Hyperion Records

Danse indienne
First line:
Les bayadères
composer
1873; à Henri Cazalis
author of text
published 1875; Chants panthéiste section of L'illusion
author of text
published 1875; Chants panthéiste section of L'illusion

Recordings
'L'invitation au voyage – Mélodies from La belle époque' (CDA67523)
L'invitation au voyage – Mélodies from La belle époque
Details

Danse indienne
Here we have a full-scale Indian pièce caractéristique worthy of a grand opera like Delibes’s Lakmé. The poem appears in the Chants panthéiste section of L’illusion, a collection of poems (1875) by Jean Lahor, pseudonym of Henri Cazalis. The book is a typical fruit of L’esprit décadent in relation to many of the songs of the period. Cazalis was the poet of Duparc’s Chanson triste and Extase; as an art critic he was also responsible for giving the cabbalistic name Les Nabis to a group of post-impressionist painters. Danse indienne is dedicated to Cazalis; the date of the composition, 1873, shows that the composer must have had access to a manuscript copy of the poem, as he did to the poetry of Aicard. Although it is in duple rather than triple measure the hypnotic nature of this extended dance has something in common with Ravel’s Boléro; whereas that work ends with a forte chord, this music rises to a frenzied climax (perhaps the composer had something drug-induced in mind only to die down in the languid murmurings of the Brahmin observers.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2006
English: Richard Stokes

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