No 1: Mon pâle visage
No 2: Tu es telle qu'un fleur
These two songs are written on short poems taken from the cycle ‘Le Retour’. Their romantic turn allowed me to try a stylistic renewal. Simple and direct, the first, sombre and contained, unfolds above an inexorable E flat pedal, whereas the second, more cheerful, runs in one-go in a 6/8 rhythm.
To their credit, they paved the way to a more considerable composition, the Cantate de la Prison, which, three years later, found again this intimate and tender expression oscillating between shadow and light, making an effort to escape the former and wait for the latter.
(Louis Durey, from his Catalogue Commenté, translation by Isabelle Battioni)
from notes by Graham Johnson © 2002