Honegger’s Danse de la chèvre
(‘The Goat Dance’, 1921), dedicated to René Le Roy, shares Tailleferre’s interest in matters pastoral. A languorous, mysterious opening—improvisatory in quality and featuring the interval of the tritone, or ‘diabolus in musica’—is transformed into the lively skipping and tripping of the main goat theme (the lecherous Pan?). Composed originally for the dancer Lysana within a play by Sacha Derek entitled La Mauvaise Pensée
and first performed at the Nouveau Théâtre in Paris on 2 December 1921, this short piece shows well the flute’s attributes with varied articulations, trills and chromatic passagework (up to a top B flat). After several fluctuations of tempo, the dance slows once more, becoming distant and disintegrated, ending with a hollow, unworldly-sounding harmonic.
from notes by Deborah Mawer © 2001