No 1: Le réveil de la mariée Réveille-toi, réveille-toi, perdrix mignonne
No 2: Là-bas, vers l'église
No 3: Quel galant m'est comparable?
No 4: Chanson des cueilleuses de lentisques Ô joie de mon âme
No 5: Tout gai!
The first song of the set, Chanson de la mariée, was correctly retitled by Ravel when he orchestrated it some thirty years later as Le réveil de la mariée, what might vulgarly be termed ‘The bride’s wake-up call’. The Phrygian modality of the original tune (G minor with A flat) suggested to Ravel not just the occasional A flat major chord, but a succession of five chords in which the frisson between A flat and G minor is intensified by chromatic harmonies. Là-bas, vers l’église, also on a Phrygian tune, celebrates villagers buried in the local cemetery, and the final words, ‘Du monde tous les plus braves!’, intimate that they were killed in battle. Here the spread chords evoke bells with wonderful economy. The final song, Tout gai!, is in a tonal A flat major with not an accidental in sight, while the slight variations in the second verse are just enough to preclude predictability.
from notes by Roger Nichols © 2009