« Deux Poèmes de Rimbaud »
« Two Poems by Rimbaud »

Duration : 10 minutes

Circumstances :
The piece was commissioned by Jean-Pierre Caens for a concert of chamber music organized as part of his action on musical creation inside the Conservatory, the Town and the Land of Aix-en-Provence.
The concert, which took place on tuesday 1st february 2000, concerned only the teachers wishing to participate in this adventure.
In the centre, very enthusiastic about the project, was the Soprano Laure Florentin.
So the commissioned pieces were composed for a Soprano voice and some instruments, the list of which depended on how much the teachers were motivated.
Within the offered possibilities, the nomenclature in this piece was limited to four instruments which, in pairs, can imitate each other.

Nomenclature :
1 Soprano
1 Clarinet in Bb
1 tenor Saxophone
1 Marimba (covering four octaves)
1 Harp

Poems :
Two poems of Arthur Rimbaud were chosen to be set to music : « Larme » and « La rivière de Cassis ». Both of them date back to may 1992, and are listed in the complete poetic works of their author as « the last verses ».

Style :
In this music the melodies and harmonies are supported by artificial modal scales : they distinguish themselves from gregorian diatonic scales by their proper division into tones and semi-tones. Moreover they are made of small units with symmetrical connexions.
The prosody and vocal lines were a matter for great care.
The voice part is rather difficult : the voice has to be be flexible and at ease in rather high pitch levels.