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L'archet, L22

First line:
Elle avait de beaux cheveux, blonds
composer
?1882; dedicated to Henry Kunkelmann
author of text

 
The 150th anniversary of Debussy’s birth in 2012 was marked by a number of concerts, conferences and publications. Among these last were four hitherto unpublished songs edited by Denis Herlin who, on the basis of the handwriting and form of signature on the manuscripts, dates them probably to 1882. Debussy dedicated them to his friend Henry Kunkelmann, whom he probably met in César Franck’s Conservatoire organ class. Although none of them is dedicated to Mme Vasnier, it’s hard not to suppose he was thinking of her in L’archet at the lines ‘Elle avait une voix étrange, Musicale, de fée ou d’ange’, given that one of his dedicatory notes elsewhere refers to her ‘bouche de fée mélodieuse’. Harmonically, the most interesting moment comes on the line ‘Fais un archet avec mes tresses’, where we find the Debussy of the future.

from notes by Roger Nichols © 2014

Le cent cinquantième anniversaire de la naissance de Debussy en 2012 fut marqué par des concerts, des conférences et des publications. Parurent notamment quatre mélodies inédites préparées par Denis Herlin qui, d’après l’écriture et la forme de la signature du manuscrit, estime qu’elles datent certainement de 1882. Debussy les dédia à son ami Henry Kunkelmann, probablement rencontré dans la classe d’orgue de César Franck, au Conservatoire. Aucune de ces pièces n’est dédiée à Mme Vasnier, mais il est difficile de ne pas supposer qu’il pensa à elle dans L’archet, aux vers «Elle avait une voix étrange, Musicale, de fée ou d’ange», vu qu’ailleurs, dans une note dédicatoire, il évoque sa «bouche de fée mélodieuse». Harmoniquement, le moment le plus intéressant survient à «Fais un archet avec mes tresses», où point le futur Debussy.

extrait des notes rédigées par Roger Nichols © 2014

Recordings

Debussy: Songs, Vol. 3
Studio Master: CDA68016Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

Details

Track 5 on CDA68016 [3'25]

Track-specific metadata for CDA68016 track 5

Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-14-01605
Duration
3'25
Recording date
15 February 2013
Recording venue
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Debussy: Songs, Vol. 3 (CDA68016)
    Disc 1 Track 5
    Release date: October 2014
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