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M. Ravel, Shéhérazade, n.3, L´indifférent, T. Berganza, M. Plasson

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Uploaded on Mar 15, 2010

Maurice Ravel, 1875-1937, composed Shéhérazade, three poems by Tristan Klingsor (A.J. L. Leclère) for voice and orchestra, in 1903. More than an homage to Oriental Exotism, it is a fantasy on an enigmatic and sensual world.

The third poem, L´indifférent, voluptuously floats in the ensued deception and restrained melancholy of a unconcluded meeting of the poet-composer-voice with a sexually ambiguous young stranger whose ´´eyes are soft as a girl´s``, whose ´´hips lightly sway because of his feminine and languid movements``.

Conductor Camille Chevillard when he read the score and poem anxiously stated to Ravel ´´I sincerely hope that you will have it sung by a girl``! This vocal work raises many questions. Does it reveal something about Ravel´s discrete personnal life? Does it project a real longing into a fantasised exotic world so that it gets more accepted by the composer´s self and\or milieu? How deception and melancholy is treated here, in the echo of that fin de siécle?

In respect to the last question about loss-deception-melancholy this song suggests a close off from the world. Melodically and harmonically the work finishes in the same way as it started. An oriental concept. An area, a topos of isolation and retirement is suggested where melancholy meets aesthetic pleasure. Could it be the french remedy against loss in that fin de siécle?

Teresa Berganza and Michel Plasson with his Orchestre Du Capitole de Toulouse offer us an impressionist version: suggestive and questionning. Flute, Philippe Boucly.

My photos were taken in Europe and South America.

Enjoy.

Tes yeux sont doux comme ceux d'une fille,
Jeune étranger, et la courbe fine
De ton beau visage de duvet ombragé
Est plus séduisante encore de ligne.
Ta lèvre chante sur le pas de ma porte
Une langue inconnue et charmante
Comme une musique fausse.
Entre! Et que mon vin te réconforte...
Mais non, tu passes
Et de mon seuil je te vois t'éloigner
Me faisant un dernier geste avec grâce
Et la hanche légèrement ployée
Par ta démarche féminine et lasse...

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