peach Jr. (Roald Dahl) Junie B. Jones Jr. Legally Blonde Jr. The Lion King Jr. (Disney) The Little Mermaid Jr. (Disney) Madagascar - A Musical Adventure Jr. Mary Poppins Jr. (Disney/Cameron Mackintosh) Matilda Jr. (Roald Dahl) Moana Jr. (Disney) The Music Man Jr. My Son Pinocchio Jr. (Disney) Newsies Jr. (Disney) Once on This Island Jr. Peter Pan Jr. (Broadway) The Phantom Tollbooth Jr. The Pirates of Penzance Jr. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Jr. Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. Seussical Jr. Shrek Jr. Singin' In The Rain Jr. Sister Act Jr. Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. Willy Wonka Jr. (Roald Dahl) Xanadu Jr. 30-Min.ute Musicals [KIDS] 30-Minute Musicals 101 Dalmatians KIDS (Disney) Aladdin KIDS (Disney) Annie KIDS Aristocats KIDS (Disney) Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS (Magic Tree House) Frozen KIDS (Disney) The Jungle Book KIDS (Disney) The Knight at Dawn KIDS (Magic Tree House) The Lion King KIDS (Disney) The Music Man KIDS Pirates Past Noon KIDS (Magic Tree House) Seussical KIDS Willy Wonka KIDS (Roald Dahl) Winnie the Pooh KIDS (Disney) A Year with Frog and Toad KIDS Product Information Musical Numbers Cast of Characters Credits Screenplay by Betty Comden & Adolph Green Songs by Nacio Herb Brown & Arthur Freed Based on the classic Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film, by special arrangement with Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Inc. Overview / Synopsis The "Greatest Movie Musical of All Time" is faithfully and lovingly adapted by Broadway legends Betty Comden and Adolph Green from their original award-winning screenplay in Singin' In The Rain JR. Hilarious situations, snappy dialogue, and a hit-parade score of Hollywood standards make Singin' In The Rain JR. a guaranteed good time for performers and audience members alike. Singin' In The Rain JR. has all the makings of a Tinseltown tabloid headline - the starlet, the leading man and a love affair that could change lives and make or break careers! In silent movies, Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are a hot item, but behind the scenes things aren't always as they appear on the big screen! Meanwhile, Lina's squeaky voice might be the end of her career in "talking pictures" without the help of a talented young actress to do the talking and singing for her. Three extraordinary roles for young dancers and a tour de force comedic turn make Singin' In The Rain JR. a perfect choice for any group with an abundance of talent ready to shine. Audio Sampler - HL00151890 $10.00 ShowKit - HL00151881 $695.00 This ShowKit includes: Production Guide Director's Guide P/V Vocal Score 30 Actor Scripts 2 Rehearsal CDs 2 Accompaniment CDs Media Disc Choreographic DVD Cross-curricular Guide 30 Family Matters Booklets 60-Minute JR. Request Individual Components 00151882 - Director's Guide $100.00 00151883 - Piano/Vocal Score $40.00 00151884 - Actor's Script $10.00 00151885 - Actor's Script 10-pak $75.00 09971451 - Perf/Accomp CD $75.00 00151886 - Student Rehearsal CD $10.00 00151887 - Student Rehearsal CD 20-pak $100.00 00151888 - Choreography DVD $50.00 00151889 - Media Disc $10.00 00151890 - Audio Sampler $10.00 Hear A Sample SCENE 1 Fit As a Fiddle [Cosmo, Don, Crowd] SCENE 3 All I Do is Dream of You [Kathy, Kathy's Girls] SCENE 4 Make 'Em Laugh [Cosmo, Stagehands, Chorus Girls] Lucky Star [Kathy] You Were Meant For Me [Don, Kathy] SCENE 5 Moses Supposes [Don, Cosmo, Students] SCENE 6 Good Morning [Kathy, Cosmo, Don] Singin' in the Rain [Don, Ensemble] SCENE 7 Lina's Film Would You [Lina] Kathy's Film Would You [Kathy] What's Wrong With Me [Lina] SCENE 8 Broadway Melody [Broadway Melody Host, Dancers, Chorus] SCENE 9 Lina's Would You [Lina, Kathy, Cosmo] Lucky Star (Reprise) [Don, Kathy, Ensemble] Bows [Cast] Dora Bailey Always first on the scene for any major film opening, and she has the Hollywood scoop. This is a perfect non-singing role for a student with a great speaking voice who isn't quite ready for a lead. Gender: Female Don Lockwood Hollywood's leading man in silent film. Charming and charismatic, Don has no shortage of female admirers. Don is smart and levelheaded; he likes being a famous Hollywood actor, but he doesn't let the celebrity hype go to his head. Cast your best male singer and actor in this role, and someone who pairs well with Kathy. Gender: Male Vocal Range: Eb4 - Bb2 Lina Lamont A glamorous star of Hollywood's silent films. She believes everything amazing she reads about herself in the gossip magazines, including that she and Don Lockwood are madly in love. Your actress will have to work to accomplish the right amount of exasperating ditz to bring this character to life. Cast a confident, comedic actress who is not afraid to take positive risks and can keep Lina's nasal, grating voice consistent throughout the entire show. Gender: Female Vocal Range: Db5 - Bb3 Cosmo Brown Often serves as the comic relief in the show. Quick-witted and sure-footed, Cosmo is fast with a one-liner to lighten the mood. Cosmo is Don's right-hand man, and it's great to cast someone who physically contrasts with Don. Cast someone with great comedic chops and a strong musical sense as he leads many numbers in the show. Gender: Male Vocal Range: Eb5 - Bb2 Roz Always by Lina's side, or trailing after her. As Lina's manager, Roz works hard to make sure nothing upsets her. This non-singing character is a great supporting role for a promising young actress. Gender: Female R.F. Simpson The studio producer in charge of "Lockwood-Lamont" films. R.F.'s first and foremost goal is to make money, and if that means doing a talkie film that's fine with him. Cast a character actor who can show off R.F.'s anxious boss persona. This is a great non- singing role for a physically smaller actor with a big voice. Gender: Male Dexter The studio's director for Lamont and Lockwood films. He's loud and blustery, and he's easily frustrated with his assistants and Lina. This is a perfect non-singing role for an actor with a big voice who can show his frustration as he works to complete his first talkie. Gender: Male Dexter's Assistants Dexter's 1st, 2nd and 3rd Assistants are great featured roles for ensemble members who are new to the stage. Gender: Both Kathy Selden Wants to become an actress. She takes her career as an artist seriously and is embarrassed that she has to take jobs like singing and popping out of a cake just to get by. Cast your strongest singer and actress who can easily portray an honest likability as well as a tough exterior. An actress who pairs well with Don is also important as they have many scenes together. Gender: Female Vocal Range: Eb5 - G3 Miss Dinsmore and the Teacher The vocal coaches hired to turn Lina's voice into cultured perfection and to work with all of the other actors in the show. Tough, proper and slightly overworked, these characters are great roles to feature your hard-working ensemble members. These are non-solo singing roles. Gender: Female Zelda Lina's right-hand gal, who informs her that Kathy's voice is being dubbed over hers. Zelda can be dramatic and over-the-top like Lina, but at her core, she cares about her friend. This is a fantastic featured role for a confident performer who is unafraid to make bold choices. Gender: Female Sam A sound engineer, should be all business. Cast a young person who is comfortable taking charge onstage. Gender: Both Broadway Melody Host A natural leader. This role can be male or female and should be one of your stronger singers. This actor doesn't need to be an excellent dancer, but he or she needs to command the stage with an air of confidence. Gender: Both Vocal Range: F5 - Bb2 Broadway Dancers Broadway Dancers #1 and #2 are featured in "Broadway Melody" and should be excellent singers and dancers. Gender: Both Vocal Range: F5 - C3 Chorus Girls The Chorus Girls #1, #2, #3 and #4 are great featured singing roles in "Make 'Em Laugh." They don't need to be great singers as long as they can convey character and are able to be heard. Gender: Female Vocal Range: D5 - C4 Stagehands Stagehands #1, #2 and #3 are great featured singing roles in "Make 'Em Laugh." They don't need to be great singers as long as they can convey character and are able to be heard. Gender: Both Vocal Range: C5 - F4 Ensemble The ensemble roles in Singin' In The Rain JR. are comprised of the Crowd, Pedestrians, including Pedestrian #1 and Pedestrian #2, Stars, Fans, including Fan #1 and Fan #2, Policeman, Party Guests, including Young Lady, Kathy's Girls, Chorus Girls, Broadway Chorus, Guests, a Sound Engineer, Stagehands, Students, Sound Crew, Screening Guests, a Passerby, the Butler, Orchestra Leader and Audience Members. They really make the 1920s Golden Age of Hollywood come alive and are essential to this romantic light-hearted comedy. These ensemble groups are filled with named characters that have lines, so many of your ensemble students will have featured moments. Depending on your cast size, these ensemble groups can all be double or triple cast. Even if you have actors playing three or four different ensemble roles, emphasize the importance of character, and make sure your young performers make consistent character choices when they step onstage. Gender: Both
Disney's The Lion King KIDS - Broadway Junior Menu LEARN MORE About Broadway Junior What Comes With the Showkit™? How to License a Broadway Junior Musical Order an Audio Sampler Frequently Asked Questions 60-Min.ute Musicals [JR.] 60-Minute Musicals Aladdin Jr. (Disney) Annie Jr. Beauty and the Beast Jr. (Disney) Bugsy Malone Jr. Children Of Eden Jr. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. Dear Edwina Jr. Doctor Dolittle Jr. Elf The Musical Jr. Fame Jr. Fiddler on the Roof Jr. Finian's Rainbow Jr. Flat Stanley Jr. Frozen Jr. (Disney) A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr. (Magic Tree House) Godspell Jr. Guys and Dolls Jr. Hairspray Jr. High School Musical Jr. (Disney) High School Musical 2 Jr. (Disney) Honk! Jr. Into the Woods Jr. James and the Giant Peach Jr. (Roald Dahl) Junie B. Jones Jr. Legally Blonde Jr. The Lion King Jr. (Disney) The Little Mermaid Jr. (Disney) Madagascar - A Musical Adventure Jr. Mary Poppins Jr. (Disney/Cameron Mackintosh) Matilda Jr. (Roald Dahl) Moana Jr. (Disney) The Music Man Jr. My Son Pinocchio Jr. (Disney) Newsies Jr. (Disney) Once on This Island Jr. Peter Pan Jr. (Broadway) The Phantom Tollbooth Jr. The Pirates of Penzance Jr. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Jr. Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. Seussical Jr. Shrek Jr. Singin' In The Rain Jr. Sister Act Jr. Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. Willy Wonka Jr. (Roald Dahl) Xanadu Jr. 30-Min.ute Musicals [KIDS] 30-Minute Musicals 101 Dalmatians KIDS (Disney) Aladdin KIDS (Disney) Annie KIDS Aristocats KIDS (Disney) Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS (Magic Tree House) Frozen KIDS (Disney) The Jungle Book KIDS (Disney) The Knight at Dawn KIDS (Magic Tree House) The Lion King KIDS (Disney) The Music Man KIDS Pirates Past Noon KIDS (Magic Tree House) Seussical KIDS Willy Wonka KIDS (Roald Dahl) Winnie the Pooh KIDS (Disney) A Year with Frog and Toad KIDS Product Information Musical Numbers Cast of Characters Credits Music and Lyrics by Elton John and Tim Rice Additional Music and Lyrics by Lebo M and Mark Mancina and Jay Rifkin and Hans Zimmer Book by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi Based on the Broadway production directed by Julie Taymor Overview / Synopsis Disney's The Lion King has captivated the imagination of audiences around the world, and now-for the first time ever-you have the opportunity to produce this one-of-a-kind musical. The Lion King Experience is an immersive, project-based exploration of theater-making. This easy-to-use program has been developed to give you all the tools you need to introduce theater in the classroom and to produce your very own production of The Lion King. In addition to a performance license to produce The Lion King KIDS, a 30-minute adaptation created especially for the strengths and skill levels of elementary school students, The Lion King Experience includes a ShowKit® of materials to help bring your production to life and a rigorous 11-session curriculum that explores the fundamentals of theater-making. Audio Sampler - HL00137559 $10.00 ShowKit - 00137549 $645.00 This ShowKit includes: 30 Actor's Scripts 1 Director's Guide Director's Script 2-Performance CD/2-Accompaniment CD 1-Choreography DVD 1-Demonstration DVD 1-Resource CD 1 Piano/Vocal Score 3 pack of Djembe 1 Experience Binder Includes Activities and Sessions for the Kids 30 Family Matters Booklets 30-Minute KIDS Request Individual Components 00137550 - Director's Guide $100.00 00137551 - Piano/Vocal Score $40.00 00137552 - Actor's Script $10.00 00137553 - Actor's Script 10 Pak $75.00 00137554 - Performance/Accompaniment CD $75.00 00137555 - Student Rehearsal CD $10.00 00137556 - Student Rehearsal CDs (20-Pak) $100.00 00137557 - Choreography DVD $50.00 00137558 - Resources Disc $10.00 00137560 - Experience Binder $100.00 00137877 - Demonstration DVD $50.00 00137559 - Audio Sampler $10.00 Hear A Sample One By One Circle of Life with Nants' Ingonyama I Just Can't Wait To Be King Be Prepared Hakuna Matata (Part 1) Hakuna Matata (Part 2) Can You Feel The Love Tonight He Lives In You Luau Hawaiian Treat Cast Size Medium (11-20), Large (over 20), Flexible Cast Type Children in Cast, Ensemble Cast - Many featured roles, Strong/Large Chorus, Teenage Roles Dance Requirement None/minimal, Standard (Musical Staging/Some Dance/Optional) Banzai Banzai A slick yet childish hyena who works for Scar. He would be the leader of the group if hyenas weren't so lazy. Look for an outgoing and confident actor who can portray nastiness and gruffness. As Banzai is always featured with Shenzi and Ed, consider auditioning the hyenas in trios. Gender: Male, Any Age Ed Ed The third member of Scar's trio of lackeys. He has a loud, cackling laugh that is his only form of communication. Ed should be played by an actor who can laugh unabashedly and communicate through physicality and facial expressions rather than words. This role can be played by a boy or girl. Gender: Male or Female, Any Age Hyenas Hyenas Scar's army, helping carry out his evil plot to take over the Pridelands. Hyenas are mangy, mindless creatures who sing in "Be Prepared." Cast actors who are able to sing the background parts of that song while playing the loud and raucous characters. Your hyenas can double as animals of the Pridelands or lionesses. Gender: Male or Female, Any Age Mufasa Mufasa The strong, honorable, and wise lion who leads the Pridelands. Mufasa should command respect onstage and also show tenderness with his son, Simba. Cast a mature actor who can convincingly portray the king. Gender: Male, Any Age Nala Nala Grows from a cub to a lioness before she confronts Scar, so cast a more mature actress. As with Young Simba and older Simba, ensure that this switch in actors performing a single role is clear. Direct the actors to share a mask or costume piece that distinctly represents Nala. Gender: Female, Any Age Vocal Range: Bb3 - Bb4 Pumbaa Pumbaa A kindhearted, sensitive warthog who enjoys his simple life of grubs and relaxation. Cast a boy or girl who can portray this loveable and loyal friend to Timon and Simba with deadpan humor. Gender: Male or Female, Any Age Vocal Range: B3 - E5 Rafiki (1-5) Rafiki (1-5) A wise madrill who acts as healer of the Pridelands and guides Simba on his journey home. The Rafiki narrators - five aspects of one character - are the five leading villagers who become the story's narrators. They are key to the storytelling, and should be played by confident performers who are able to enunciate and project, so look for strong singers, as together they sing sections of "He Lives in You" and "Cricle of Life with Nants' Ingonyama." There is an air of mystery to Rafiki, who seemingly knows all, so be sure to cast actors who can command the stage as a cohesive unit. Though written to feature five narrators, the script can be adapted to incorporate more students (or fewer) depending upon your cast size. Gender: Male or Female, Any Age Vocal Range: C4 - Bb4 Sarabi Sarabi A featured lioness, Mufasa's mate, and Simba's mother. She has a few speaking lines and provides an opportunity for an actor who can be maternal to Simba and leader of the lionesses. Gender: Female, Any Age Scar Scar The antagonist of the show, overcome with jealousy of his brother, Mufasa, and nephew, Simba. Coldhearted and wickedly intelligent, he will stop at nothing to become king of the Pridelands. Cast a mature performer who can bring out this villain's dark side while handling Scar's sarcastic sense of humor. As his solos can be spoken, opt for an actor over a singer. Gender: Male, Any Age Vocal Range: B3 - B4 Shenzi Shenzi One of Scar's hyenas who plot to take over the Pridelands. She is the sassy one of the trio and is always looking out for herself. With Banzai and Ed, she should be able to laugh loudly and long, as well as be menacing to Young Simba and Young Nala. Female, Any Age Simba Simba Grows from a cub to lion in "Hakuna Matata." Older Simba has more complex moments as he reunites with Nala, mourns his father, and returns to confront Scar, so cast a more mature actor. Be sure that the change in actors is clear: Try having Young Simba hand-off a costume piece, such as a medallion, to older Simba. Also be sure that Simba and Young Simba share a movement vocabulary. Gender: Male, Any Age Vocal Range: Bb3 - C#5 Timon Timon An outcast meerkat who lives in the jungle with Pumbaa. He is afraid of his own shadow, but pretends to be the confident, relaxed leader of the duo. Timon is one of the funniest characters in the show and should be played by a charismatic actor who understands comic timing. This part can be played by a boy or a girl. Gender: Male or Female, Any Age Vocal Range: Bb3 - D5 Villagers Villagers Your entire cast will portray villagers, with central characters emerging from this essential group. Whether an actor transforms into a lioness, Simba, or Mufasa, this can be done by donning a costume piece, prop, or mask to transition from villager to character. Some villagers will play many roles in the story, from animals of the Pridelands (such as giraffes, elephants, lionesses, etc.) to hyenas to wildebeest (should you choose to stage the stampede with actors). Whenever not speaking as their assigned characters, cast members will return to their villager characters, sitting and watching the action unfold on the perimeter of the stage. Use this concept to suit the needs of your ensemble; multiple actors can play the same role throughout the show simply by passing on a key costume or prop piece. Young Nala Young Nala A courageous lion and Young Simba's best friend. She is not afraid to speak her mind. While Young Nala does sing a little, look for a strong female performer who can portray this confident cub. Gender: Female, Any Age Vocal Range: C4 - A4 Young Simba Young Simba The protagonist of the story, is an adventurous and endearing cub who can't wait to be king of the Pridelands. Simba is playful, energetic, and naive, but after his father Mufasa's death, Simba struggles with shame and his destiny. Cast a strong singer and dynamic performer in this role. Gender: Male, Any Age Vocal Range: C4 - C#5 Zazu Zazu The anxious yet loyal assistant to Mufasa who is always busy trying to do his duty. Zazu's lyrics are spoken rather than sung, and the role can be played by a boy or girl. Gender: Male or Female, Any Age
Magic Tree House: A Ghost Tale For Mr. Dicken's Jr. - Broadway Junior Menu LEARN MORE About Broadway Junior What Comes With the Showkit™? How to License a Broadway Junior Musical Order an Audio Sampler Frequently Asked Questions 60-Min.ute Musicals [JR.] 60-Minute Musicals Aladdin Jr. (Disney) Annie Jr. Beauty and the Beast Jr. (Disney) Bugsy Malone Jr. Children Of Eden Jr. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. Dear Edwina Jr. Doctor Dolittle Jr. Elf The Musical Jr. Fame Jr. Fiddler on the Roof Jr. Finian's Rainbow Jr. Flat Stanley Jr. Frozen Jr. (Disney) A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr. (Magic Tree House) Godspell Jr. Guys and Dolls Jr. Hairspray Jr. High School Musical Jr. (Disney) High School Musical 2 Jr. (Disney) Honk! Jr. Into the Woods Jr. James and the Giant Peach Jr. (Roald Dahl) Junie B. Jones Jr. Legally Blonde Jr. The Lion King Jr. (Disney) The Little Mermaid Jr. (Disney) Madagascar - A Musical Adventure Jr. Mary Poppins Jr. (Disney/Cameron Mackintosh) Matilda Jr. (Roald Dahl) Moana Jr. (Disney) The Music Man Jr. My Son Pinocchio Jr. (Disney) Newsies Jr. (Disney) Once on This Island Jr. Peter Pan Jr. (Broadway) The Phantom Tollbooth Jr. The Pirates of Penzance Jr. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Jr. Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. Seussical Jr. Shrek Jr. Singin' In The Rain Jr. Sister Act Jr. Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. Willy Wonka Jr. (Roald Dahl) Xanadu Jr. 30-Min.ute Musicals [KIDS] 30-Minute Musicals 101 Dalmatians KIDS (Disney) Aladdin KIDS (Disney) Annie KIDS Aristocats KIDS (Disney) Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS (Magic Tree House) Frozen KIDS (Disney) The Jungle Book KIDS (Disney) The Knight at Dawn KIDS (Magic Tree House) The Lion King KIDS (Disney) The Music Man KIDS Pirates Past Noon KIDS (Magic Tree House) Seussical KIDS Willy Wonka KIDS (Roald Dahl) Winnie the Pooh KIDS (Disney) A Year with Frog and Toad KIDS Product Information Musical Numbers Cast of Characters Credits Book by Jenny Laird and Will Osborne Lyrics by Randy Courts and Will Osborne Music by Randy Courts Based on Magic Tree House #44: A Ghost Tale for Christmas Time by Mary Pope Osborne Overview / Synopsis What would you do if a tree house in your neighborhood could transport you anywhere you wanted to go? The magic tree house whisks Jack and Annie back in time to the foggy streets of Victorian London, where they must help Charles Dickens. But the famous author has everything he could possibly want. How are they supposed to help him? It's not until Mr. Dickens rescues them from being thrown in jail that they discover his secret past and the sad memories that haunt him. Jack and Annie will need all their magic-and help from three ghosts - to save the great writer. Magic Tree House: A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens is an adaptation of book #44 of Mary Pope Osborne's award-winning fantasy adventure books from the Magic Tree House book series. The books are number one New York Times bestsellers - more than 100 million copies have been sold in North America alone. The series has been translated into many languages and is available in more than 100 countries around the world. Audio Sampler - HL00149057 $10.00 ShowKit - HL00149047 $695.00 This ShowKit includes: Production Guide Director's Guide P/V Vocal Score 30 Actor Scripts 2 Rehearsal CDs 2 Accompaniment CDs Media Disc Choreographic DVD Cross-curricular Guide 30 Family Matters Booklets 60-Minute JR. Request Individual Components 00149048 - Director's Guide $100.00 00149049 - Piano/Vocal Score $40.00 00149050 - Actor's Script $10.00 00149051 - Actor's Script 10-pak $75.00 00149052 - Perf/Accomp CD pack $75.00 00149053 - Student Rehearsal CD $10.00 00149054 - Student Rehearsal CD 20-pak $100.00 00149055 - Choreography DVD $50.00 00149056 - Media Disc $10.00 00149057 - Audio Sampler $10.00 Hear A Sample Prologue Christmas In the Air [Carolers, Merlin, Morgan] How Far Can You See? [Carolers, Merlin, Morgan] SCENE 1 Two Gentlemen of Means [Annie, Jack, Carriage Driver, People at Inn, Theatre Folk, High Society, Olive, Emma] Trading Places (Parts 1 & 2) [Colin, Harry, Annie, Jack] SCENE 2 Faces In the Mirror [Mr. Dickens, Pickwick, Oliver Twist, Nickleby, Dickens' Characters] SCENE 3 Stop Thief! [Jack, Annie, Olive, Emma, Crowd] SCENE 4 Right This Way [Mrs. Pinch, Mr. Pinch, Waitstaff, Jack, Annie, Fans] Bah! Humbug! (Part 1 & 2) [Mr. Pinch, Restaurant Workers, Mr. Dickens, Jack, Annie, Tiny Tim] SCENE 5 Who Will Hear My Song? [Orphans, Jack, Annie, Mr. Dickens] Come Three Ghosts [Jack, Annie, Ghost Chorus] The White Ghost [White Ghost, Mr. Dickens, Ghost Chorus, Young Dickens, Mrs. Dickens] The Green Ghost [Annie, Green Ghost, Ghost Chorus, Miss Twigby, Class] Enter the Black Ghost [Annie, Ghost Chorus, Mr. Dickens] Who Will Hear My Song? (Reprise) [Ghost Chorus, Mourners] SCENE 6 You Must Give Your Gifts (Part 1 & 2) [Mr. Dickens, Jack, Annie, Dressmaker, Baker, Mrs. Tibbs, Harry, Colin, Policeman, Emma, Olive, Miss Twigby, Henrietta, Newsies, Mr. Pinch, Chorus] Bows [Entire Cast] Jack Jack is a young boy. He is bookish, careful and thoughtful, but he is NOT a nerd! Jack has tremendous curiosity about the world around him and loves to take notes about his observations. Jack tends to be very cautious in new situations, and his adventures in the Magic Tree House help him develop his confidence. He has a good (and protective) relationship with his younger sister, Annie, though her more impetuous nature often gets on his nerves. This is a big role and requires a strong singer and actor. When auditioning, you might mix and match your Jack and Annie hopefuls to see which ones have the best brother-sister chemistry. Vocal Range: A3 - D5 Annie Annie is Jack's younger sister and, in many ways, his opposite in terms of personality. She is a risk taker who often follows her heart instead of her head. She sometimes teases Jack about his careful attitude toward life and often encourages him to be more adventurous. She loves animals of any kind and has a very loving heart. Like Jack, this role requires strong singing and acting. When auditioning, you might mix and match your Jack and Annie hopefuls to see which ones have the best brother-sister chemistry. Vocal Range: A3 - D5 Mr. Dickens Mr. Dickens is a man in his prime and has a flair for the dramatic, both in writing and speech. His public persona is that of a charismatic celebrity, but privately he is deeply depressed by the suffering he sees all around him in Victorian England, particularly the suffering of children. This leading part requires your most mature male performer with strong singing and acting skills (and a changed voice). Vocal Range: Bb3 - E5 Merlin Merlin is a wise old magician who joyfully introduces the play to the audience and sends Jack and Annie on their mission to help Mr. Dickens. Look for a lively actor with a commanding speaking voice. Merlin has the option of singing (or not) on the choral parts of the opening and closing songs, so this would be a good role for a strong actor who may not be an experienced singer. With clever costuming, this role could be played by a girl if necessary Morgan Le Fay Morgan Le Fay is an ageless librarian enchantress. Merlin and Morgan are dear old friends and are playful with one another. Like Merlin, Morgan also has the option of singing (or not) on the choral parts of the opening and closing songs, so this would be another good role for a strong actor who many not be an experienced singer. Vocal Range: Speaking Role The Carolers The Carolers, including Caroler #1, Caroler #2, Caroler #3 and Young Caroler, can be as small as a handful of performers or as large as your stage and theater can accommodate. If your cast is large enough that you are not double-casting your carolers as other named characters, consider assigning Dickensian-sounding names to your Carolers, or even have them invent backstories so that they feel more connected to their roles. Vocal Range: Caroler 1: C4 - C5 Caroler 2: F4 - C5 Young Caroler: F4 - C5 Carriage Driver Carriage Driver is a cheerful, friendly character who is especially impressed by his well-to-do patrons. Costuming would allow for this role to be played by a girl if necessary. Look for an actor who is outgoing, has a strong voice and can move well, as driving a pretend horse-drawn carriage will require some miming and choreographed blocking. Vocal Range: B3 - Eb5 People At Inn, Theatre Folk and High Society People At Inn, Theatre Folk and High Society are non-speaking roles with only a small bit of singing (unless they are double cast), so these are good roles for beginning actors who can sing. Cast as few or as many actors in these roles as your production allows. Emma and Olive Emma and Olive are orphans who must resort to petty thievery to survive on the streets of London. Olive targets Jack and Annie when she notices their expensive-looking bag, and Emma follows her lead in a plot to steal it. These characters do not need to sing much, so these are good roles for younger actors who might want to build confidence before taking on larger singing roles. Vocal Range - Emma: B3 - D5 Vocal Range - Olive: D4 - C5 Harry and Colin Harry and Colin are young chimney sweeps who agree to trade places with Jack and Annie for a day. These comedic characters sing a duet and need to be able to change a few items of clothing (jackets and hats) during their song, so look for actors capable of moving and singing at the same time. Costuming (faces smudged with ashes, etc.) would allow for these roles to played by girls if necessary. Cast two strong actors who get along well onstage and off. Vocal Range - Harry: F3 - C5 Vocal Range - Colin: Gb3 - Eb5 Mrs. Tibbs Mrs. Tibbs is the peculiar and proud housekeeper of the Dickens estate. Look for a strong actor who understands comedy. She does not need to sing if she is not double cast in a singing role, so this is a good part for an actor who may not possess the strongest singing voice. Vocal Range: F4 - A4 Pickwick, Oliver Twist, Nickleby and other Dickens Characters Pickwick, Oliver Twist, Nickleby and other Dickens Characters are the "faces in the mirror" Dickens sees when he is in his office trying to write. These characters have little dialogue, so you can use these roles to cast kids who are more experienced singers than actors. Since the "other Dickens characters" only sing choral parts, you can cast as large a number of kids as you like/ need. For fun, you could assign all of the kids in the chorus names from a variety of books by Dickens - or let them research and pick out their own. If you have a smaller cast, all of these actors could also be double cast as Carolers, High Society, Street Vendors, and Restaurant Workers. Vocal Range: Speaking Roles Newsies, Newsie #1, Baker, Butcher, Bootblacks, Dressmaker, Street Person, Cabbie, Hawkers, Hawker 1 Newsies, Newsie #1, Baker, Butcher, Bootblacks, Dressmaker, Street Person, Cabbie, Hawkers, Hawker 1 are small acting parts, but these roles are essential for creating the feel of Victorian London. Look for actors who can pull off a cockney accent and who can also handle the kind of choreographed blocking required in "Stop Thief!" Vocal Range - Baker: G4 - A4 Vocal Range - Dressmaker: G4 - A4 Policeman The Policeman arrests Jack and Annie, believing they have stolen their own bag. He is chastised by Charles Dickens, and when he realizes his mistake, quickly and humbly apologizes. This is a small role that does not require a lot of subtlety, and singing is optional, so it would be good part for a beginning actor and/or singer. Vocal Range: E4 - F4 Mr. Pinch Mr. Pinch is the mean and miserly owner of the Purple Peacock Inn who refuses to give food scraps to a hungry Tiny Tim and his mother. He is the prototype for Dickens's Scrooge. While the song "Bah! Humbug!" is meant to be comical, the actor playing Pinch doesn't need to be comedic; instead, he should be confident enough to play a shameless misanthrope without needing to wink at the audience. Look for someone who is both a strong actor and singer, but if there is a tough call, lean toward the stronger actor, as much of his solo can be sung/spoken. Vocal Range: G3 - D5 Mrs. Pinch Mrs. Pinch is nothing like her ill-tempered husband; she is warm, hardworking and high-spirited. Though she is not onstage for much of the play, this role requires a good actor/singer who has a strong, energetic, mature presence. Vocal Range: C4 - C5 Francois the Chef Francois the Chef is the chef at Pinch's Purple Peacock Inn. He is proud and passionate and highly sensitive to criticism. This is a small, fun role that does not require any singing, so it would be a good part for an inexperienced singer. Vocal Range: Speaking Role Waitstaff, Restaurant Workers, Restaurant Patrons, Waitress, Dishwasher, Women Fans and Men Fans Waitstaff, Restaurant Workers, Restaurant Patrons, Waitress, Dishwasher, Women Fans and Men Fans are the employees and patrons of Mr. Pinch's Purple Peacock Inn. These roles have little or no spoken dialogue, but "Right This Way" has solo lines as well as choral work and some fairly intricate movement/choreography built into the song, so look for strong singers who can also move/dance. Vocal Range - Waitstaff #1: Bb3 - D5 Vocal Range - Waitstaff #2: Bb3 - E5 Vocal Range - Waitress: Bb3 - Bb4 Vocal Range - Dishwasher: Eb4 - Bb4 Tiny Tim Tiny Tim is a poor and sickly child who will not survive without the charity of others. Though his body is weak, his spirit is robust, and though his family is impoverished, he is rich in love and is remarkably cheerful and good-natured. As the name implies, try to cast your smallest child in this role. A girl dressed as a boy would work. Vocal Range: Speaking Role Roberta Roberta is Tiny Tim's humble, yet proud, mother. This is a small role and singing is optional, so, unless double or triple casting the actor in this role, this would be a good part for a beginner looking to gain some confidence and experience onstage. Vocal Range: Speaking Role Orphans Orphan #1 and the Orphans are street urchins who 'haunt' Mr. Dickens after his disheartening encounter with Mr. Pinch. These are non-speaking roles, so this is a great opportunity to cast singers who are interested in exploring what musical theatre id all about without the pressure of having to memorize lines, etc. However, these roles do require kids who are able to "mime" factory workers during a lengthy speech by Mr. Dickens and who must stay focused and "in character" on stage even when they are not singing. Consider double casting as the Mourners who will sing a reprise of "Who Will Hear My Song?" Vocal Range: Orphan 1: A3 - Bb4 White Ghost, Green Ghost, and Black Ghost White Ghost, Green Ghost, and Black Ghost are conjured by Jack and Annie's magic violin in order to convince Mr. Dickens to keep writing by showing him meaningful scenes from his past, present and future. All three can be played by girls. Although the Black Ghost doesn't speak or sing, the actor needs to have a strong stage presence and must be able to stay focused and in character through the lengthy "Come Three Ghosts" segment. The GHOST CHORUS is made up of your entire ensemble - no need to cast a separate group of students. Vocal Range - White Ghost: C4 - Bb4 Vocal Range - Green Ghost: D4 - Bb4 Mrs. Dickens Mrs. Dickens is the mother of Charles Dickens. This is a small acting role and unless the actor is cast in other roles, requires no singing, so if you have a large pool of actors to cast, this would be an ideal role for a beginner. Vocal Range: Speaking Role Young Dickens Young Dickens is Charles as a small boy who is conjured by the White Ghost to remind Mr. Dickens of his love of reading, his passion for stories and the importance of The Arabian Nights in igniting his imagination as a boy. This is a small speaking role, with no singing required. Consider casting the same actor who plays Tiny Tim. Vocal Range: Speaking Role Miss Twigby, Sara, and the Class Miss Twigby, Sara, and the Class are characters conjured by the Green Ghost to show Mr. Dickens how teachers in Victorian classrooms are using his stories to impart important lessons to their young students. These roles require memorizing and delivering in quick succession actual lines written by Charles Dickens, so cast some of your more confident performers. Vocal Range: Speaking Role Queen Victoria and her Lady in Waiting Queen Victoria and her Lady in Waiting are characters conjured by the Green Ghost to show Mr. Dickens that even the Queen is being moved to make social reforms based on his stories. These are small, speaking-only roles, so look to double cast these actors if they want to sing, or use the roles for beginners who want to be part of the process but don't want a lot of responsibility. Vocal Range: Speaking Role Bookseller, Henrietta and Barber Bookseller, Henrietta and Barber are more characters conjured by the Green Ghost to show how much the "common" people of London are enlivened and changed by the stories of Charles Dickens. Consider casting with the same group of actors who play the Street Vendors, etc., especially the actors capable of pulling off a Cockney accent. Vocal Range: Speaking Role The Mourners The Mourners, including Mourner #1, sing a reprise of "Who Will Hear My Song?" gathered around the gravestone of Charles Dickens and create a mournful tableau during Mary's monologue. Consider using the same actors who played the orphans. If you have a large enough cast that you don't want to double cast, these are good parts for strong singers. Vocal Range: Speaking Role Mary Dickens Mary Dickens is the grown daughter of Charles Dickens. She has a fairly large monologue at her father's gravesite, so look for a strong, confident actor with good memorization skills. Vocal Range: Speaking Role
20th Century French Art Songs Hal Leonard Online - French Art Songs 20th CENTURY FRENCH ART SONGS Mélodies française du XXe siècle Edited by Carol Kimball Published by Éditions Durand DF 16250/HL 50565798 High Voice edition DF 16251/HL 50565799 Medium/Low Voice edition Distributed in Europe and Asia by Hal Leonard MGB Distributed in North and South America by Hal Leonard Distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Hal Leonard Australia Download & Print Introductory Notes Complete Online Introductory Notes, Unabridged copyright © 2015 Editions Durand An abridged version of editor Carol Kimball’s “Introduction” appears in the High Voice and Medium/Low Voice publications. Her complete length “Introduction” appears below. See the publications for the poetry texts in French and translations in English. GEORGES AURIC CLAUDE DEBUSSY HENRI DUTILLEUX GABRIEL FAURÉ REYNALDO HAHN ARTHUR HONEGGER JACQUES LEGUERNEY OLIVIER MESSIAEN DARIUS MILHAUD FRANCIS POULENC MAURICE RAVEL ALBERT ROUSSEL ERIK SATIE DÉODAT DE SÉVERAC GEORGES AURIC (1899-1983) George Auric was something of a child prodigy, performing a piano recital at the Musicale Indépendante at the age of fourteen. The following year, the Société Nationale de Musique performed several songs he had composed. He studied composition at the Paris Conservatoire with Georges Caussade, and later with Vincent d’Indy and Albert Roussel at the Schola Cantorum de Paris. Before he was twenty, Auric had orchestrated and written incidental music for several stage productions and ballets. He composed a significant amount of avant-garde music during the years between 1910-20. Around 1914, he widened his acquaintances to include members of Les Six, a group of composers informally associated with Erik Satie and Jean Cocteau, and became a part of their group. Auric and Francis Poulenc became fast friends and remained so for life. Music criticism was an important part of Auric’s career; his writing focused on promoting the ideals of Les Six and Cocteau. He was also especially known for his film scores, which are consistently imaginative. He forged a major career in the English movies of the 1940s and ’50s. Among his most well-known scores is the music for the film Moulin Rouge. Other popular film titles with scores by Auric include The Lavender Hill Mob, Roman Holiday, Beauty and the Beast, and Bonjour Tristesse. In 1962 he became the director of the Opéra National de Paris and later, chairman of SACEM, the French Performing Rights Society. Auric continued to write classical chamber music until his death. Le Jeune sanguine (1940) from Trois Poèmes de Louise de Vilmorin poem by Louise de Vilmorin (1902-1969) This mélodie is the second song in Auric’s cycle titled Trois poèmes de Louise de Vilmorin. Vilmorin’s poetry reverberates with sensitivity to affairs of the heart. She was one of Poulenc’s preferred poets; he set her poetry when writing specifically for the female voice, such as in Fiançailles pour rire. A sort of veiled humor is at the heart of this text that describes a young hussy whose lover departs early with the dawn’s first light, leaving her weeping disconsolately. Auric provides a prelude and postlude for formal balance as the miserable young woman mourns her loss. He also inserts several unexpected and amusing measures of a tango as the young man arches his back and leaves the sound of her sobbing. For his three Vilmorin songs, Auric used the style of a chansonette, or more popular song. Printemps (1935) Poem by Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585) Auric composed this lilting waltz song for a play by Edouard Bourdet titled La Reine Margot (1935). The celebrated musical theatre actress-singer Yvonne Printemps created the role of Queen Margot of Navarre at Théâtre de la Michodière. Auric and Francis Poulenc collaborated on the incidental music for this play; Poulenc took the second act, Auric the first. Poulenc composed the Suite française and the song “A sa guitare”; Auric’s contribution was “Printemps.” Yvonne Printemps sang both songs in the play. Both composers used texts by Pierre de Ronsard, and the musical style of each is reminiscent of the Renaissance. Ronsard’s original poem had twenty-three stanzas. Auric set only the first three. BACK TO TOP CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Claude Debussy wrote expertly for the voice and was acutely responsive to transforming poetic nuance into musical expression. Possibly no other French composer was as attuned to blending poetry and music. His literary taste was highly refined and he maintained a visible and active role in the literary and artistic circles of his time. He chose to set poetry of his contemporaries, notably Verlaine and Mallarmé. Verlaine’s verse with its inherent musical qualities, provided Debussy with poetry for numerous works. For Debussy, poetry as poetry was the paramount determinant of the musical texture. His ability to detect the essence of a poem and perfectly transform it into musical expression makes his mélodies unique in the history of French song. Le promenoir des deux amants (1904, 1910) poems by Tristan l’Hermite (c. 1601-1656) “Auprès de cette grotte sombre,” the first song, made its first appearance with the title “La Grotte,” song two of Trois chansons de France of 1904. In 1910, it was retitled and combined with two other poems by Tristan l’Hermite (“Crois mon conseil, chère Climène” and “Je tremble en voyant ton visage”) to form the miniature cycle Le Promenoir de deux amants, which has been called the finest of all Debussy’s works for voice and piano. It is also the least-often performed. Debussy chose the texts from Les Amours de Tristan, a collection by the seventeenth-century poet Tristan l’Hermite. The poems are set close to a grotto, secluded and silent. The transparent, barely stirring waters mingle with the silence of the cloistered spot, creating a dreamlike atmosphere. Debussy establishes an intimate, tender mood immediately and maintains this fragile mix of sound and color throughout the three mélodies. The interplay of resonance and texture in voice and piano results in an exquisite blend of light and shade, perfectly complementing l’Hermite’s poetic images. Subtly inflected vocal phrases are key to recreating the infinite calm and Pelléas-like atmosphere of the poetry, a perfect fusion of stillness and sensuality. Fêtes galantes II (1904) poems by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896) Debussy’s fascination with the work of the French Symbolist poet Paul Verlaine resulted in his setting to music no fewer than seventeen of Verlaine’s texts. He composed two sets of three songs each, both titled Fêtes galantes, the first in 1892, and the second in 1904. Fêtes galantes II, Debussy’s last setting of Verlaine, closely following the composition of his opera Pélleas et Mélisande, is representative of the composer’s mature vocal works. It is marked by sparser textures, freer tonalities and a more concentrated compositional style than the first set; but like the first set, Fêtes galantes II presents three unrelated songs. None of the Watteau-like scenes are found here; rather, these three poems are filled with mystery, and are without sentimentality. The theme of time appears in each of the poems: the first, sentimental youthful remembrances; the second, inexorable fleeting time; and finally in the last song, time never to be reclaimed. “Les Ingénus” recalls the first awakenings of sexual attraction, and deals with the breathless awe with which a group of unsophisticated young men of the mid-nineteenth century view their similarly naïve female companions. The scene unfolds in a highly chromatic texture, skillfully balanced to preserve the delicate, poignant images in Verlaine’s verse. Debussy’s free-floating harmonies are carefully contrived to complement the uncertain emotions and repressed sensations of the youths in the poem. “Le Faune” begins with a prelude; time unravels in an inflexible dance featuring a rhythmic, hypnotic figure in the piano, imaging the traditional reed pipe and “tambourin,” a small drum played with a stick. The old terra-cotta statue in Verlaine’s poem is probably the woodland god Pan, playing a monotonous rhythm that is both sensual and slightly menacing, matching the mood of the two mélancolique pélerins. Mesmerized by the repetitive rhythms of drum and reed flute, the dejected travelers are caught in the whirlpool of passing time, which spins past as they watch helplessly. “Colloque sentimental.” Colloquial (colloque) refers to ordinary speech or conversation. This disturbing poem is the touchstone of one of Debussy’s great mélodies. It is the last poem in Verlaine’s collection titled Fêtes galantes, and provides a chilling climax. It blends themes of despair, death and disillusion. In this extraordinary song, the ghosts of two lovers meet in a wintry park. As they speak of their former love, their words match the setting: glacial and detached from feeling. Throughout the song their wintry words are enhanced by Debussy’s simple and subtle vocal treatment: one voice urgent and persistent, the other stonily indifferent. Debussy’s manipulation of musical texture between voice and piano is masterful. The sparse vocal lines are almost speech-like, and the piano figures mirror the frozen landscape in which this conversation–equally cold–takes place. The song’s kinship to Debussy’s opera Pélleas et Mélisande is unmistakable. The listener becomes one with the poem’s narrator, straining to see and hear the couple’s conversation in the icy cold of the deserted, frozen park. Debussy reaches back to “En sourdine” (the first mélodie of Fêtes galantes I), takes the wistful song of the nightingale, and inserts it into this song at various points. The nightingale’s melody (“voix de nôtre dessespoir, le rossignol chantera”) provides a touching and melancholy association, linking the two sets of Fêtes galantes together symbolically and musically, foreshadowing the disenchantment of love hinted at in “En sourdine” with the lovers’ conversation in “Colloque sentimental,” and unifying the two sets by a subtle musical component. This panel of three mélodies was Debussy’s last setting of the poetry of Paul Verlaine. Noël des enfants qui n’ont plus de maisons (1915) poem by the composer This is Debussy’s last song, written to his own text, a Christmas carol for children made homeless by World War I. Its intensity comes from its simple sincerity. Debussy composed it on the eve of his first operation for the cancer that would end his life two years later. It was his personal protest against the invasion of northern France by the German armies. When asked for permission to orchestrate the song, Debussy refused, saying, “I want this piece to be sung with the most discreet accompaniment. Not a word of the text must be lost, inspired as it is by the rapacity of our enemies. It is the only way I have to fight the war.” Originally composed in 1915 for piano and voice, Debussy also created a version for children’s chorus, and in 1916, a version for piano and two sopranos. BACK TO TOP HENRI DUTILLEUX (1916-2013) Henri Dutilleux studied at the Paris Conservatory with Maurice Emmanuel. He received the Prix de Rome in 1938 at age twenty-two, and went on to work at the Paris Opéra and the French Radio. France’s musical institutions defined his career: in 1961, he joined the faculty at the école Normale de Musique, teaching composition. In 1970, he taught at the Paris Conservatoire. He destroyed many of his early works, considering them derivative of Ravel, the preeminent composer in France during his youth. His music that had been published avoided demolition. After World War II, Dutilleux concentrated almost exclusively on instrumental and orchestral music, much of which has been widely programmed and recorded. His songs are not well known. In the chronological catalogue of his compositions, beginning in 1929, the Quatre mélodies for mezzo soprano or baritone is only the eleventh entry. It also exists in an orchestral version. The collection is dedicated to the French baritone Charles Panzéra and his wife, pianist Magdeleine Panzéra-Baillot, prominent interpreters of French song in the interwar years. Gabriel Fauré dedicated his last cycle, L’horizon chimérique, to Panzéra. Quatre mélodies (1942) uses poems by four different poets and presents a delightful collection of moods, although it must be admitted that the level of the poetry is not uniformly high: “Féérie au clair de lune” (poem by Raymond Genty), a graceful scherzo of dancing fairies that evokes Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; “Pour une amie perdue” (Edmond Borsent); “Regards sur l’infini” (Anna de Noailles); and “Fantasio” (André Bellessort). The last mélodie is the most successful of the set and is one of two songs from the set (the other being “Pour une amie perdue”) that Dutilleux acknowledged. He wanted to exclude the first and third songs because their poetry was relatively mediocre. Fantasio (1942) from Quatre Mélodies poem by André Bellessort (1866-1942) “Fantasio” (the original title of Bellessort’s poem is “Les funérailles de Fantasio”) is a colorful poem that chronicles the funeral of the titled character, who has expired before the text begins. The poem, set in Venice during Carnival, is full of glittering and compelling imagery that changes quickly, following the pace of the Carnival. Musical textures are skillfully handled and exhibit some of Dutilleux’s developing style. “Pauvre Fantasio,” is heard several times during the text, acting as both a funereal chant that unifies the proceedings and perhaps as well, keeping the mourners’ footsteps marching together. BACK TO TOP GABRIEL FAURÉ (1845-1924) Gabriel Fauré was one of the great composers of French song who, with Duparc and Debussy, perfected the mélodie as a true art song form. He composed about a hundred songs, all original in conception, constantly developing in style, and pointing the way to future works. His songs express a broad range of emotion and a great variety of musical textures, extending the musical parameters of the genre and inspiring new techniques of song compositions. His songs are often divided into three compositional periods for purposes of study and definition. Fauré has been characterized as a skillful watchmaker; with great precision his songs, which overflow with subtle nuances and delicate detail. His approach is in keeping with the French musical aesthetic: elegant and rational, dealing with sentiment rather than literal sensation. He was able to capture the entire poetic mood of each poem he set and to create an aura around it with his musical setting. Dans la fôret de septembre, Op. 85, No. 1 (1902) poem by Catulle Mendès (1841-1909) This touching poem symbolizes the onset of old age. Mendès was among the founders of a literary magazine, La Revue fantaisiste, which published many poems of the Parnassian poets. Fauré’s musical style perfectly suited this style of poetry: elegance of style, richness of rhyme, regularity and symmetry of rhythm. The Parnassians avoided the excessively romantic and aimed for “art-for-art’s sake.” Fauré was nearly sixty years old when he composed this mélodie, and his reaction to this poem is beautifully poignant. The words describe the poet’s reflective walk through a quiet, somber forest, capturing the chill of mortality and the overall mood of the turning point of life. The ancient forest, sensing a kindred spirit, provides the walker with a sign of friendship and understanding. Fauré set this contemplative poem in a rich harmonic musical texture with a vocal line that borders on quasi-recitative-like shapes. The solemn thoughts of old age call forth a melancholy, but it is a subtle melancholy. It is almost hymn-like in the fusion of words, emotions, and musical texture. This mélodie may be considered as marking the threshold to the final period of Fauré’s compositions. Accompagnement, Op. 85, No. 3 (1902) poem by Albert Victor Samain (1858-1900) This mélodie is a beautiful barcarolle–a nighttime scene, silvery and hazy, alluring but unreal. The image of the poet rowing on the lake is reflected in the musical texture. Fauré had a lifelong fascination with water imagery in music; this poem offers a little reel of unfolding pictures of a moonlight journey a dark lake. The words “dans le rêve” tell us that this is all a dream. This is a rarely sung Fauré mélodie that yields great rewards for the performer. Chanson, Op. 94 (1906) poem by Henri di Régnier (1864-1936) This poem has a gentle charm and a calm simplicity. It is the last of Fauré’s madrigals that include delicate love songs such as “Lydia,” and “Clair de lune.” It has a wonderful fluidity that is a perfect foil for the poetic images The text is a simple set of variations on one theme: nothing on earth has any meaning unless the beloved somehow touches it. Fauré’s reaction to the words called forth a musical setting of delicate transparency and limited range. It is not well known; like “Le Don silencieux,” “Chanson” was published as a single song and therefore not widely disseminated. It is an example of exquisitely planned musical economy, and definitely belongs in Fauré’s third period of musical compositions. Le Don silencieux, Op. 92 (1906) poem by Marie Closset (1875-1952), under the pseudonym Jean Dominique Here is another little known Fauré song, a rarity because it was published separately and was never included in any of the Fauré recueils. The poem has a gentle melancholy–the plea of a timid lover, a mixture of hope and imagined disappointment. The words are tender and flowing, but the overall mood is one of unrelieved sadness. This song marks the beginning of Fauré’s third compositional period, which includes the cycles La Chanson d’Eve, Le Jardin clos, Mirages, and L’Horizon chimérique. Writing of this mélodie in a letter to his wife, Fauré said, It does not in the least resemble any of my previous works, nor anything that I am aware of; I am very pleased about this...It translates the words gradually as they unfold themselves; it begins, opens out, and finishes, nothing more, nevertheless it is unified. 1 NOTES: Quoted in Graham Johnson, Gabriel Fauré: The Songs and their Poets (London: Guildhall School of Music and Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2009), 291. Quotation from Jean-Michel Nectoux, Gabriel Fauré: A Musical Life, trans. Roger Nichols (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 304. This is a translation of Fauré’s letter to his wife of 17 August 1906. BACK TO TOP REYNALDO HAHN (1875-1947) Reynaldo Hahn, Venezuelan by birth, came to Paris with his family at age four and made a brilliant career. In addition to his career as a composer and singer, he was director of the Paris Opéra, music critic for the newspaper Figaro, and conductor of the Salzburg Festival. He was enough of a scholar to edit some of the works of Rameau. He maintained close friendships throughout his life with actress Sarah Bernhardt and writer Marcel Proust. During the Belle époque, French mélodie was at the height of its development. Hahn was a habitué of the most fashionable salons, where he was in demand as a performer. On these occasions, he usually sang and played his own accompaniment, often with a cigarette dangling from his lips. The art of singing was one of his major passions, and he wrote three books on singing (Du chant, Thèmes varies, and L’oreille au guet), as well as a memoir of Sarah Bernhardt. Hahn’s songs are models of French restraint–devoid of overt display, with beautiful melodies in a modest vocal range. They reflect the style of his teacher, Jules Massenet. Hahn composed approximately ninety-five works for solo voice: eighty-four mélodies, five English songs to texts of Robert Louis Stevenson, and six Italian songs in the Venetian dialect. After 1912, Hahn composed in larger forms: opera, operetta, and film music. Perhaps his most famous work is his operetta Ciboulette (1923), which is still performed. À Chloris (1916) poem by Théophile de Viau (1590-1626) “À Chloris” is No. 14 in Deuxième volume de vingt mélodies, the last major publication of Hahn’s songs during his lifetime. In many of his later songs, he turned to a deliberately archaic style. “À Chloris” features an elegant vocal line above a piano texture that features Baroque musical characteristics; it is its own piece, with ornamented melody and chaconne-like bass. Vocal line and piano piece are woven into a musical tapestry that is both declarative and intimate. Poet Théophile de Viau was considered one of the most influential libertin poets during Louis XIII’s reign. The libertins’ verses had a unique charm that is instantly appealing, but somewhat artificial. Despite this, de Viau’s love poetry is not bland, but full of suggestive passion and elegant wit. BACK TO TOP ARTHUR HONEGGER (1892-1955) Arthur Honegger composed over forty mélodies for voice and piano. Taken as a whole, they are diverse and imaginative. For his texts, he favored contemporary poets such as Jean Cocteau, Guillaume Apollinaire, Paul Claudel, and Paul Fort. He also chose to set unrelated poems by a single poet, such as his Poesies (Cocteau) and Alcools (Apollinaire). Poetry with strong imagery appealed to the dramatist in his personality. For Honegger, as for most successful mélodie composers, the word provides the starting place. He is quoted as saying: For me, the music a song is always dependent upon the poetic model. It must join so closely with the poetry, that they become inseparable and one can picture the poem in wholly musical terms. This is not to say that the music becomes subservient. It must be so crafted that it can stand on its own merits, playable without the text, logical and complete. 1 Born of Swiss parents in Le Havre, France, Arthur Honegger initially studied for two years at the Zurich Conservatory, but enrolled in the Paris Conservatoire from 1911 to 1918, studying with Charles-Marie Widor and Vincent d’Indy. Some of his more familiar large vocal works include the dramatic psalm Le roi David (King David), composed in 1921 and still in the choral repertoire; and his dramatic oratorio of 1935, Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher (Joan of Arc at the stake), with text by Paul Claudel, considered to be one of his finest works. Between the world wars, he composed nine ballets and three vocal stage works, among works in other genres. His total compositional catalog is an impressive list of music: orchestral works, chamber music, concertos, ballets, operas, operettas, and oratorios. Widely known as a train enthusiast, he was passionately interested in locomotives, to which he attributed almost human characteristics. His “mouvement symphonique,” Pacific 231, gained him early acclaim in 1923. Honegger’s musical style is a fascinating mixture of impressionistic effects peppered with penetrating dissonances. He had a fondness for mixing tonalities and using modality. His compositions for the voice display an eclectic focus of coloristic harmonies and architectural clarity. He was a member of Les Six, but unlike most of that group, did not share their overwhelming reaction against German romanticism. Honegger’s musical style is fuller and more serious than his colleagues. He and Darius Milhaud were close friends. Honegger’s generous body of song has proved of enduring interest to contemporary performers. His was a distinctive voice in the vocal music of the twentieth-century French mélodie. Trois Psaumes (1940-41) from the Huguenot Psalter Psaumes XXXIV and CXL translated by Théodore de Bèze (1519-1605) Psaume CXXXVIII translated by Clément Marot (1496-1544) The spirit of Bach shines in the first psaume, “Psalm 34,” in which a chant-like vocal line alternates with a gently moving episodic keyboard part. This call and response continues until the last three vocal phrases, when the vocal line merges with the instrumental texture in a psalm of praise. The second song is “Psalm 140,” “ô Dieu donne-moi la déliverance de cet homme pernicieux” (O God, deliver me from this evil man). Honegger’s biographer, Harry Halbreich, suggests that the “evil man” who was oppressing Europe in those last days of 1940 might be the reason for Honegger’s text choice. This piece was composed before the first and third songs. Its emotional mood peaks with the chorale tune “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” 2 The last song in the set, “Psalm 138,” has the Latin title “Confiteor tibi, Domine” (I thank thee, O Lord) and is a paraphrase by Clément Marot, one of the greatest of the French Renaissance poets. It contains a familiar chorale tune, which is used in canon between voice and piano. NOTES: Arthur Canter and Rachel Joselson, Liner notes, The Songs of Arthur Honegger and Jacques Leguerney. Rachel Joselson, Réne Lecuona , piano. Albany Records, TROY691, 2004. Harry Halbreich, trans. Roger Nichols, Arthur Honegger (Portland, OR: Amadeus Press, 1999), 165. BACK TO TOP JACQUES LEGUERNEY (1906-1997) Most of Jacques Leguerney’s sixty-eight mélodies were composed and published from 1940 to 1964. Many were commissioned and premiered by French baritone Gérard Souzay, his sister, soprano Geneviève Touraine, and pianist Jacqueline Bonneau. Early songs are comparable in mood and style with Ravel or Roussel (who encouraged Leguerney’s composition); later songs have been compared to those of his contemporary, Poulenc. Leguerney writes virtuoso piano parts–often dramatic, and with such an individual sense of harmonic style and color that Pierre Bernac reportedly described them as “mélodies de pianist.” 1 When asked about Leguerney’s songs, Gérard Souzay wrote, “How does one describe this music which is, at the same time, classic and modern? It is pure, but colorfully nuanced; it speaks to the heart as well as the mind–at times calm at times witty–wise, yet sensual...” 2 Many of Leguerney’s songs deal with themes of love and nature, expressing a huge range of emotions from deeply felt meditation to wild, ribald humor. Leguerney stopped composing in 1964, and his songs became neglected. The quality of Leguerney’s text setting, lyrical beauty, and harmonic innovations all call for his songs to be better known and more widely performed. Jacques Leguerney was drawn to the work of Renaissance poets, notably Ronsard. There are eight collections titled Poèmes de la Pléaide, representing settings of sixteenth and seventeenth-century French poetry and totaling thirty-two songs. Additionally, there are cycles and other collections [for a complete listing of Leguerney’s songs, see Dibbern, Kimball, and Choukroun, Interpreting the Songs of Jacques Leguerney]. 3 They may be thought of as the last in the great mainstream of twentieth-century French song. La Caverne d’écho (1954) from Poèmes de la Pléiade, Volume 7 poem by Antoine Girard de Saint-Amant (1594-1661) Dedication: Josiane and Jean Cier. First performance: Bernard Kruysen, baritone; Jean-Charles Richard, pianist. 29 May 1965, Radio France Culture. Marc-Antoine Girard, sieur de Saint-Amant, wrote poetry of great descriptive power, and his use of language set him apart from the other seventeenth-century poets. He was also an adept musician and skillful lute player, writing verses that often describe musical sounds linked to visual images. The poem takes place in a dark cave, home of the nymph, Echo; it is a charmed place, absolutely still and peaceful. The poet’s lute resounds inside the cavern as he tries to soothe the inconsolable Echo, who mourns for her lover Narcissus. Leguerney creates the grotto’s mysterious resonance with bitonality. Piano figures illustrate the strumming of the lute. The text contains many sounds with the consonant “r.” The rolling quality of this speech sonority re-creates the cavern’s resonance. The closing measures of the mélodie produce a striking effect as the singer’s voice echoes eerily in the cavern, blending with the piano’s resonance and creating a remarkably realistic echo. À son page (1944) from Poèmes de la Pléiade, Volume 2 poem by Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585) Dedicated to Gérard Souzay. First performance: Gérard Souzay, baritone; Jacqueline Robin (Bonneau). 3 May 1945, Salle Gaveau, Paris. This is a lusty scene with four characters: a nobleman tipsy from drink, his page, and two women, Jeanne and Barbe. Carpe diem is the theme here. The singer philosophizes on this idea while enjoying his wine and the tender companionship of the two beautiful women. Leguerney evokes the crackling staccato of a stylized harpsichord with rhythmic accents in the piano. The text is brilliantly set with jagged vocal lines and driving rhythms that illustrate the singer’s intoxication. It ends with Leguerney’s repetition of the last poetic line and the addition of nonsense syllables which fit beautifully into the imagery and mood of Ronsard’s colorful characters. Je me lamente (1943) from Poèmes de la Pléiade, Volume 1 poem by Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585) Dedicated to Geneviève Touraine. First performance: Paul Derenne, tenor; Jeanne Blancard, pianist. 29 March 1944, Salle de l’Ecole Normale de Musique, Paris. This is one of Leguerney’s most beautiful songs, setting Pierre de Ronsard’s text from his collection of love poems for Marie Dupin, a country girl from a small village in southern France. She was half his age and probably represented the youth he constantly pursued. It has been suggested that the Marie in question was probably Marie de Clèves, passionately adored by Henri III. 4 Leguerney called this mélodie a constant crescendo from beginning to end. 5 Ronsard’s anguish is captured with a texture of stark chords, crowned by a regal and sustained vocal line. As the song progresses, the poet’s anguish is embodied in a more expansive texture, bidding Marie a happy resting place near God or in the Elysian fields. NOTES: Liner notes by Mary Dibbern. Mélodies sur poèmes de la Renaissance (Jacques Leguerney).Harmonia Mundi France. LP recording HMC 1171. Letter to the author. Quoted in Mary Dibbern, Carol Kimball, and Patrick Choukroun. Interpreting the Songs of Jacques Leguerney (Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2001), 3. Ibid., 289-295. Ibid., 69. See note 20. Ibid., 70. BACK TO TOP OLIVIER MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Olivier Messiaen was born in 1908 in Avignon, France, into a literary family. He grew up around words and absorbed their shapes, colors and sounds naturally. His father, Pierre Messiaen, was a well-known translator of Shakespeare, and his mother, Cécile Sauvage, was a poet. As a youngster, before beginning to compose music, he had an especially perceptive ear attuned to the unique prosody of the French language. Early in his compositional career, he published a book titled Technique de mon langage musical (1944). About his musical setting of words, Jane Manning observes: ...the syllables themselves create a glittering mosaic of sonorities and subtle resonances, in addition to their actual meaning (many of the poems do not translate at all satisfactorily). The composer’s awareness of the minutiae of verbal enunciations and articulations is miraculous. Each vocal sound can be precisely placed as intended, all dynamics are scrupulously plotted, and the performer’s involvement and intimate connection to the music is enhanced by the sensual nature of words projection... 1 He often used stained glass to explain his music. When viewed from a distance, the myriad details blend into a single entity, whose purpose is to dazzle the listener. Understanding is not necessary, feeling is the prime requisite. The music of Olivier Messiaen is a skillfully designed and unique language, with meaning and form kept separate. Its meaning is unchangeable, harkening back to Gregorian chant, culminating in instruments that are able to prolong sound (organ, strings, or the ondes Martenot). Messiaen’s musical language is defined by its rhythms and tone colors. His uncanny instinct for associating sound with color produced works unique in their concept of the combination of sounds. He said that when he heard or read music, his mind’s eye saw colors that move with the music; he sensed these colors, and at times he precisely indicated their arrangements in his scores. His fascination with birdsong was lifelong; he referred to himself as an ornithologist and tracked birds and their songs all over the world. He considered their resonances as songs and not merely sounds. He notated these on manuscript paper and they found their way into his music. Trois mélodies (1930) poems by Olivier Messiaen, Cécile Sauvage (1883-1927) This little cycle of songs is Messiaen’s first recognized work for voice and piano. The songs are modest in length and not typical of Messiaen’s later style, but show influences of late Fauré and Duparc in the overall musical texture. There is only one song in his vocal compositions in which Messiaen set the poetry of another poet. It is found in this cycle, which uses the text of his mother, the poet Cécile Sauvage, who died three years before the composition of this work. The three movements form a warm and delicate little triptych. Two of Messiaen’s own poems stand on either side of the poem by Cécile Sauvage, throwing that charming little poem into high relief. “Pourquoi?” introduces a litany of the pleasures of nature: birdsong, the unfolding seasons, and water images. The poet becomes emotional, asking why all these bring him no joy. “La Sourire,” the shortest song of the set, is a beautiful microcosm of intimate and spiritual understanding between two people. It is a delicate example of musical economy and word setting in a quasi-recitative style. The last song, “La fiancée perdue,” offers fleeting hints of Messiaen’s cycle to come, Poèmes pour Mi–most specifically, the final song. Here, the poet prays for divine blessing on the soul of the “fiancée” in the title. The fervent incantation illuminates and affirms man’s connection to a higher authority. Examining the poetic content of the three texts, we are struck by the images that underlie the words: the emotional outburst “pourquoi,” (why?), perhaps questioning the death of Cécile, followed by Cécile’s tender affirmation of love, and finally, the prayer asking for Divine grace and the blessing of the soul of the departed. NOTES: Jane Manning, “The Songs and Song Cycles,” in The Messiaen Companion, ed. Peter Hill (Portland, OR: Amadeus Press, 1995), 107. BACK TO TOP DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974) Darius Milhaud was probably the most prolific composer of the group known as Les Six (Francis Poulenc, Louis Durey, Arthur Honegger, Germaine Tailleferre, Georges Auric, and Milhaud). The group was unified by friendship rather than a single musical style. Championed by influential writer Jean Cocteau and composer Erik Satie, Les Six often presented their works at the same concerts and met with great regularity–often at Milhaud’s house–to make music and exchange ideas. Louis Durey observed that it was the wide diversity in their personalities and musical styles that gave the group its rich depth and permitted its development. Embodied in the credo of their musical thought was relative sparseness of texture and clarity. Turn-of-the-century France offered popular entertainments that drew the French to an environment of merry-go-rounds, shooting galleries, outdoor concerts, circuses, and a jumble of excitement. Milhaud was fascinated by Parisian street life, and could hear the sounds of the Montmartre fair from his apartment. Often on their group outings, Les Six went together to the Cirque de Médrano to see the Fratellinis, a famous family of clowns of that day. Milhaud observed that their acts were worthy of the Commedia dell’arte. 1 Trois Poèmes de Jean Cocteau, Op. 59 (1920) poems by Jean Cocteau (1889-1963) Trois poèmes de Jean Cocteau is like lyric fragments. The small-range vocal lines have a sparse lyricism–one of emotional mood rather than overt melody. The little mélodies are skillful studies in brevity. These match Cocteau’s rather enigmatic poems that exemplify the style termed dépouillé (stripped to the essentials), his aesthetic creed. Milhaud dedicated the songs to Satie. The three miniatures are a colorful kaleidoscope of the circus and the outdoor fairs that entranced the French during this period. “Fumée” describes the equestrienne of the Cirque Médrano atop a horse, jumping through hoops, captured in Toulouse-Lautrec’s familiar painting titled “L’écuyère au Cirque Fernando (1888); “Fête de Bordeaux” is a description of the merry-go-round at the Bordeaux fair; and “Fête de Montmartre” evokes the nighttime boats and sailors, possibly having to do with a game involving camouflaged ships found at the Montmartre fair. Milhaud infuses stylistic and melodic elements of folk songs and children’s tunes into the tiny pieces, tying the innate excitement of these popular destinations to simple, childlike reactions. NOTES: Laurence Davies, The Gallic Muse (New York: A.S. Barnes and Co., 1967), 164. BACK TO TOP FRANCIS POULENC (1899-1963) Francis Poulenc’s 150 mélodies form the largest body of songs to be added to French vocal literature in the twentieth century. Poulenc’s flair for the dramatic, combined with his superb skill in mixing poetry and music, produced songs that singers find immensely gratifying, not only for their musical value, but for their heightened sense of drama. Poulenc’s mélodies reflect concern and feeling for declamation, inflection, breathing, and above all, show extraordinary warmth of feeling for the human voice. He was fond of saying, “J’aime la voix humaine!” The sophistication of Poulenc’s songs spring from their poetic inspirations. Poulenc was quite knowledgeable about poetry, and chose his texts carefully. His gift of divining the inner life of the texts he set produced songs that do more than merely illustrate the poems. His gift for melody is at the very heart of all his songs and seems to assert itself naturally in shaping the color, weight, and meaning of the texts he set. Ce doux petit visage (1938) poem by Paul éluard (1895-1952) Paul Eluard was one of Poulenc’s three main poets. This is a beautiful introduction to Eluard’s poetry, lyrical and passionately intense. The simplicity of Poulenc’s setting allows the poem to shine. It is one of Poulenc’s tiny gems, and he admitted his partiality to the short song. Eluard’s skill at evoking nostalgia and melancholy are seen here, linked to lost youth. The mélodie is dedicated to the memory of Raymonde Linossier, Poulenc’s most intimate childhood friend, who influenced his literary taste and musical tendencies. He said: “I have a great liking for this short song. Raymonde Linossier was my best advisor for the music of my youth. How many times, during the years since her death, I would have liked to have had her opinion on this or the other of my works.” 1 La Grenouillère (1938) poem by Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) “La Grenouillère” is an outstanding example of Poulenc’s romantic lyricism. This is a text by Guillaume Apollinaire describing the Ile de Croissy, an island in the Seine on the outskirts of Paris, frequented by artists and their models, and celebrated in paintings by Monet, Manet, and Renoir. “The Froggery” was a restaurant on the island. The overall images of happy days that cannot be relived can be seen in Pierre Auguste Renoir’s paintings Les Déjeuner des canotiers (The Boatman’s Luncheon), or La Grenouillère. In this lament for boating parties on the Seine, vocal phrases are sustained and languid, floating over a slowly rocking piano accompaniment. The lazy piano figures mirror the empty tethered boats rocking on the water, bumping against each other, and give expression to the sweet melancholy of the poet’s words. Montparnasse (1945) poem by Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) Apollinaire’s poem is dated 1912. Poulenc writes in his journal of songs that it took him four years to complete “Montparnasse,” almost phrase by phrase, and that he had no regrets about the length of time it took because “it is one of my best songs.” 2 It is a sentimental and heartfelt tribute to Paris. Both Apollinaire and Poulenc loved the city and it played a continuing role in their work. “Montparnasse” is about the idyllic artistic existence lived at the edge of Paris. Poulenc wrote in his diary: “Let us imagine this Montparnasse all at once discovered by Picasso, Braque, Modigliani, Apollinaire.” 3 The mélodie has a carefree nonchalance about it; it is not sad, but thoughtful– a beautiful blend of poetic and musical lyricism. Poulenc’s vocal and harmonic textures are full of surprising harmonic details that bind this song–which he composed in fragments–together into a touching and expressive picture of Paris in the early years of the twentieth century. Bleuet (1939) poem by Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) Guillaume Apollinaire was one of Poulenc’s preferred poets. This is a wartime poem that Apollinaire penned in 1917 in Paris in convalescence after a head injury; both Apollinaire and Poulenc served in World War II. There are several word plays at work here. “Bleuet” was the nickname for French soldiers in World War I, because their uniforms were blue, like the color of a little cornflower, which is a “bleuet.” Also, “Un bleu” was the term used for a raw recruit. “Bleuet” is one of Poulenc’s most moving songs– agonizing in its emotional content yet noble in its message. It is a quiet and private moment in which a twenty-year-old boy who does not yet know all that life can be, is characterized–and addressed–by the poet in a sweetly serious speech. Poulenc wrote that for him, the key to the poem were the words, “It is five o’clock and you would know how to die.” 4 This song is simple, intimate, and poignant. Les Chemins de l’amour (1940) poem by Jean Anouilh (1910-1987) Poulenc composed this valse chantée as incidental music for Léocadia, a play by Jean Anouilh. Within the play, the song was described as a pseudo Viennese waltz, and functioned as a leitmotiv in the plot. Sung by Yvonne Printemps, one of France’s most celebrated musical theatre stars, “Les Chemins de l’amour” became a popular success. It embodies the relaxed elegance of a self-styled Viennese waltz style, encased in one of Poulenc’s haunting melodies. Banalités (1940) poems by Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) Banalités is not a cycle, but a group of five songs. The poems have no connection with each other; however, their order provides a well-constructed recital group. They may be performed separately. The work is one of Poulenc’s most popular vocal works, and deservedly so. Poulenc chose contrasting poems, placing them so that the collection begins briskly and ends with lyrical gravity. “Chanson d’Orkenise” is Poulenc’s title for the poem contained in the strange mixture of prose and poetry that Apollinaire called Onirocritique. Orkenise is a road in Autun leading to the Roman gate of the same name. The musical setting has the feeling of a popular folk song. The narrator sings of a tramp leaving the city and a carter who is entering it - one leaving his heart there, one bringing his heart to be married. There is a word in the poem with a double meaning: “grise” can be translated as “gray” or “tipsy.” The merry quality of the song opens the set with gaiety, but both Apollinaire and Poulenc offer a little food for thought. “Hôtel” is a poem that immediately represented for Poulenc a hotel room in Montparnassse, where the idle poet wants only to bask in the sun’s warmth and smoke. Pierre Bernac referred to it as “the laziest song ever written.” 5 The piano figures are fashioned of Poulenc’s luxuriant chromatic harmonies, stacked as if to cushion the lethargy of the singer. “Fagnes de Wallonie” is set in the gloomy, desolate uplands of the Ardennes with a terrain of vast heaths, twisted trees, and peat bogs, swept by winds of considerable force. Its gloomy setting complements the melancholy mood of the poet. Poulenc’s spiky musical setting is a whirlwind that sweeps from beginning to end in a turbulent texture that demands precise articulation from singer and pianist. Sandwiched between Songs 3 and 5 is a tiny bonbon, “Voyage à Paris.” It resembles a little commercial jingle about Paris–“which one day love must have created”–an invitation to the pleasures of that beautiful city, away from “the dreary countryside.” Poulenc sprinkles his quicksilver setting–a valse-musette–with indications of “amiable” and “avec charme.” The composer referred to it as having “deliciously stupid lines...Anything that concerns Paris I approach with tears in my eyes and my head full of music.” 6 The cycle concludes with “Sanglots”, one of Apollinaire’s finest poems about the universality of lost love, a theme that Poulenc matches with exquisite modulations in a setting that embodies the essence of the words. The vocal lines are eloquently lyrical. The poem is difficult to understand because of the juxtaposition of the main narrative and the interior “asides,” that in effect form a poem within a poem. 7 The song has an elegant serenity that culminates in a stunning climactic point at the words: “Est mort d’amour ou c’est tout comme/ Est mort d’amour et le voici.” The ending lines of the song sustain the profoundly calm mood, bringing Banalités to its close. La Courte Paille (1960) poems by Maurice Carême (1899-1978) The last song cycle Poulenc composed was La Courte paille, on seven poems of Belgian poet Maurice Carême. Poulenc composed the songs for soprano Denise Duval, creator of leading roles in his three operas, hoping that she would sing them to her young son. Poulenc considered the mélodies very poetic and whimsical; unfortunately, Duval disliked the music and never did sing the cycle. Poulenc asked Carême to provide an overall title for the work and requested permission to change the titles of several selected poems: the original title of “Quelle aventure!” is “Une puce et l’éléphant”; “Le Reine de cœur” is “Vitres de lune”; “Le carafon” is “La carafe et le carafon.” For the cycle’s title, Carême chose La Courte Paille (The Short Straw), referring to drawing lots by the method of a short straw. Poulenc was delighted, saying the title symbolized his little musical game exactly. He also wrote in his diary, “They must be sung tenderly; that is the surest way to touch the heart of a child.” 8 The cycle is full of child-like innocence, whimsy and imagination, with a few shadowy undertones. The first song, “Le Sommeil,” is a beautiful lullaby to a restless child who cannot go to sleep, tossing and turning in his small bed. He seems ill, crying and perspiring, but hopefully will finally surrender to slumber. In “Quelle aventure!” the child describes an absurd happening: he saw a flea driving a carriage with a small elephant in it. The story grows more bizarre but the rhythmic pace never wavers, careening to the end of the song when the child wonders how on earth he’ll ever be able to persuade “Mama” that it really happened. The verses are witty, yet the shrieks of “Mon Dieu!” are laced with a feeling of childish terror. “La Reine du cœur” is a beautiful, languid melody that paints a picture of the mysterious Queen of Hearts, beckoning to visitors from her frosty castle, where she reigns over a court of lovers, including the young dead. In “Ba, Be, Bi, Bo, Bu...,” the child is chided “on all sides” about studying. The title of the song presents the French vowels, and the text contains words that make their plural with an “x” (“pou, chou, genou, hibou”). The formidable cat of the poem’s opening lines is none other than that tricky feline Puss-in-Boots! The entire song is a little tongue-twister, an exercise in diction and accuracy. “Les anges musiciens” are none other than the school children staying home on Thursday, the half-day school holiday in France in Poulenc’s time, practicing Mozart on their harps, just like good little angel musicians should do. “Le carafon” is a crazy little story of a carafe that longs for a baby carafe (carafon) just like the giraffe at the zoo, who has a girafon. This is a ridiculous rhyming game like those that children love to play. The text is full of whimsical characters: the carafe, a giraffe, a sorcerer astride a phonograph, Merlin, and finally, a carafon. “Lune d’Avril” is another lullaby, very slow and otherworldly, which serves as an epilogue. Bound together in a musical texture that features a syncopated pedal point, it is filled with enchanted images the child wishes to dream about: a land of joy, light, and flowers where all guns are silent. The ending leaves the listener suspended in a mood of unfinished magic. La Courte Paille is the last vocal music Poulenc composed. NOTES: Quoted in Pierre Bernac, Francis Poulenc: The Man and his Songs (New York: W.W. Norton Co., 1977), 125. Francis Poulenc, Journal de mes mélodies, trans. Winifred Radford (London: Victor Gollancz, 1985), 75. Ibid., 75. Ibid., 57. Bernac, 72. Poulenc, 67. The English translation of “Sanglots” has parentheses that delineate the “asides” so that both “poems” may be seen. These may be found in Pierre Bernac’s books Francis Poulenc: The Man and his Songs, page 75, or The Interpretation of French Song, pages 284-85 Poulenc, 109. BACK TO TOP MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937) The songs of Maurice Ravel represent a transition between the mature mélodies of Debussy and the vocal literature that followed, notably the songs of Les Six. Debussy dominated the French musical scene from the turn of the century until his death in 1918. It was Ravel who was regarded as the leading musical spokesman for France following World War I. He was a skillful craftsman and his songs have a sense of evenness of rhythmic structure and flow that call for scrupulous execution. The fusion of music and text into a logical whole was of utmost importance to him. He composed elegant and subtle mélodies, using classical phrase structure. His melodic phrases often tend toward modality. His songs range from those with a folk-like style to more to those that are more speech-like, and those that encompass a melodic romanticism. He was precise in his thought and his scoring, and scrupulous in his musical execution. His music encompassed some of the fascinating influences of the post-Wagnerian era. Ravel’s musical contributions were of utmost importance to this exciting and new era in French cultural history. He made notable contributions to musical literature for the piano, the French art song, opera, chamber music, orchestral literature, and the ballet. Sur l’herbe (1907) poem by Paul Verlaine (1833-1896) This mélodie is Ravel’s only setting of Verlaine. It has often been suggested that this poem was probably inspired by Watteau’s painting L’île enchantée. There is also a reference to a famous eighteenth-century dancer, Marie-Anne Cuppi, known as (La) Camargo, who was immortalized on canvas by the painter Nicolas Lancret. The scene is an outside gathering, elegant and artificial. A number of people are there, chief among them, a licentious abbé, slightly tipsy from a bit too much Cyprian wine. He exchanges a few disconnected gallantries with the ladies–innocent conversations on the surface, but sensuous in undertone. The conversation is disconnected; we do not know exactly who is speaking. Ravel shapes very flexible vocal phrases, in keeping with the abbé’s intoxicated state, underscored with graceful piano figures that evoke an eighteenth-century dance. In a letter to Jean-Aubrey, Ravel commented on “Sur l’herbe”: “In this piece, as in the Histoires naturelles, the impression must be given that one is almost not singing. A bit of preciosity is found there which is indicated moreover by the text and the music.” 1 Noël des jouets (1905) poem by the composer This is the only solo song for which Ravel wrote the text. It describes a Christmas manger scene, replete with the Virgin and Christ-child, animals, and angels. It embodies Ravel’s delight with tiny mechanical toys and figures, and his fascination with the unspoiled world of child-like experience. His genius for text painting is displayed in the delightful mélodie. The mechanical toys come to life in the piano figures. Ravel’s charming text creates the images around and over the crèche, with not a word wasted. Ravel commented that the music is “clear and plain, like the mechanical toys of the poem.” 2 This little song foreshadows other Ravel settings of make-believe, beginning with the song cycle Histoires naturelles and culminating with his opera L’Enfant et les sortilèges. The music of menacing dog Belzébuth foreshadows the music of the Beast in the Mother Goose Suite (Ma Mère lOye). Rêves (1927) poem by Léon-Paul Fargue (1876-1947) The poetry of Léon-Paul Fargue has been described as reflecting the union of dream and memory. This mélodie has a tender lyricism within a sparse musical texture. The text is fashioned of a series of miniature images that pass by rather quickly, unrelated, like the images found in dreams. For all their differences, they have a simplicity about them that seems timeless, existing together, as the poet says, “in a vague countryside.” When the dreamer finally awakens, the little fleeting pictures “die quietly.” The piano postlude perpetuates the dream state, creating an ethereal little microcosm that continues to draw the dreamer to it. Ronsard à son âme (1924) poem by Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585) In his Abrégé de l’art poétique français (1565) Pierre de Ronsard advocated the union of poetry and music, and Renaissance composers frequently set his poems. 3 In this strikingly simple mélodie, Ronsard speaks to his soul, calling it by a series of diminutives: little soul, dainty little one, sweet little one. Ravel uses a series of parallel fifths in the piano figures to invoke a Renaissance mood. This is Ronsard’s last poem, and Ravel’s last adaptation of Renaissance poetry. Ravel’s setting recalls the elegance of his early mélodie, “D’Anne qui me jecta de la neige,” to a poem of Clément Marot. Manteau de fleurs (1903) poem by Paul Barthélemy Jeulin (1863-1936) The poem notes everything in the garden that is pink–all the flowers that will become a beautiful cloak to complement the beauty of the lady of the poem. Ravel usually had very sophisticated taste in choosing texts; this particular poem is an unusual choice. It is a simple text, somewhat banal, but Ravel’s shimmering musical texture imparts a dramatic character for each flower in the poem. The overall piano texture suggests orchestral colors. The last section of the mélodie changes course slightly, with the piano harmonies creating a slightly wistful mood. Clearly, Ravel lavished a beautiful musical setting on a rather ordinary set of words. Don Quichotte à Dulcinée (1932-33) [Medium/Low Voice edition only] poems by Paul Morand (1888-1976) This miniature cycle was Ravel’s last vocal work. His musical portrait of the noble Spanish knight, Don Quixote, is embodied in three mélodies, all based on characteristic Spanish or Basque dance rhythms: (1) the guajira, alternating 6/8 and 3/4 meter; (2) the zorzica, a Basque dance in quintuple meter; and (3) the jota, a lively triple-metered Spanish dance. “Chanson Romanesque” presents the chivalrous idealist Don Quixote, confidently promising to rearrange everything in nature to his lady Dulcinea’s liking in order to win her favor. Dulcinea is in reality a poor farm girl, but the Don’s illusion will not be shaken. He remains authoritative and focused in his quest for her love. “Chanson épique” is Quixote’s reverent prayer to Saint Michael and Saint George, beseeching them to bless his sword and his Lady. Ravel creates a beautifully sustained and prayerful vocal line over a simple accompaniment. “Chanson à boire” is a exuberant drinking song. Although the Don’s tippling has made him overly boisterous, he never oversteps the bounds of his noble bearing. His robust laughter is heard in the piano figures and even a hiccup intrudes between “lorsque j’ai” and “lorsque j’ai bu.” NOTES: Maurice Ravel, in a letter to Jean-Aubrey written in September, 1907. Quoted in Arbie Orenstein, Ravel: Man and Musician (New York: Dover Publications, 1991), 165-66. Quoted in Orenstein, 161. Orenstein, 192. BACK TO TOP ALBERT ROUSSEL (1869-1937) In 1894 Albert Roussel left a highly successful career as a naval officer to pursue music. After completing his studies, he became professor of counterpoint at the Schola Cantorum in Paris. Satie and Varèse were among his students. Roussel was one of the most prominent French composers of the interwar period. He composed almost forty mélodies as well as chamber music, ballets, and operas. His style is eclectic but highly individual. Early works show the influence of Vincent d’Indy, works dating from 1910 to 1920 exhibit influences of Debussy and Ravel, but he turned to neoclassicism in his later compositions. His love for the sea was almost a spiritual attraction and continued to influence his music throughout his career. He had a fascination for distant places; his extended tour of Southeast Asia in 1909 had a tremendous influence on his composition. “Sarabande” and “Cœur en peril” are mélodies to texts of René Chalupt, a close friend. They are found in op. 20 and 50, respectively. Roussel’s overall musical catalogue is not extensive, but its quality is of an extremely high level, and his vocal writing in particular contains some mélodies of great delicacy and style, squarely in the French tradition. For Roussel, the word held primacy in his mélodies, being both transformed by its musical setting and merging with it to create a perfect union. Commenting on the quality of Roussel’s songs, composer Charles Koechlin is quoted as saying: “The sense of austerity pervading them, stemming simply from the composer’s natural reserve, heightens their expressiveness and further embellishes them; in language and content they are absolutely personal. This collection of songs is one which will last because its essence is undying sensitivity.” 1 Sarabande (1919) from Deux mélodies, Op. 20, No. 2 poem by René Chalupt This is surely one of Roussel’s most delicate and magical creations. His writing for the piano is particularly outstanding, placing Chalupt’s poem in an overall texture of elegance and veiled sensuality. There is an Oriental delicacy in Roussel’s musical evocation of the fluttering doves, feathers drifting into a pool, and the gentle drift of chestnut blossoms onto bare flesh. Cœur en péril (1933-34) from Deux mélodies, Op. 50, No. 1 poem by René Chalupt This mélodie is much different in mood–witty and flirtatious. It is the narrative of a young man eager to convince his ladylove of his fidelity. Vocal phrases are tuneful, with a spirited piano texture of Iberian flavor. NOTES: Liner notes, Dom Angelico Surchamp, trans. Elisabeth Carroll, Roussel Mélodies, Colette Alliot-Lugaz, Mady Mesplé, Kurt Ollmann, José Van Dam; Dalton Baldwin, Patrick Gallois. EMI Digital. CDS 7492712, 1987 BACK TO TOP ERIK SATIE (1866-1925) Erik Satie wrote very few songs and most of them date from late in his life. The eccentric father figure of the French avant-garde of the twentieth century had a wildly independent spirit that found its way into his musical compositions. Throughout his life, he kept a great deal of childlike inquisitiveness and innocence. He was a curious personality of unconventional habits whose sense of the absurd and whimsy permeated both his life and his music. Quintessential Satie compositions are laconic and witty. It was Satie who named Les Nouveaux Jeunes, soon known as Les Six, and influenced the early development of the group. La Statue de bronze (1916) from Trois Mélodies poem by Léon-Paul Fargue (1876-1947) This is Satie’s first setting of the poetry of Léon-Paul Fargue, the “Bohemian poet of Paris.” Satie used Fargue’s witty verses again for Ludions. The scene is a garden game–the jeu de tonneau. A bronze frog, perched atop a cabinet with numbered chambers, grows impatient of being the target of the game where metal disks are tossed into her mouth. She dreams of being freed from her pedestal and being able to use her wide-open mouth to utter “LE MOT.” 1 She wants to be free to join the other frogs gathered near the rust-colored washhouse “blowing musical bubbles from the soapy moonlight.” But the game continues, the disks rattle through her mouth into numbered compartments and at night, insects sleep in her mouth. This mélodie can be linked musically to “La Grenouille américaine,” found in Ludions. Both songs share piano figures derived from the café-concert chanson. Ludions (1923) poems by Léon-Paul Fargue (1876-1947) Ludions is the last of Satie’s purely vocal works, composed two years before his death, and is perhaps his finest set of songs. It epitomizes his lifelong quest for musical simplicity and his irreverence for the intricate compositional techniques and overactive emotions of the Impressionists. Ludions is translated as “bottle imps” (a ludion is a little figure suspended in a hollow ball, which descends or rises in a vase filled with water when one presses down on the elastic membrane covering the mouth of the vase). The cycle is a kaleidoscopic set of musical miniatures, riddled with puns and illogical phrases. Fargue’s nonsensical verse complements Satie’s musical aesthetic, and the two friends’ personalities closely matched one another. All the mélodies in Ludions are short, like tiny cameos. They are colorful, saucy, fantastic, and defy translation. “Air du rat,” “La Grenouille américaine,” and “Chanson du chat” are right out of the music hall, and Satie uses with a mock-serious “tongue-in-cheek” treatment for “Spleen” and “Air du poète.” Je te veux (1902) poem by Henry Pacory (1873-?) The valse chantée, or sung waltz was a favorite of the café concerts, for which Satie composed a number of works. Café concerts were a form of Parisian popular entertainment in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The all-musical programs were held outside; French popular singers presented repertoire that catered to lower and middle-class audiences who came to talk, eat, drink, and observe the long informal programs, for which there was no admission charge. “Je te veux” was composed for Paulette Darty, dubbed “the Queen of the slow waltz.” It was one of her signature musical presentations for the caf’conc (café concerts), and one that Darty remained associated with throughout her career. A statuesque blonde with an ample figure, Darty was a commanding performer who kept the most boisterous of the Saturday night audiences enthralled. Lyricist Henry Pacory’s rather explicit poem was watered down at Satie’s request before the song was published. La Diva de l’Empire (1904) poem by Charles Bessat, named Numa Blès (1871-1917) The “Diva de l’Empire,” 2 one of Satie’s café-concert songs, was another work written for and performed by Paulette Darty. It was composed for a Bonnaud-Blès music-hall revue called Dévidons la Bobine (Let’s Unwind the Bobbin) that toured several seaside resort towns. The British “diva” is a femme fatale performer who enchants all who see her. The song is a syncopated cakewalk describing her seductive beauty as she struts her stuff “showing the wiggling of her legs and some pretty frilly underwear.” Interspersed at points along the way with English words: Greenaway, baby, little girl, etc. The piano provides a jaunty ragtime rhythm throughout that melds perfectly with the suggestive text. NOTES: ”Le mot” has a double meaning. It was the title of a broadsheet published by Jean Cocteau between 1914-15 and is short for “le mot de Cambronne,” a polite way of saying “merde.” Cambronne was a famous French general who replied “Merde!” when asked to surrender. In Steven Moore Whiting, Satie the Bohemian: From Cabaret to Concert Hall. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 43. Empire refers to the Empire Theatre of Varieties, Leicester Square, London. BACK TO TOP DÉODAT DE SÉVERAC (1872-1921) Déodat de Séverac, of aristocratic lineage, was born in the Languedoc region of southwest France in Saint-Félix-Caraman (now Saint-Félix Lauragais), near Toulouse. After studies in Paris with Vincent d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum, he returned home and remained there. He was a contemporary of Fauré, Debussy and Ravel, but was considered a petit maître in their company, possibly because of his return to Languedoc at the completion of his musical studies. Séverac composed piano and orchestral music, operas and songs. The culture of his native Languedoc figured prominently in his music, which is highly descriptive. He often wrote parts for regional folk music in his scores. Many considered him provincial and unsophisticated, but his music displays his skill in integrating folk elements–and often, regional folk instruments–of his native Languedoc into his works. He often referred to himself as “the peasant musician.” Influences of Debussy, Mussorgsky, and Bizet may be found in his mélodies. Although his music is rather conservative in style, Séverac fused folk elements with the musical styles of the day in a unique and individual manner. Ma poupée chérie (1914) poem by the composer Composed in 1914 (and published in 1916) for his daughter Magali and dedicated to her, this little cradlesong is probably de Séverac’s best loved and most performed mélodie. Séverac’s fresh musical setting contains just the right combination of simplicity and delightful childlike honesty. Despite the subject matter, the composer’s heartfelt poem avoids an overly cloying atmosphere. BACK TO TOP OTHER SOURCES CONSULTED: Jane Bathori, On the Interpretation of the Mélodies of Claude Debussy, transl. and with an introduction by Linda Laurent (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 1998). Pierre Bernac, Francis Poulenc: The Man and his Songs, transl. by Winifred Radford (New York: W.W. Norton, 1977). Pierre Bernac, The Interpretation of French Song, transl. by Winifred Radford(New York: W.W. Norton, 1978). Elaine Brody, Paris: The Musical Kaleidoscope 1870-1925 (New York: George Braziller, 1987). Mary Dibbern, Carol Kimball, and Patrick Choukroun, Interpreting the Songs of Jacques Leguerney (Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2001) Alan M. Gillmor, Erik Satie (New York: W.W. Norton Co., 1992). James Harding, The Ox on the Roof: Scenes from musical life in Paris in the Twenties (New York: Da Capo Press, 1986). Peter Hill, ed., The Messiaen Companion (Portland, OR: Amadeus Press, 1995). Graham Johnson, Gabriel Fauré: The Songs and their Poets (London: Ashgate Publishing Ltd. and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, 2009) Graham Johnson and Richard Stokes, A French Song Companion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000). Carol Kimball, Song: A Guide to Art Song Style and Literature (Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Corp., 2005). Carol Kimball and Richard Walters, eds., The French Song Anthology (Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Corp., 2001). Timothy LeVan, Masters of the French Art Song (Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1991). Barbara Meister, Nineteenth-Century French Song (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1980). Wilfrid Mellers, Francis Poulenc (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993). Arbie Orenstein, Ravel: Man and Musician (New York: Columbia University Press, 1975). Nancy Perloff, Art and the Everyday: Popular Entertainment in the Circle of Erik Satie(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991) Caroline Potter, Henri Dutilleux: His Life and Works (Brookfield, VT: Ashgate Publishing Co., 1997). Francis Poulenc, Moi et mes amis: Confidences recueilles par Stéphane Audel (Paris: La Palatine, 1963). Francis Poulenc, Diary of my Songs [Journal de mes mélodies] transl. by Winifred Radford (London: Victor Gollancz, Ltd., 1985) Marie-Claire Rohinsky, ed., The Singer’s Debussy (New York: Pelion Press, 1987) Roger Shattuck, The Banquet Years (New York: Vintage Books, 1968). 20TH CENTURY FRENCH ART SONGS Mélodies française du XXe siècle Edited by Carol Kimball Published by Éditions Durand DF 16250/HL 50565798 High Voice edition DF 16251/HL 50565799 Medium/Low Voice edition Distributed in Europe and Asia by Hal Leonard MGB Distributed in North and South America by Hal Leonard Distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Hal Leonard Australia Download & Print Introductory Notes Complete Online Introductory Notes, Unabridged copyright © 2015 Editions Durand An abridged version of editor Carol Kimball’s “Introduction” appears in the High Voice and Medium/Low Voice publications. Her complete length “Introduction” appears below. See the publications for the poetry texts in French and translations in English. GEORGES AURIC CLAUDE DEBUSSY HENRI DUTILLEUX GABRIEL FAURÉ REYNALDO HAHN ARTHUR HONEGGER JACQUES LEGUERNEY OLIVIER MESSIAEN DARIUS MILHAUD FRANCIS POULENC MAURICE RAVEL ALBERT ROUSSEL ERIK SATIE DÉODAT DE SÉVERAC GEORGES AURIC (1899-1983) George Auric was something of a child prodigy, performing a piano recital at the Musicale Indépendante at the age of fourteen. The following year, the Société Nationale de Musique performed several songs he had composed. He studied composition at the Paris Conservatoire with Georges Caussade, and later with Vincent d’Indy and Albert Roussel at the Schola Cantorum de Paris. Before he was twenty, Auric had orchestrated and written incidental music for several stage productions and ballets. He composed a significant amount of avant-garde music during the years between 1910-20. Around 1914, he widened his acquaintances to include members of Les Six, a group of composers informally associated with Erik Satie and Jean Cocteau, and became a part of their group. Auric and Francis Poulenc became fast friends and remained so for life. Music criticism was an important part of Auric’s career; his writing focused on promoting the ideals of Les Six and Cocteau. He was also especially known for his film scores, which are consistently imaginative. He forged a major career in the English movies of the 1940s and ’50s. Among his most well-known scores is the music for the film Moulin Rouge. Other popular film titles with scores by Auric include The Lavender Hill Mob, Roman Holiday, Beauty and the Beast, and Bonjour Tristesse. In 1962 he became the director of the Opéra National de Paris and later, chairman of SACEM, the French Performing Rights Society. Auric continued to write classical chamber music until his death. Le Jeune sanguine (1940) from Trois Poèmes de Louise de Vilmorin poem by Louise de Vilmorin (1902-1969) This mélodie is the second song in Auric’s cycle titled Trois poèmes de Louise de Vilmorin. Vilmorin’s poetry reverberates with sensitivity to affairs of the heart. She was one of Poulenc’s preferred poets; he set her poetry when writing specifically for the female voice, such as in Fiançailles pour rire. A sort of veiled humor is at the heart of this text that describes a young hussy whose lover departs early with the dawn’s first light, leaving her weeping disconsolately. Auric provides a prelude and postlude for formal balance as the miserable young woman mourns her loss. He also inserts several unexpected and amusing measures of a tango as the young man arches his back and leaves the sound of her sobbing. For his three Vilmorin songs, Auric used the style of a chansonette, or more popular song. Printemps (1935) Poem by Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585) Auric composed this lilting waltz song for a play by Edouard Bourdet titled La Reine Margot (1935). The celebrated musical theatre actress-singer Yvonne Printemps created the role of Queen Margot of Navarre at Théâtre de la Michodière. Auric and Francis Poulenc collaborated on the incidental music for this play; Poulenc took the second act, Auric the first. Poulenc composed the Suite française and the song “A sa guitare”; Auric’s contribution was “Printemps.” Yvonne Printemps sang both songs in the play. Both composers used texts by Pierre de Ronsard, and the musical style of each is reminiscent of the Renaissance. Ronsard’s original poem had twenty-three stanzas. Auric set only the first three. BACK TO TOP CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Claude Debussy wrote expertly for the voice and was acutely responsive to transforming poetic nuance into musical expression. Possibly no other French composer was as attuned to blending poetry and music. His literary taste was highly refined and he maintained a visible and active role in the literary and artistic circles of his time. He chose to set poetry of his contemporaries, notably Verlaine and Mallarmé. Verlaine’s verse with its inherent musical qualities, provided Debussy with poetry for numerous works. For Debussy, poetry as poetry was the paramount determinant of the musical texture. His ability to detect the essence of a poem and perfectly transform it into musical expression makes his mélodies unique in the history of French song. Le promenoir des deux amants (1904, 1910) poems by Tristan l’Hermite (c. 1601-1656) “Auprès de cette grotte sombre,” the first song, made its first appearance with the title “La Grotte,” song two of Trois chansons de France of 1904. In 1910, it was retitled and combined with two other poems by Tristan l’Hermite (“Crois mon conseil, chère Climène” and “Je tremble en voyant ton visage”) to form the miniature cycle Le Promenoir de deux amants, which has been called the finest of all Debussy’s works for voice and piano. It is also the least-often performed. Debussy chose the texts from Les Amours de Tristan, a collection by the seventeenth-century poet Tristan l’Hermite. The poems are set close to a grotto, secluded and silent. The transparent, barely stirring waters mingle with the silence of the cloistered spot, creating a dreamlike atmosphere. Debussy establishes an intimate, tender mood immediately and maintains this fragile mix of sound and color throughout the three mélodies. The interplay of resonance and texture in voice and piano results in an exquisite blend of light and shade, perfectly complementing l’Hermite’s poetic images. Subtly inflected vocal phrases are key to recreating the infinite calm and Pelléas-like atmosphere of the poetry, a perfect fusion of stillness and sensuality. Fêtes galantes II (1904) poems by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896) Debussy’s fascination with the work of the French Symbolist poet Paul Verlaine resulted in his setting to music no fewer than seventeen of Verlaine’s texts. He composed two sets of three songs each, both titled Fêtes galantes, the first in 1892, and the second in 1904. Fêtes galantes II, Debussy’s last setting of Verlaine, closely following the composition of his opera Pélleas et Mélisande, is representative of the composer’s mature vocal works. It is marked by sparser textures, freer tonalities and a more concentrated compositional style than the first set; but like the first set, Fêtes galantes II presents three unrelated songs. None of the Watteau-like scenes are found here; rather, these three poems are filled with mystery, and are without sentimentality. The theme of time appears in each of the poems: the first, sentimental youthful remembrances; the second, inexorable fleeting time; and finally in the last song, time never to be reclaimed. “Les Ingénus” recalls the first awakenings of sexual attraction, and deals with the breathless awe with which a group of unsophisticated young men of the mid-nineteenth century view their similarly naïve female companions. The scene unfolds in a highly chromatic texture, skillfully balanced to preserve the delicate, poignant images in Verlaine’s verse. Debussy’s free-floating harmonies are carefully contrived to complement the uncertain emotions and repressed sensations of the youths in the poem. “Le Faune” begins with a prelude; time unravels in an inflexible dance featuring a rhythmic, hypnotic figure in the piano, imaging the traditional reed pipe and “tambourin,” a small drum played with a stick. The old terra-cotta statue in Verlaine’s poem is probably the woodland god Pan, playing a monotonous rhythm that is both sensual and slightly menacing, matching the mood of the two mélancolique pélerins. Mesmerized by the repetitive rhythms of drum and reed flute, the dejected travelers are caught in the whirlpool of passing time, which spins past as they watch helplessly. “Colloque sentimental.” Colloquial (colloque) refers to ordinary speech or conversation. This disturbing poem is the touchstone of one of Debussy’s great mélodies. It is the last poem in Verlaine’s collection titled Fêtes galantes, and provides a chilling climax. It blends themes of despair, death and disillusion. In this extraordinary song, the ghosts of two lovers meet in a wintry park. As they speak of their former love, their words match the setting: glacial and detached from feeling. Throughout the song their wintry words are enhanced by Debussy’s simple and subtle vocal treatment: one voice urgent and persistent, the other stonily indifferent. Debussy’s manipulation of musical texture between voice and piano is masterful. The sparse vocal lines are almost speech-like, and the piano figures mirror the frozen landscape in which this conversation–equally cold–takes place. The song’s kinship to Debussy’s opera Pélleas et Mélisande is unmistakable. The listener becomes one with the poem’s narrator, straining to see and hear the couple’s conversation in the icy cold of the deserted, frozen park. Debussy reaches back to “En sourdine” (the first mélodie of Fêtes galantes I), takes the wistful song of the nightingale, and inserts it into this song at various points. The nightingale’s melody (“voix de nôtre dessespoir, le rossignol chantera”) provides a touching and melancholy association, linking the two sets of Fêtes galantes together symbolically and musically, foreshadowing the disenchantment of love hinted at in “En sourdine” with the lovers’ conversation in “Colloque sentimental,” and unifying the two sets by a subtle musical component. This panel of three mélodies was Debussy’s last setting of the poetry of Paul Verlaine. Noël des enfants qui n’ont plus de maisons (1915) poem by the composer This is Debussy’s last song, written to his own text, a Christmas carol for children made homeless by World War I. Its intensity comes from its simple sincerity. Debussy composed it on the eve of his first operation for the cancer that would end his life two years later. It was his personal protest against the invasion of northern France by the German armies. When asked for permission to orchestrate the song, Debussy refused, saying, “I want this piece to be sung with the most discreet accompaniment. Not a word of the text must be lost, inspired as it is by the rapacity of our enemies. It is the only way I have to fight the war.” Originally composed in 1915 for piano and voice, Debussy also created a version for children’s chorus, and in 1916, a version for piano and two sopranos. BACK TO TOP HENRI DUTILLEUX (1916-2013) Henri Dutilleux studied at the Paris Conservatory with Maurice Emmanuel. He received the Prix de Rome in 1938 at age twenty-two, and went on to work at the Paris Opéra and the French Radio. France’s musical institutions defined his career: in 1961, he joined the faculty at the école Normale de Musique, teaching composition. In 1970, he taught at the Paris Conservatoire. He destroyed many of his early works, considering them derivative of Ravel, the preeminent composer in France during his youth. His music that had been published avoided demolition. After World War II, Dutilleux concentrated almost exclusively on instrumental and orchestral music, much of which has been widely programmed and recorded. His songs are not well known. In the chronological catalogue of his compositions, beginning in 1929, the Quatre mélodies for mezzo soprano or baritone is only the eleventh entry. It also exists in an orchestral version. The collection is dedicated to the French baritone Charles Panzéra and his wife, pianist Magdeleine Panzéra-Baillot, prominent interpreters of French song in the interwar years. Gabriel Fauré dedicated his last cycle, L’horizon chimérique, to Panzéra. Quatre mélodies (1942) uses poems by four different poets and presents a delightful collection of moods, although it must be admitted that the level of the poetry is not uniformly high: “Féérie au clair de lune” (poem by Raymond Genty), a graceful scherzo of dancing fairies that evokes Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; “Pour une amie perdue” (Edmond Borsent); “Regards sur l’infini” (Anna de Noailles); and “Fantasio” (André Bellessort). The last mélodie is the most successful of the set and is one of two songs from the set (the other being “Pour une amie perdue”) that Dutilleux acknowledged. He wanted to exclude the first and third songs because their poetry was relatively mediocre. Fantasio (1942) from Quatre Mélodies poem by André Bellessort (1866-1942) “Fantasio” (the original title of Bellessort’s poem is “Les funérailles de Fantasio”) is a colorful poem that chronicles the funeral of the titled character, who has expired before the text begins. The poem, set in Venice during Carnival, is full of glittering and compelling imagery that changes quickly, following the pace of the Carnival. Musical textures are skillfully handled and exhibit some of Dutilleux’s developing style. “Pauvre Fantasio,” is heard several times during the text, acting as both a funereal chant that unifies the proceedings and perhaps as well, keeping the mourners’ footsteps marching together. BACK TO TOP GABRIEL FAURÉ (1845-1924) Gabriel Fauré was one of the great composers of French song who, with Duparc and Debussy, perfected the mélodie as a true art song form. He composed about a hundred songs, all original in conception, constantly developing in style, and pointing the way to future works. His songs express a broad range of emotion and a great variety of musical textures, extending the musical parameters of the genre and inspiring new techniques of song compositions. His songs are often divided into three compositional periods for purposes of study and definition. Fauré has been characterized as a skillful watchmaker; with great precision his songs, which overflow with subtle nuances and delicate detail. His approach is in keeping with the French musical aesthetic: elegant and rational, dealing with sentiment rather than literal sensation. He was able to capture the entire poetic mood of each poem he set and to create an aura around it with his musical setting. Dans la fôret de septembre, Op. 85, No. 1 (1902) poem by Catulle Mendès (1841-1909) This touching poem symbolizes the onset of old age. Mendès was among the founders of a literary magazine, La Revue fantaisiste, which published many poems of the Parnassian poets. Fauré’s musical style perfectly suited this style of poetry: elegance of style, richness of rhyme, regularity and symmetry of rhythm. The Parnassians avoided the excessively romantic and aimed for “art-for-art’s sake.” Fauré was nearly sixty years old when he composed this mélodie, and his reaction to this poem is beautifully poignant. The words describe the poet’s reflective walk through a quiet, somber forest, capturing the chill of mortality and the overall mood of the turning point of life. The ancient forest, sensing a kindred spirit, provides the walker with a sign of friendship and understanding. Fauré set this contemplative poem in a rich harmonic musical texture with a vocal line that borders on quasi-recitative-like shapes. The solemn thoughts of old age call forth a melancholy, but it is a subtle melancholy. It is almost hymn-like in the fusion of words, emotions, and musical texture. This mélodie may be considered as marking the threshold to the final period of Fauré’s compositions. Accompagnement, Op. 85, No. 3 (1902) poem by Albert Victor Samain (1858-1900) This mélodie is a beautiful barcarolle–a nighttime scene, silvery and hazy, alluring but unreal. The image of the poet rowing on the lake is reflected in the musical texture. Fauré had a lifelong fascination with water imagery in music; this poem offers a little reel of unfolding pictures of a moonlight journey a dark lake. The words “dans le rêve” tell us that this is all a dream. This is a rarely sung Fauré mélodie that yields great rewards for the performer. Chanson, Op. 94 (1906) poem by Henri di Régnier (1864-1936) This poem has a gentle charm and a calm simplicity. It is the last of Fauré’s madrigals that include delicate love songs such as “Lydia,” and “Clair de lune.” It has a wonderful fluidity that is a perfect foil for the poetic images The text is a simple set of variations on one theme: nothing on earth has any meaning unless the beloved somehow touches it. Fauré’s reaction to the words called forth a musical setting of delicate transparency and limited range. It is not well known; like “Le Don silencieux,” “Chanson” was published as a single song and therefore not widely disseminated. It is an example of exquisitely planned musical economy, and definitely belongs in Fauré’s third period of musical compositions. Le Don silencieux, Op. 92 (1906) poem by Marie Closset (1875-1952), under the pseudonym Jean Dominique Here is another little known Fauré song, a rarity because it was published separately and was never included in any of the Fauré recueils. The poem has a gentle melancholy–the plea of a timid lover, a mixture of hope and imagined disappointment. The words are tender and flowing, but the overall mood is one of unrelieved sadness. This song marks the beginning of Fauré’s third compositional period, which includes the cycles La Chanson d’Eve, Le Jardin clos, Mirages, and L’Horizon chimérique. Writing of this mélodie in a letter to his wife, Fauré said, It does not in the least resemble any of my previous works, nor anything that I am aware of; I am very pleased about this...It translates the words gradually as they unfold themselves; it begins, opens out, and finishes, nothing more, nevertheless it is unified. 1 NOTES: Quoted in Graham Johnson, Gabriel Fauré: The Songs and their Poets (London: Guildhall School of Music and Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2009), 291. Quotation from Jean-Michel Nectoux, Gabriel Fauré: A Musical Life, trans. Roger Nichols (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 304. This is a translation of Fauré’s letter to his wife of 17 August 1906. BACK TO TOP REYNALDO HAHN (1875-1947) Reynaldo Hahn, Venezuelan by birth, came to Paris with his family at age four and made a brilliant career. In addition to his career as a composer and singer, he was director of the Paris Opéra, music critic for the newspaper Figaro, and conductor of the Salzburg Festival. He was enough of a scholar to edit some of the works of Rameau. He maintained close friendships throughout his life with actress Sarah Bernhardt and writer Marcel Proust. During the Belle époque, French mélodie was at the height of its development. Hahn was a habitué of the most fashionable salons, where he was in demand as a performer. On these occasions, he usually sang and played his own accompaniment, often with a cigarette dangling from his lips. The art of singing was one of his major passions, and he wrote three books on singing (Du chant, Thèmes varies, and L’oreille au guet), as well as a memoir of Sarah Bernhardt. Hahn’s songs are models of French restraint–devoid of overt display, with beautiful melodies in a modest vocal range. They reflect the style of his teacher, Jules Massenet. Hahn composed approximately ninety-five works for solo voice: eighty-four mélodies, five English songs to texts of Robert Louis Stevenson, and six Italian songs in the Venetian dialect. After 1912, Hahn composed in larger forms: opera, operetta, and film music. Perhaps his most famous work is his operetta Ciboulette (1923), which is still performed. À Chloris (1916) poem by Théophile de Viau (1590-1626) “À Chloris” is No. 14 in Deuxième volume de vingt mélodies, the last major publication of Hahn’s songs during his lifetime. In many of his later songs, he turned to a deliberately archaic style. “À Chloris” features an elegant vocal line above a piano texture that features Baroque musical characteristics; it is its own piece, with ornamented melody and chaconne-like bass. Vocal line and piano piece are woven into a musical tapestry that is both declarative and intimate. Poet Théophile de Viau was considered one of the most influential libertin poets during Louis XIII’s reign. The libertins’ verses had a unique charm that is instantly appealing, but somewhat artificial. Despite this, de Viau’s love poetry is not bland, but full of suggestive passion and elegant wit. BACK TO TOP ARTHUR HONEGGER (1892-1955) Arthur Honegger composed over forty mélodies for voice and piano. Taken as a whole, they are diverse and imaginative. For his texts, he favored contemporary poets such as Jean Cocteau, Guillaume Apollinaire, Paul Claudel, and Paul Fort. He also chose to set unrelated poems by a single poet, such as his Poesies (Cocteau) and Alcools (Apollinaire). Poetry with strong imagery appealed to the dramatist in his personality. For Honegger, as for most successful mélodie composers, the word provides the starting place. He is quoted as saying: For me, the music a song is always dependent upon the poetic model. It must join so closely with the poetry, that they become inseparable and one can picture the poem in wholly musical terms. This is not to say that the music becomes subservient. It must be so crafted that it can stand on its own merits, playable without the text, logical and complete. 1 Born of Swiss parents in Le Havre, France, Arthur Honegger initially studied for two years at the Zurich Conservatory, but enrolled in the Paris Conservatoire from 1911 to 1918, studying with Charles-Marie Widor and Vincent d’Indy. Some of his more familiar large vocal works include the dramatic psalm Le roi David (King David), composed in 1921 and still in the choral repertoire; and his dramatic oratorio of 1935, Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher (Joan of Arc at the stake), with text by Paul Claudel, considered to be one of his finest works. Between the world wars, he composed nine ballets and three vocal stage works, among works in other genres. His total compositional catalog is an impressive list of music: orchestral works, chamber music, concertos, ballets, operas, operettas, and oratorios. Widely known as a train enthusiast, he was passionately interested in locomotives, to which he attributed almost human characteristics. His “mouvement symphonique,” Pacific 231, gained him early acclaim in 1923. Honegger’s musical style is a fascinating mixture of impressionistic effects peppered with penetrating dissonances. He had a fondness for mixing tonalities and using modality. His compositions for the voice display an eclectic focus of coloristic harmonies and architectural clarity. He was a member of Les Six, but unlike most of that group, did not share their overwhelming reaction against German romanticism. Honegger’s musical style is fuller and more serious than his colleagues. He and Darius Milhaud were close friends. Honegger’s generous body of song has proved of enduring interest to contemporary performers. His was a distinctive voice in the vocal music of the twentieth-century French mélodie. Trois Psaumes (1940-41) from the Huguenot Psalter Psaumes XXXIV and CXL translated by Théodore de Bèze (1519-1605) Psaume CXXXVIII translated by Clément Marot (1496-1544) The spirit of Bach shines in the first psaume, “Psalm 34,” in which a chant-like vocal line alternates with a gently moving episodic keyboard part. This call and response continues until the last three vocal phrases, when the vocal line merges with the instrumental texture in a psalm of praise. The second song is “Psalm 140,” “ô Dieu donne-moi la déliverance de cet homme pernicieux” (O God, deliver me from this evil man). Honegger’s biographer, Harry Halbreich, suggests that the “evil man” who was oppressing Europe in those last days of 1940 might be the reason for Honegger’s text choice. This piece was composed before the first and third songs. Its emotional mood peaks with the chorale tune “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” 2 The last song in the set, “Psalm 138,” has the Latin title “Confiteor tibi, Domine” (I thank thee, O Lord) and is a paraphrase by Clément Marot, one of the greatest of the French Renaissance poets. It contains a familiar chorale tune, which is used in canon between voice and piano. NOTES: Arthur Canter and Rachel Joselson, Liner notes, The Songs of Arthur Honegger and Jacques Leguerney. Rachel Joselson, Réne Lecuona , piano. Albany Records, TROY691, 2004. Harry Halbreich, trans. Roger Nichols, Arthur Honegger (Portland, OR: Amadeus Press, 1999), 165. BACK TO TOP JACQUES LEGUERNEY (1906-1997) Most of Jacques Leguerney’s sixty-eight mélodies were composed and published from 1940 to 1964. Many were commissioned and premiered by French baritone Gérard Souzay, his sister, soprano Geneviève Touraine, and pianist Jacqueline Bonneau. Early songs are comparable in mood and style with Ravel or Roussel (who encouraged Leguerney’s composition); later songs have been compared to those of his contemporary, Poulenc. Leguerney writes virtuoso piano parts–often dramatic, and with such an individual sense of harmonic style and color that Pierre Bernac reportedly described them as “mélodies de pianist.” 1 When asked about Leguerney’s songs, Gérard Souzay wrote, “How does one describe this music which is, at the same time, classic and modern? It is pure, but colorfully nuanced; it speaks to the heart as well as the mind–at times calm at times witty–wise, yet sensual...” 2 Many of Leguerney’s songs deal with themes of love and nature, expressing a huge range of emotions from deeply felt meditation to wild, ribald humor. Leguerney stopped composing in 1964, and his songs became neglected. The quality of Leguerney’s text setting, lyrical beauty, and harmonic innovations all call for his songs to be better known and more widely performed. Jacques Leguerney was drawn to the work of Renaissance poets, notably Ronsard. There are eight collections titled Poèmes de la Pléaide, representing settings of sixteenth and seventeenth-century French poetry and totaling thirty-two songs. Additionally, there are cycles and other collections [for a complete listing of Leguerney’s songs, see Dibbern, Kimball, and Choukroun, Interpreting the Songs of Jacques Leguerney]. 3 They may be thought of as the last in the great mainstream of twentieth-century French song. La Caverne d’écho (1954) from Poèmes de la Pléiade, Volume 7 poem by Antoine Girard de Saint-Amant (1594-1661) Dedication: Josiane and Jean Cier. First performance: Bernard Kruysen, baritone; Jean-Charles Richard, pianist. 29 May 1965, Radio France Culture. Marc-Antoine Girard, sieur de Saint-Amant, wrote poetry of great descriptive power, and his use of language set him apart from the other seventeenth-century poets. He was also an adept musician and skillful lute player, writing verses that often describe musical sounds linked to visual images. The poem takes place in a dark cave, home of the nymph, Echo; it is a charmed place, absolutely still and peaceful. The poet’s lute resounds inside the cavern as he tries to soothe the inconsolable Echo, who mourns for her lover Narcissus. Leguerney creates the grotto’s mysterious resonance with bitonality. Piano figures illustrate the strumming of the lute. The text contains many sounds with the consonant “r.” The rolling quality of this speech sonority re-creates the cavern’s resonance. The closing measures of the mélodie produce a striking effect as the singer’s voice echoes eerily in the cavern, blending with the piano’s resonance and creating a remarkably realistic echo. À son page (1944) from Poèmes de la Pléiade, Volume 2 poem by Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585) Dedicated to Gérard Souzay. First performance: Gérard Souzay, baritone; Jacqueline Robin (Bonneau). 3 May 1945, Salle Gaveau, Paris. This is a lusty scene with four characters: a nobleman tipsy from drink, his page, and two women, Jeanne and Barbe. Carpe diem is the theme here. The singer philosophizes on this idea while enjoying his wine and the tender companionship of the two beautiful women. Leguerney evokes the crackling staccato of a stylized harpsichord with rhythmic accents in the piano. The text is brilliantly set with jagged vocal lines and driving rhythms that illustrate the singer’s intoxication. It ends with Leguerney’s repetition of the last poetic line and the addition of nonsense syllables which fit beautifully into the imagery and mood of Ronsard’s colorful characters. Je me lamente (1943) from Poèmes de la Pléiade, Volume 1 poem by Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585) Dedicated to Geneviève Touraine. First performance: Paul Derenne, tenor; Jeanne Blancard, pianist. 29 March 1944, Salle de l’Ecole Normale de Musique, Paris. This is one of Leguerney’s most beautiful songs, setting Pierre de Ronsard’s text from his collection of love poems for Marie Dupin, a country girl from a small village in southern France. She was half his age and probably represented the youth he constantly pursued. It has been suggested that the Marie in question was probably Marie de Clèves, passionately adored by Henri III. 4 Leguerney called this mélodie a constant crescendo from beginning to end. 5 Ronsard’s anguish is captured with a texture of stark chords, crowned by a regal and sustained vocal line. As the song progresses, the poet’s anguish is embodied in a more expansive texture, bidding Marie a happy resting place near God or in the Elysian fields. NOTES: Liner notes by Mary Dibbern. Mélodies sur poèmes de la Renaissance (Jacques Leguerney).Harmonia Mundi France. LP recording HMC 1171. Letter to the author. Quoted in Mary Dibbern, Carol Kimball, and Patrick Choukroun. Interpreting the Songs of Jacques Leguerney (Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2001), 3. Ibid., 289-295. Ibid., 69. See note 20. Ibid., 70. BACK TO TOP OLIVIER MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Olivier Messiaen was born in 1908 in Avignon, France, into a literary family. He grew up around words and absorbed their shapes, colors and sounds naturally. His father, Pierre Messiaen, was a well-known translator of Shakespeare, and his mother, Cécile Sauvage, was a poet. As a youngster, before beginning to compose music, he had an especially perceptive ear attuned to the unique prosody of the French language. Early in his compositional career, he published a book titled Technique de mon langage musical (1944). About his musical setting of words, Jane Manning observes: ...the syllables themselves create a glittering mosaic of sonorities and subtle resonances, in addition to their actual meaning (many of the poems do not translate at all satisfactorily). The composer’s awareness of the minutiae of verbal enunciations and articulations is miraculous. Each vocal sound can be precisely placed as intended, all dynamics are scrupulously plotted, and the performer’s involvement and intimate connection to the music is enhanced by the sensual nature of words projection... 1 He often used stained glass to explain his music. When viewed from a distance, the myriad details blend into a single entity, whose purpose is to dazzle the listener. Understanding is not necessary, feeling is the prime requisite. The music of Olivier Messiaen is a skillfully designed and unique language, with meaning and form kept separate. Its meaning is unchangeable, harkening back to Gregorian chant, culminating in instruments that are able to prolong sound (organ, strings, or the ondes Martenot). Messiaen’s musical language is defined by its rhythms and tone colors. His uncanny instinct for associating sound with color produced works unique in their concept of the combination of sounds. He said that when he heard or read music, his mind’s eye saw colors that move with the music; he sensed these colors, and at times he precisely indicated their arrangements in his scores. His fascination with birdsong was lifelong; he referred to himself as an ornithologist and tracked birds and their songs all over the world. He considered their resonances as songs and not merely sounds. He notated these on manuscript paper and they found their way into his music. Trois mélodies (1930) poems by Olivier Messiaen, Cécile Sauvage (1883-1927) This little cycle of songs is Messiaen’s first recognized work for voice and piano. The songs are modest in length and not typical of Messiaen’s later style, but show influences of late Fauré and Duparc in the overall musical texture. There is only one song in his vocal compositions in which Messiaen set the poetry of another poet. It is found in this cycle, which uses the text of his mother, the poet Cécile Sauvage, who died three years before the composition of this work. The three movements form a warm and delicate little triptych. Two of Messiaen’s own poems stand on either side of the poem by Cécile Sauvage, throwing that charming little poem into high relief. “Pourquoi?” introduces a litany of the pleasures of nature: birdsong, the unfolding seasons, and water images. The poet becomes emotional, asking why all these bring him no joy. “La Sourire,” the shortest song of the set, is a beautiful microcosm of intimate and spiritual understanding between two people. It is a delicate example of musical economy and word setting in a quasi-recitative style. The last song, “La fiancée perdue,” offers fleeting hints of Messiaen’s cycle to come, Poèmes pour Mi–most specifically, the final song. Here, the poet prays for divine blessing on the soul of the “fiancée” in the title. The fervent incantation illuminates and affirms man’s connection to a higher authority. Examining the poetic content of the three texts, we are struck by the images that underlie the words: the emotional outburst “pourquoi,” (why?), perhaps questioning the death of Cécile, followed by Cécile’s tender affirmation of love, and finally, the prayer asking for Divine grace and the blessing of the soul of the departed. NOTES: Jane Manning, “The Songs and Song Cycles,” in The Messiaen Companion, ed. Peter Hill (Portland, OR: Amadeus Press, 1995), 107. BACK TO TOP DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974) Darius Milhaud was probably the most prolific composer of the group known as Les Six (Francis Poulenc, Louis Durey, Arthur Honegger, Germaine Tailleferre, Georges Auric, and Milhaud). The group was unified by friendship rather than a single musical style. Championed by influential writer Jean Cocteau and composer Erik Satie, Les Six often presented their works at the same concerts and met with great regularity–often at Milhaud’s house–to make music and exchange ideas. Louis Durey observed that it was the wide diversity in their personalities and musical styles that gave the group its rich depth and permitted its development. Embodied in the credo of their musical thought was relative sparseness of texture and clarity. Turn-of-the-century France offered popular entertainments that drew the French to an environment of merry-go-rounds, shooting galleries, outdoor concerts, circuses, and a jumble of excitement. Milhaud was fascinated by Parisian street life, and could hear the sounds of the Montmartre fair from his apartment. Often on their group outings, Les Six went together to the Cirque de Médrano to see the Fratellinis, a famous family of clowns of that day. Milhaud observed that their acts were worthy of the Commedia dell’arte. 1 Trois Poèmes de Jean Cocteau, Op. 59 (1920) poems by Jean Cocteau (1889-1963) Trois poèmes de Jean Cocteau is like lyric fragments. The small-range vocal lines have a sparse lyricism–one of emotional mood rather than overt melody. The little mélodies are skillful studies in brevity. These match Cocteau’s rather enigmatic poems that exemplify the style termed dépouillé (stripped to the essentials), his aesthetic creed. Milhaud dedicated the songs to Satie. The three miniatures are a colorful kaleidoscope of the circus and the outdoor fairs that entranced the French during this period. “Fumée” describes the equestrienne of the Cirque Médrano atop a horse, jumping through hoops, captured in Toulouse-Lautrec’s familiar painting titled “L’écuyère au Cirque Fernando (1888); “Fête de Bordeaux” is a description of the merry-go-round at the Bordeaux fair; and “Fête de Montmartre” evokes the nighttime boats and sailors, possibly having to do with a game involving camouflaged ships found at the Montmartre fair. Milhaud infuses stylistic and melodic elements of folk songs and children’s tunes into the tiny pieces, tying the innate excitement of these popular destinations to simple, childlike reactions. NOTES: Laurence Davies, The Gallic Muse (New York: A.S. Barnes and Co., 1967), 164. BACK TO TOP FRANCIS POULENC (1899-1963) Francis Poulenc’s 150 mélodies form the largest body of songs to be added to French vocal literature in the twentieth century. Poulenc’s flair for the dramatic, combined with his superb skill in mixing poetry and music, produced songs that singers find immensely gratifying, not only for their musical value, but for their heightened sense of drama. Poulenc’s mélodies reflect concern and feeling for declamation, inflection, breathing, and above all, show extraordinary warmth of feeling for the human voice. He was fond of saying, “J’aime la voix humaine!” The sophistication of Poulenc’s songs spring from their poetic inspirations. Poulenc was quite knowledgeable about poetry, and chose his texts carefully. His gift of divining the inner life of the texts he set produced songs that do more than merely illustrate the poems. His gift for melody is at the very heart of all his songs and seems to assert itself naturally in shaping the color, weight, and meaning of the texts he set. Ce doux petit visage (1938) poem by Paul éluard (1895-1952) Paul Eluard was one of Poulenc’s three main poets. This is a beautiful introduction to Eluard’s poetry, lyrical and passionately intense. The simplicity of Poulenc’s setting allows the poem to shine. It is one of Poulenc’s tiny gems, and he admitted his partiality to the short song. Eluard’s skill at evoking nostalgia and melancholy are seen here, linked to lost youth. The mélodie is dedicated to the memory of Raymonde Linossier, Poulenc’s most intimate childhood friend, who influenced his literary taste and musical tendencies. He said: “I have a great liking for this short song. Raymonde Linossier was my best advisor for the music of my youth. How many times, during the years since her death, I would have liked to have had her opinion on this or the other of my works.” 1 La Grenouillère (1938) poem by Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) “La Grenouillère” is an outstanding example of Poulenc’s romantic lyricism. This is a text by Guillaume Apollinaire describing the Ile de Croissy, an island in the Seine on the outskirts of Paris, frequented by artists and their models, and celebrated in paintings by Monet, Manet, and Renoir. “The Froggery” was a restaurant on the island. The overall images of happy days that cannot be relived can be seen in Pierre Auguste Renoir’s paintings Les Déjeuner des canotiers (The Boatman’s Luncheon), or La Grenouillère. In this lament for boating parties on the Seine, vocal phrases are sustained and languid, floating over a slowly rocking piano accompaniment. The lazy piano figures mirror the empty tethered boats rocking on the water, bumping against each other, and give expression to the sweet melancholy of the poet’s words. Montparnasse (1945) poem by Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) Apollinaire’s poem is dated 1912. Poulenc writes in his journal of songs that it took him four years to complete “Montparnasse,” almost phrase by phrase, and that he had no regrets about the length of time it took because “it is one of my best songs.” 2 It is a sentimental and heartfelt tribute to Paris. Both Apollinaire and Poulenc loved the city and it played a continuing role in their work. “Montparnasse” is about the idyllic artistic existence lived at the edge of Paris. Poulenc wrote in his diary: “Let us imagine this Montparnasse all at once discovered by Picasso, Braque, Modigliani, Apollinaire.” 3 The mélodie has a carefree nonchalance about it; it is not sad, but thoughtful– a beautiful blend of poetic and musical lyricism. Poulenc’s vocal and harmonic textures are full of surprising harmonic details that bind this song–which he composed in fragments–together into a touching and expressive picture of Paris in the early years of the twentieth century. Bleuet (1939) poem by Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) Guillaume Apollinaire was one of Poulenc’s preferred poets. This is a wartime poem that Apollinaire penned in 1917 in Paris in convalescence after a head injury; both Apollinaire and Poulenc served in World War II. There are several word plays at work here. “Bleuet” was the nickname for French soldiers in World War I, because their uniforms were blue, like the color of a little cornflower, which is a “bleuet.” Also, “Un bleu” was the term used for a raw recruit. “Bleuet” is one of Poulenc’s most moving songs– agonizing in its emotional content yet noble in its message. It is a quiet and private moment in which a twenty-year-old boy who does not yet know all that life can be, is characterized–and addressed–by the poet in a sweetly serious speech. Poulenc wrote that for him, the key to the poem were the words, “It is five o’clock and you would know how to die.” 4 This song is simple, intimate, and poignant. Les Chemins de l’amour (1940) poem by Jean Anouilh (1910-1987) Poulenc composed this valse chantée as incidental music for Léocadia, a play by Jean Anouilh. Within the play, the song was described as a pseudo Viennese waltz, and functioned as a leitmotiv in the plot. Sung by Yvonne Printemps, one of France’s most celebrated musical theatre stars, “Les Chemins de l’amour” became a popular success. It embodies the relaxed elegance of a self-styled Viennese waltz style, encased in one of Poulenc’s haunting melodies. Banalités (1940) poems by Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) Banalités is not a cycle, but a group of five songs. The poems have no connection with each other; however, their order provides a well-constructed recital group. They may be performed separately. The work is one of Poulenc’s most popular vocal works, and deservedly so. Poulenc chose contrasting poems, placing them so that the collection begins briskly and ends with lyrical gravity. “Chanson d’Orkenise” is Poulenc’s title for the poem contained in the strange mixture of prose and poetry that Apollinaire called Onirocritique. Orkenise is a road in Autun leading to the Roman gate of the same name. The musical setting has the feeling of a popular folk song. The narrator sings of a tramp leaving the city and a carter who is entering it - one leaving his heart there, one bringing his heart to be married. There is a word in the poem with a double meaning: “grise” can be translated as “gray” or “tipsy.” The merry quality of the song opens the set with gaiety, but both Apollinaire and Poulenc offer a little food for thought. “Hôtel” is a poem that immediately represented for Poulenc a hotel room in Montparnassse, where the idle poet wants only to bask in the sun’s warmth and smoke. Pierre Bernac referred to it as “the laziest song ever written.” 5 The piano figures are fashioned of Poulenc’s luxuriant chromatic harmonies, stacked as if to cushion the lethargy of the singer. “Fagnes de Wallonie” is set in the gloomy, desolate uplands of the Ardennes with a terrain of vast heaths, twisted trees, and peat bogs, swept by winds of considerable force. Its gloomy setting complements the melancholy mood of the poet. Poulenc’s spiky musical setting is a whirlwind that sweeps from beginning to end in a turbulent texture that demands precise articulation from singer and pianist. Sandwiched between Songs 3 and 5 is a tiny bonbon, “Voyage à Paris.” It resembles a little commercial jingle about Paris–“which one day love must have created”–an invitation to the pleasures of that beautiful city, away from “the dreary countryside.” Poulenc sprinkles his quicksilver setting–a valse-musette–with indications of “amiable” and “avec charme.” The composer referred to it as having “deliciously stupid lines...Anything that concerns Paris I approach with tears in my eyes and my head full of music.” 6 The cycle concludes with “Sanglots”, one of Apollinaire’s finest poems about the universality of lost love, a theme that Poulenc matches with exquisite modulations in a setting that embodies the essence of the words. The vocal lines are eloquently lyrical. The poem is difficult to understand because of the juxtaposition of the main narrative and the interior “asides,” that in effect form a poem within a poem. 7 The song has an elegant serenity that culminates in a stunning climactic point at the words: “Est mort d’amour ou c’est tout comme/ Est mort d’amour et le voici.” The ending lines of the song sustain the profoundly calm mood, bringing Banalités to its close. La Courte Paille (1960) poems by Maurice Carême (1899-1978) The last song cycle Poulenc composed was La Courte paille, on seven poems of Belgian poet Maurice Carême. Poulenc composed the songs for soprano Denise Duval, creator of leading roles in his three operas, hoping that she would sing them to her young son. Poulenc considered the mélodies very poetic and whimsical; unfortunately, Duval disliked the music and never did sing the cycle. Poulenc asked Carême to provide an overall title for the work and requested permission to change the titles of several selected poems: the original title of “Quelle aventure!” is “Une puce et l’éléphant”; “Le Reine de cœur” is “Vitres de lune”; “Le carafon” is “La carafe et le carafon.” For the cycle’s title, Carême chose La Courte Paille (The Short Straw), referring to drawing lots by the method of a short straw. Poulenc was delighted, saying the title symbolized his little musical game exactly. He also wrote in his diary, “They must be sung tenderly; that is the surest way to touch the heart of a child.” 8 The cycle is full of child-like innocence, whimsy and imagination, with a few shadowy undertones. The first song, “Le Sommeil,” is a beautiful lullaby to a restless child who cannot go to sleep, tossing and turning in his small bed. He seems ill, crying and perspiring, but hopefully will finally surrender to slumber. In “Quelle aventure!” the child describes an absurd happening: he saw a flea driving a carriage with a small elephant in it. The story grows more bizarre but the rhythmic pace never wavers, careening to the end of the song when the child wonders how on earth he’ll ever be able to persuade “Mama” that it really happened. The verses are witty, yet the shrieks of “Mon Dieu!” are laced with a feeling of childish terror. “La Reine du cœur” is a beautiful, languid melody that paints a picture of the mysterious Queen of Hearts, beckoning to visitors from her frosty castle, where she reigns over a court of lovers, including the young dead. In “Ba, Be, Bi, Bo, Bu...,” the child is chided “on all sides” about studying. The title of the song presents the French vowels, and the text contains words that make their plural with an “x” (“pou, chou, genou, hibou”). The formidable cat of the poem’s opening lines is none other than that tricky feline Puss-in-Boots! The entire song is a little tongue-twister, an exercise in diction and accuracy. “Les anges musiciens” are none other than the school children staying home on Thursday, the half-day school holiday in France in Poulenc’s time, practicing Mozart on their harps, just like good little angel musicians should do. “Le carafon” is a crazy little story of a carafe that longs for a baby carafe (carafon) just like the giraffe at the zoo, who has a girafon. This is a ridiculous rhyming game like those that children love to play. The text is full of whimsical characters: the carafe, a giraffe, a sorcerer astride a phonograph, Merlin, and finally, a carafon. “Lune d’Avril” is another lullaby, very slow and otherworldly, which serves as an epilogue. Bound together in a musical texture that features a syncopated pedal point, it is filled with enchanted images the child wishes to dream about: a land of joy, light, and flowers where all guns are silent. The ending leaves the listener suspended in a mood of unfinished magic. La Courte Paille is the last vocal music Poulenc composed. NOTES: Quoted in Pierre Bernac, Francis Poulenc: The Man and his Songs (New York: W.W. Norton Co., 1977), 125. Francis Poulenc, Journal de mes mélodies, trans. Winifred Radford (London: Victor Gollancz, 1985), 75. Ibid., 75. Ibid., 57. Bernac, 72. Poulenc, 67. The English translation of “Sanglots” has parentheses that delineate the “asides” so that both “poems” may be seen. These may be found in Pierre Bernac’s books Francis Poulenc: The Man and his Songs, page 75, or The Interpretation of French Song, pages 284-85 Poulenc, 109. BACK TO TOP MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937) The songs of Maurice Ravel represent a transition between the mature mélodies of Debussy and the vocal literature that followed, notably the songs of Les Six. Debussy dominated the French musical scene from the turn of the century until his death in 1918. It was Ravel who was regarded as the leading musical spokesman for France following World War I. He was a skillful craftsman and his songs have a sense of evenness of rhythmic structure and flow that call for scrupulous execution. The fusion of music and text into a logical whole was of utmost importance to him. He composed elegant and subtle mélodies, using classical phrase structure. His melodic phrases often tend toward modality. His songs range from those with a folk-like style to more to those that are more speech-like, and those that encompass a melodic romanticism. He was precise in his thought and his scoring, and scrupulous in his musical execution. His music encompassed some of the fascinating influences of the post-Wagnerian era. Ravel’s musical contributions were of utmost importance to this exciting and new era in French cultural history. He made notable contributions to musical literature for the piano, the French art song, opera, chamber music, orchestral literature, and the ballet. Sur l’herbe (1907) poem by Paul Verlaine (1833-1896) This mélodie is Ravel’s only setting of Verlaine. It has often been suggested that this poem was probably inspired by Watteau’s painting L’île enchantée. There is also a reference to a famous eighteenth-century dancer, Marie-Anne Cuppi, known as (La) Camargo, who was immortalized on canvas by the painter Nicolas Lancret. The scene is an outside gathering, elegant and artificial. A number of people are there, chief among them, a licentious abbé, slightly tipsy from a bit too much Cyprian wine. He exchanges a few disconnected gallantries with the ladies–innocent conversations on the surface, but sensuous in undertone. The conversation is disconnected; we do not know exactly who is speaking. Ravel shapes very flexible vocal phrases, in keeping with the abbé’s intoxicated state, underscored with graceful piano figures that evoke an eighteenth-century dance. In a letter to Jean-Aubrey, Ravel commented on “Sur l’herbe”: “In this piece, as in the Histoires naturelles, the impression must be given that one is almost not singing. A bit of preciosity is found there which is indicated moreover by the text and the music.” 1 Noël des jouets (1905) poem by the composer This is the only solo song for which Ravel wrote the text. It describes a Christmas manger scene, replete with the Virgin and Christ-child, animals, and angels. It embodies Ravel’s delight with tiny mechanical toys and figures, and his fascination with the unspoiled world of child-like experience. His genius for text painting is displayed in the delightful mélodie. The mechanical toys come to life in the piano figures. Ravel’s charming text creates the images around and over the crèche, with not a word wasted. Ravel commented that the music is “clear and plain, like the mechanical toys of the poem.” 2 This little song foreshadows other Ravel settings of make-believe, beginning with the song cycle Histoires naturelles and culminating with his opera L’Enfant et les sortilèges. The music of menacing dog Belzébuth foreshadows the music of the Beast in the Mother Goose Suite (Ma Mère lOye). Rêves (1927) poem by Léon-Paul Fargue (1876-1947) The poetry of Léon-Paul Fargue has been described as reflecting the union of dream and memory. This mélodie has a tender lyricism within a sparse musical texture. The text is fashioned of a series of miniature images that pass by rather quickly, unrelated, like the images found in dreams. For all their differences, they have a simplicity about them that seems timeless, existing together, as the poet says, “in a vague countryside.” When the dreamer finally awakens, the little fleeting pictures “die quietly.” The piano postlude perpetuates the dream state, creating an ethereal little microcosm that continues to draw the dreamer to it. Ronsard à son âme (1924) poem by Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585) In his Abrégé de l’art poétique français (1565) Pierre de Ronsard advocated the union of poetry and music, and Renaissance composers frequently set his poems. 3 In this strikingly simple mélodie, Ronsard speaks to his soul, calling it by a series of diminutives: little soul, dainty little one, sweet little one. Ravel uses a series of parallel fifths in the piano figures to invoke a Renaissance mood. This is Ronsard’s last poem, and Ravel’s last adaptation of Renaissance poetry. Ravel’s setting recalls the elegance of his early mélodie, “D’Anne qui me jecta de la neige,” to a poem of Clément Marot. Manteau de fleurs (1903) poem by Paul Barthélemy Jeulin (1863-1936) The poem notes everything in the garden that is pink–all the flowers that will become a beautiful cloak to complement the beauty of the lady of the poem. Ravel usually had very sophisticated taste in choosing texts; this particular poem is an unusual choice. It is a simple text, somewhat banal, but Ravel’s shimmering musical texture imparts a dramatic character for each flower in the poem. The overall piano texture suggests orchestral colors. The last section of the mélodie changes course slightly, with the piano harmonies creating a slightly wistful mood. Clearly, Ravel lavished a beautiful musical setting on a rather ordinary set of words. Don Quichotte à Dulcinée (1932-33) [Medium/Low Voice edition only] poems by Paul Morand (1888-1976) This miniature cycle was Ravel’s last vocal work. His musical portrait of the noble Spanish knight, Don Quixote, is embodied in three mélodies, all based on characteristic Spanish or Basque dance rhythms: (1) the guajira, alternating 6/8 and 3/4 meter; (2) the zorzica, a Basque dance in quintuple meter; and (3) the jota, a lively triple-metered Spanish dance. “Chanson Romanesque” presents the chivalrous idealist Don Quixote, confidently promising to rearrange everything in nature to his lady Dulcinea’s liking in order to win her favor. Dulcinea is in reality a poor farm girl, but the Don’s illusion will not be shaken. He remains authoritative and focused in his quest for her love. “Chanson épique” is Quixote’s reverent prayer to Saint Michael and Saint George, beseeching them to bless his sword and his Lady. Ravel creates a beautifully sustained and prayerful vocal line over a simple accompaniment. “Chanson à boire” is a exuberant drinking song. Although the Don’s tippling has made him overly boisterous, he never oversteps the bounds of his noble bearing. His robust laughter is heard in the piano figures and even a hiccup intrudes between “lorsque j’ai” and “lorsque j’ai bu.” NOTES: Maurice Ravel, in a letter to Jean-Aubrey written in September, 1907. Quoted in Arbie Orenstein, Ravel: Man and Musician (New York: Dover Publications, 1991), 165-66. Quoted in Orenstein, 161. Orenstein, 192. BACK TO TOP ALBERT ROUSSEL (1869-1937) In 1894 Albert Roussel left a highly successful career as a naval officer to pursue music. After completing his studies, he became professor of counterpoint at the Schola Cantorum in Paris. Satie and Varèse were among his students. Roussel was one of the most prominent French composers of the interwar period. He composed almost forty mélodies as well as chamber music, ballets, and operas. His style is eclectic but highly individual. Early works show the influence of Vincent d’Indy, works dating from 1910 to 1920 exhibit influences of Debussy and Ravel, but he turned to neoclassicism in his later compositions. His love for the sea was almost a spiritual attraction and continued to influence his music throughout his career. He had a fascination for distant places; his extended tour of Southeast Asia in 1909 had a tremendous influence on his composition. “Sarabande” and “Cœur en peril” are mélodies to texts of René Chalupt, a close friend. They are found in op. 20 and 50, respectively. Roussel’s overall musical catalogue is not extensive, but its quality is of an extremely high level, and his vocal writing in particular contains some mélodies of great delicacy and style, squarely in the French tradition. For Roussel, the word held primacy in his mélodies, being both transformed by its musical setting and merging with it to create a perfect union. Commenting on the quality of Roussel’s songs, composer Charles Koechlin is quoted as saying: “The sense of austerity pervading them, stemming simply from the composer’s natural reserve, heightens their expressiveness and further embellishes them; in language and content they are absolutely personal. This collection of songs is one which will last because its essence is undying sensitivity.” 1 Sarabande (1919) from Deux mélodies, Op. 20, No. 2 poem by René Chalupt This is surely one of Roussel’s most delicate and magical creations. His writing for the piano is particularly outstanding, placing Chalupt’s poem in an overall texture of elegance and veiled sensuality. There is an Oriental delicacy in Roussel’s musical evocation of the fluttering doves, feathers drifting into a pool, and the gentle drift of chestnut blossoms onto bare flesh. Cœur en péril (1933-34) from Deux mélodies, Op. 50, No. 1 poem by René Chalupt This mélodie is much different in mood–witty and flirtatious. It is the narrative of a young man eager to convince his ladylove of his fidelity. Vocal phrases are tuneful, with a spirited piano texture of Iberian flavor. NOTES: Liner notes, Dom Angelico Surchamp, trans. Elisabeth Carroll, Roussel Mélodies, Colette Alliot-Lugaz, Mady Mesplé, Kurt Ollmann, José Van Dam; Dalton Baldwin, Patrick Gallois. EMI Digital. CDS 7492712, 1987 BACK TO TOP ERIK SATIE (1866-1925) Erik Satie wrote very few songs and most of them date from late in his life. The eccentric father figure of the French avant-garde of the twentieth century had a wildly independent spirit that found its way into his musical compositions. Throughout his life, he kept a great deal of childlike inquisitiveness and innocence. He was a curious personality of unconventional habits whose sense of the absurd and whimsy permeated both his life and his music. Quintessential Satie compositions are laconic and witty. It was Satie who named Les Nouveaux Jeunes, soon known as Les Six, and influenced the early development of the group. La Statue de bronze (1916) from Trois Mélodies poem by Léon-Paul Fargue (1876-1947) This is Satie’s first setting of the poetry of Léon-Paul Fargue, the “Bohemian poet of Paris.” Satie used Fargue’s witty verses again for Ludions. The scene is a garden game–the jeu de tonneau. A bronze frog, perched atop a cabinet with numbered chambers, grows impatient of being the target of the game where metal disks are tossed into her mouth. She dreams of being freed from her pedestal and being able to use her wide-open mouth to utter “LE MOT.” 1 She wants to be free to join the other frogs gathered near the rust-colored washhouse “blowing musical bubbles from the soapy moonlight.” But the game continues, the disks rattle through her mouth into numbered compartments and at night, insects sleep in her mouth. This mélodie can be linked musically to “La Grenouille américaine,” found in Ludions. Both songs share piano figures derived from the café-concert chanson. Ludions (1923) poems by Léon-Paul Fargue (1876-1947) Ludions is the last of Satie’s purely vocal works, composed two years before his death, and is perhaps his finest set of songs. It epitomizes his lifelong quest for musical simplicity and his irreverence for the intricate compositional techniques and overactive emotions of the Impressionists. Ludions is translated as “bottle imps” (a ludion is a little figure suspended in a hollow ball, which descends or rises in a vase filled with water when one presses down on the elastic membrane covering the mouth of the vase). The cycle is a kaleidoscopic set of musical miniatures, riddled with puns and illogical phrases. Fargue’s nonsensical verse complements Satie’s musical aesthetic, and the two friends’ personalities closely matched one another. All the mélodies in Ludions are short, like tiny cameos. They are colorful, saucy, fantastic, and defy translation. “Air du rat,” “La Grenouille américaine,” and “Chanson du chat” are right out of the music hall, and Satie uses with a mock-serious “tongue-in-cheek” treatment for “Spleen” and “Air du poète.” Je te veux (1902) poem by Henry Pacory (1873-?) The valse chantée, or sung waltz was a favorite of the café concerts, for which Satie composed a number of works. Café concerts were a form of Parisian popular entertainment in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The all-musical programs were held outside; French popular singers presented repertoire that catered to lower and middle-class audiences who came to talk, eat, drink, and observe the long informal programs, for which there was no admission charge. “Je te veux” was composed for Paulette Darty, dubbed “the Queen of the slow waltz.” It was one of her signature musical presentations for the caf’conc (café concerts), and one that Darty remained associated with throughout her career. A statuesque blonde with an ample figure, Darty was a commanding performer who kept the most boisterous of the Saturday night audiences enthralled. Lyricist Henry Pacory’s rather explicit poem was watered down at Satie’s request before the song was published. La Diva de l’Empire (1904) poem by Charles Bessat, named Numa Blès (1871-1917) The “Diva de l’Empire,” 2 one of Satie’s café-concert songs, was another work written for and performed by Paulette Darty. It was composed for a Bonnaud-Blès music-hall revue called Dévidons la Bobine (Let’s Unwind the Bobbin) that toured several seaside resort towns. The British “diva” is a femme fatale performer who enchants all who see her. The song is a syncopated cakewalk describing her seductive beauty as she struts her stuff “showing the wiggling of her legs and some pretty frilly underwear.” Interspersed at points along the way with English words: Greenaway, baby, little girl, etc. The piano provides a jaunty ragtime rhythm throughout that melds perfectly with the suggestive text. NOTES: ”Le mot” has a double meaning. It was the title of a broadsheet published by Jean Cocteau between 1914-15 and is short for “le mot de Cambronne,” a polite way of saying “merde.” Cambronne was a famous French general who replied “Merde!” when asked to surrender. In Steven Moore Whiting, Satie the Bohemian: From Cabaret to Concert Hall. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 43. Empire refers to the Empire Theatre of Varieties, Leicester Square, London. BACK TO TOP DÉODAT DE SÉVERAC (1872-1921) Déodat de Séverac, of aristocratic lineage, was born in the Languedoc region of southwest France in Saint-Félix-Caraman (now Saint-Félix Lauragais), near Toulouse. After studies in Paris with Vincent d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum, he returned home and remained there. He was a contemporary of Fauré, Debussy and Ravel, but was considered a petit maître in their company, possibly because of his return to Languedoc at the completion of his musical studies. Séverac composed piano and orchestral music, operas and songs. The culture of his native Languedoc figured prominently in his music, which is highly descriptive. He often wrote parts for regional folk music in his scores. Many considered him provincial and unsophisticated, but his music displays his skill in integrating folk elements–and often, regional folk instruments–of his native Languedoc into his works. He often referred to himself as “the peasant musician.” Influences of Debussy, Mussorgsky, and Bizet may be found in his mélodies. Although his music is rather conservative in style, Séverac fused folk elements with the musical styles of the day in a unique and individual manner. Ma poupée chérie (1914) poem by the composer Composed in 1914 (and published in 1916) for his daughter Magali and dedicated to her, this little cradlesong is probably de Séverac’s best loved and most performed mélodie. Séverac’s fresh musical setting contains just the right combination of simplicity and delightful childlike honesty. Despite the subject matter, the composer’s heartfelt poem avoids an overly cloying atmosphere. BACK TO TOP OTHER SOURCES CONSULTED: Jane Bathori, On the Interpretation of the Mélodies of Claude Debussy, transl. and with an introduction by Linda Laurent (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 1998). Pierre Bernac, Francis Poulenc: The Man and his Songs, transl. by Winifred Radford (New York: W.W. Norton, 1977). Pierre Bernac, The Interpretation of French Song, transl. by Winifred Radford(New York: W.W. Norton, 1978). Elaine Brody, Paris: The Musical Kaleidoscope 1870-1925 (New York: George Braziller, 1987). Mary Dibbern, Carol Kimball, and Patrick Choukroun, Interpreting the Songs of Jacques Leguerney (Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2001) Alan M. Gillmor, Erik Satie (New York: W.W. Norton Co., 1992). James Harding, The Ox on the Roof: Scenes from musical life in Paris in the Twenties (New York: Da Capo Press, 1986). Peter Hill, ed., The Messiaen Companion (Portland, OR: Amadeus Press, 1995). Graham Johnson, Gabriel Fauré: The Songs and their Poets (London: Ashgate Publishing Ltd. and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, 2009) Graham Johnson and Richard Stokes, A French Song Companion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000). Carol Kimball, Song: A Guide to Art Song Style and Literature (Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Corp., 2005). Carol Kimball and Richard Walters, eds., The French Song Anthology (Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Corp., 2001). Timothy LeVan, Masters of the French Art Song (Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1991). Barbara Meister, Nineteenth-Century French Song (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1980). Wilfrid Mellers, Francis Poulenc (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993). Arbie Orenstein, Ravel: Man and Musician (New York: Columbia University Press, 1975). Nancy Perloff, Art and the Everyday: Popular Entertainment in the Circle of Erik Satie(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991) Caroline Potter, Henri Dutilleux: His Life and Works (Brookfield, VT: Ashgate Publishing Co., 1997). Francis Poulenc, Moi et mes amis: Confidences recueilles par Stéphane Audel (Paris: La Palatine, 1963). Francis Poulenc, Diary of my Songs [Journal de mes mélodies] transl. by Winifred Radford (London: Victor Gollancz, Ltd., 1985) Marie-Claire Rohinsky, ed., The Singer’s Debussy (New York: Pelion Press, 1987) Roger Shattuck, The Banquet Years (New York: Vintage Books, 1968).