Blanche, musical tale of “la chèvre de M. Seguin”

dedicated to Jérémie Honnoré, François Castang and to Lysandre, Mathilde, Oscar, Lisa, Florian, Léonie, Jeanne, Margot, Sacha, Louise, Paulin, Lila, Sarah and the children to come…

 

Jérémie Honnoré, director of the Festival Musique à la Ferme commissioned me a children’s musical tale on the text of « La chèvre de M. Seguin » by Alphonse Daudet. He wanted me to write this new score for piano and narrator. He wanted this creation to be written for the same formation as the musical tales: “The Story of Babar” by F. Poulenc / J. de Brunhoff and “La boîte à joujoux” by C. Debussy / A. Hellé.

From the tale « La chèvre de M. Séguin » I had kept since childhood the image of a simple story, almost naive. I was dubious about how to write music on this text, how to enrich the words with my music. My music can be dark, complex, dissonant and there, I had to write music for children. It was a challenge. Simplify my ideas, make my writing less dark, less dissonant, while keeping the dramaturgy, the depth and the musical tension that are personal in my composition. I thought of short movements, contrasting ideas, a playful and pictorial writing to interest the children. But also, I sought musical depth and dramaturgy so that an audience of adults can be captivated by this musical tale.

« La chèvre de M. Séguin » is a magnificent tale, light and deep at the same time. Thanks to a rereading in adulthood, I was able to discover the philosophical dimension of the words of Alphonse Daudet who had escaped me by being younger. I wanted to leave room for the text and poetry of words. This score is written in one movement not to interrupt the story where the piano parts alone, narrator reciter alone or the moments when the piano “accompanies” the narratorr follow.

With this musical tale, I sought to intensify the meaning of words by notes, rhythm, sounds. The music melts into the text and the piano carries the voice of the narrator.


An amazing music of the composer Lionel Ginoux enhances this tale with finesse and efficiency (Serge Chausy)

 

Press quote

The two artists of the show complement each other perfectly. The storyteller of the magical stories offered to us is none other than François Castang, one of whom all the listeners of France Musique are well acquainted with the warm voice, who for five years presented his program “A portée de mots”, but also « Comme de bien entendu » and many other interventions. The one who proclaims himself “Impostor” in this field of music is accompanied here (unless it is the opposite) by the pianist Jérémie Honnoré, a native of Provence where he founded, in the middle of an authentic goat farm, a Chamber music festival entitled « Musique à la ferme ». (…)

“Blanche, conte musical de la chèvre de M. Seguin” then comes timely to recall the incredible talent of the writer Alphonse Daudet, whose dramaturgy of this beautiful “Lettre de mon moulin” keeps moving. And not only children! An astonishing music of the composer Lionel Ginoux enhances this tale with finesse and efficiency. Without over-emphasizing the adventures of the dashing Blanchette, the original harmonies and lively rhythms of this score, composed especially for the two interpreters, evoke the mini drama without redundancy nor sustained effect. The tragic death of the little goat thus intervenes without pathos or sobs. (…) Serge Chauzy (Classic Toulouse // 24 novembre 2014)

 

Musical Tales of Childhood in Rochemontès

Memories of childhood through musical tales, thus opened the new season of the Orangerie de Rochemontès.

A few weeks before Christmas, Catherine Kauffmann-Saint-Martin conceived a program for children of all ages with three tales illustrated in music, which marked our young years and especially the fluidity of the piano of Jérémie Honnoré and the art of telling Of François Castang, who was for a long time one of the great voices of France Musique. The children were at the rendezvous and for once the « têtes blanches » appear fewer.

The concert begins with a poetic intrusion into the universe of Charles Perrault with « Les Contes de ma mère l’Oye », these little wonders of Ravel, who also wrote the text. Jérémie Honnoré pictures this fantastic universe with finesse, while François Castang, a discerning storyteller, immediately catches the attention in this waltz where « la Belle au bois dormant » crosses le Petit Poucet , the little Laideronnette or la belle et la bête. The two companions complement each other perfectly, the music of the one giving a broader scope to the words of the other.

Nothing could be better suited to Jérémie Honnoré than the sad story of La chèvre de Monsieur Seguin from the « Lettres de mon moulin » by Alphonse Daudet. Indeed, a few years ago, the Provençal pianist founded the festival musique à la ferme in a goat farm, as one can imagine that of the unfortunate owner. In addition, he commissioned a score to the composer Lionel Ginoux, who not only made the dramatic atmosphere of the novel, but also the little goat’s carelessness in nature, the rustle of the wind and the movement of the leaves in the mountains, as well as the harshness of the long battle with the wolf. Impressionist music perfectly interpreted by Jérémie Honnoré. François Castang manages to keep us in breath by saying this history known since forever. He places it in his parable context for the lyrical poet Pierre Gringoire, who never wanted to enter a newspaper in order to remain free. (…) Alain Huc de Vaubert (Resmusica // 13 décembre 2014)

instrumentation

1 narrator

1 piano

details

duration 28′

premiere  17 july 2014, Jérémie Honnoré piano, François Castang narrator // Festival Musique à la Ferme

commissioned by Festival Musique à la Ferme

video


performance

last performance 17 & 18 september 2016 François Castang narrator, Jérémie Honnoré piano // Festival les Rendez-vous de Rochebonne