Hyperion Records

Épigrammes de Théocrite, Op 13
October 1918
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'Durey: Songs' (CDA67257)
Durey: Songs
No 1: Veux-tu, au nom des Nymphes
No 2: Ces roses, humides de rosée
No 3: Daphnis à la peau blanche
No 4: Tu dors, Daphnis

Épigrammes de Théocrite, Op 13
I was seduced by Theocritus’s and Petronius’s simplicity and limpidity. Besides, I had just been introduced to ‘Socrate’ of which Satie had given us the first hearing at Jane Bathori’s and which impressed me greatly.
It is obvious that the style of ‘Socrate’ influenced my Epigrammes and Trois Poèmes de Pétrone appreciably. It seems to me, though, that there are essential differences which separate my songs from Satie’s piece. The latter is static and aims at being static since it was conceived in the monotonous rhythm of a reading. The former embraces a liberty of movement, with a melodic line far more eventful. It is rather in the writing that analogies can be found, particularly in the use of scales and progressions of fourths, the almost naked aspect of the accompaniment, and the intention to create a music simple and clear.
Epigrammes de Théocrite and Trois Poèmes de Pétrone written a month after, are, I believe, the only two examples in my catalogue showing the influence, essentially short-lived then, of the ‘bon maître’ from Arcueil [Satie]. A fleeting smile, then, but a friendly, grateful smile.

(Louis Durey, from his Catalogue Commenté, translation by Isabelle Battioni)

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2002

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