No 1: La boule de neige Je ne croyais pas que la neige renfermât du feu
No 2: La métempsychose Tandis que je cueillais un suave baiser des lèvres
No 3: La grenade Lesbie, lumière de mon âme
These songs create a triptych (two animated movements framing a slow one), and are based on a single motif, varied in rhythm and feeling.
What was said about Epigrammes can also be applied to the Poèmes de Pétrone. It is maybe possible to find in these latter settings more unity and a greater amplitude of vocal line. But they remained under Satie’s influence, especially so far as the process of accompaniment was concerned.
Trois Poèmes de Pétrone was my first work to be published, thanks to Maurice Ravel who had arranged an introduction to Jacques Durand. They were paid for in kind, with 50 copies given to me to distribute between my friends and relations. Their titles are the most frequently mentioned on the statements of SACEM [the French society that looks after the rights of French writers, composers and musicians]. Many only know me through these songs, which give people a somewhat limited idea of who I am !
(Louis Durey, from his Catalogue Commenté, translation by Isabelle Battioni)
from notes by Graham Johnson © 2002