Un brasier d’étoiles, is a song cycle for soprano and piano
dedicated to Marion Liotard

Poems by Alain Borne


1. Il était un

2. Le rien de mon amour

3. Je viendrai

4. Dis-moi

5. Sous la chevelure

6. J’ai pensé à toi

7. Mes mains

8. J’ai vécu




In 2008, Marion Liotard asked me to write a song cycle for soprano and piano on the theme of love … I was excited to write melodies for soprano and piano but I still had reserves on the theme. I did not want to compose sappy and corny music… I thus looked for poems that would reveal every facet of the word “Love”, in joy but in sorrow too …

It is the discovery of Alain Borne’s poems that convinced me. I discovered poems of a rare intensity. I found in Alain Borne’s poems what truly represents to me the word “Love” : joy, happiness but also pain, anguish, jealousy … The love that fills … the love that tears …

“Alain Borne expresses a symbiosis between erotic quest and desire for lovemaking. He enrolls love in the heart of humanity, love and death feed off each other and the work builds on the close territories. The woman appears as the one thought that can give life to the poet, even with the price of pain “(Philippe Biget).

I worked in a way that my music would reflect the words of Alain Borne: in the heart of the storm of feelings, that invades our emotions, that burns our eyes, that is devoured by brutality and soothed with sweetness … A cycle of 8 melodies of almost 40 minutes, where I transfer into music deep sentiment and poetic intensity.

Lionel Ginoux’s music flows from a magnificent volcano. In “Un Brasier d’étoiles” there is a voice rising from the red lava and glittering chords. The musical setting of Alain Borne’s compelling verses is distinctive, free, radiant, sometimes lunar, and always lyrical. Pure melody, a genuine diamond.” Régis Campo, July 2016

press quote


Disc release — magazine Classica n°194  july – august 2017

4 stars ****
Un Brasier d’étoiles

There is some “Midi” in this program. Henri Tomasi, of Corsican origin, was born in Marseille. Lionel Ginoux, born in Avignon, worked in Marseille with Georges Boeuf. Jennifer Michel is from Nîmes, and Marion Liotard from Martigues, a very solid talent who is here more than a accompanist, was formed at the CRR of Marseille.[…]

The melodies of Lionel Ginoux pursue a lineage that comes from Gounod and Fauré and continues until Poulenc and Guy Sacre, before to mark the pace. His language is at the same time traditional, faithful to the enlarged tone and harmonic references, but also all personal since one can not tell to what antecedent it refers. His collection Un Brasier d’étoiles is based on eight poems by Alain Borne (1915-1962), a remarkable poet-advocate of Montélimar whose ardent lyricism was engraved in strong images, a sur-realistic inspiration – he was, moreover, the admirer of Aragon. Ginoux serves the singer by his long lines that require a thorough breathing technique and real means of lyric soprano. Jennifer Michel, who leads a lyrical career, is absolutely remarkable for the quality of the timbre, the lyrical force, the length of the breath, and the art of vocalise.
Jacques Bonnaure


Zibeline — september 2017

CD. Henri Tomasi and Lionel Ginoux: beautiful melodies for soprano and piano

From the first steps, we are struck by the sensitive, deep touch of Marion Liotard on the piano, the lyrical drawing of a melody that touches the heart, the Corsican language magnified by the vibrant voice of soprano Jennifer Michel.

While we rock pentatonic redrawn charcoal of a language rooted in the 20th century, we receive a second shock, sensitive, aesthetic, at the beginning of “Il était un”, first page of Un Brasier d’étoiles by Lionel Ginoux is a new world that is crossed, the serious roll of the piano and its ample resonances, according to stuttering iterations … With Lionel Ginoux, young musician from here too, bursting with southern culture, we enter in the 21st century. He fits, certainly, in the filiation of Tomasi, by his taste of the lyricism, the contemporary poetry, the theater, his clear and accessible language … But a singular alchemy operates, at his place, between voice and keyboard, as if these two entities formed only a unitary cell intended to carry the voluptuous poetry of Alain Borne (1915-1965). There is a kind of magic in the writing of Lionel Ginoux : his music seems harmonious, consonant, while the harmonic aggregates are enriched with many friction, dissonances that could hit the ear … It is not nothing ! The eight pieces that form its melodic cycle are linked without tiring, to the liking of splendid sound atmospheres, irrigated by Marion Liotard’s luminous piano which seems to slip, secretly, into the grazing of words … “A long star-shaped body” hidden behind an ample “hair” and that the sensual voice of Jennifer Michel caresses, vibrating …
This beautiful album ends with a lascivious melody that fits in this atmosphere of flesh, desire and passion: “Je voudrais”  … Yes, we would like this record to continue its great adventure and we talk about it … over the feathers and palms … or word of mouth!
Jacques Freschel


Chronicle of Larry Ware — october 2013

I was served with many choice pieces. All somehow touched on various facets of love, both requited and unrequited: transcendent and positive love in Poulenc,  sharing in Straus, perseverance and joy in Ravel, aspiration in Gounod, caprice in Kalman, and humorous pathos in Offenbach.
Messager, Donizetti, Bizets were provided in brilliant duets where the young Jennifer Michel (soprano) and Philippe Nicolas Martin (baritone), offered the audience, as they did elsewhere throughout the evening, vocal moments of “duende”.

But, all of these pieces were classic, part of our musical collective unconscious. And, despite the impressive and at times innovative interpretations by the three gifted  artists, nothing had the lasting and controversial effect that the composer Lionel Ginoux had on me that evening.

I felt relaxed, my eyes were closed following Poulenc’s  “Les Chemins de lAmour” when the first clap of thunder descended upon me.

I was startled, shaken from my momentary torpor. My eyes flashed open and my ears went on the defensive. Whereas Poulenc had rocked my senses into languorous bliss, this music made them stand to attention.  What followed was to put it all too mildly, both exasperating and exhilarating

Up until now, I can still not put my finger on what makes Lionel Ginoux’s music so incredibly potent, so annoyingly different. He takes you to plains beyond normal comprehension and there he suspends you in a limbo of discordant inquiry. The strains emanated from the electrifying finger tips of one of the most talented pianists I have had the pleasure to listen to in a while. How this striking young lady was able to convey Lionel’s thunderous inspiration to the piano keys and on to us is and will probably remain a mystery. Yet, she “transmitted” each surging note with the precision of a sharpshooter. The echo of each note seemed to resonate throughout the hall, like the stomp of a finally polished boot, leaving one with an initial sense of foreboding.

And, then Jennifer Michel’s graced the stage with the ephemeral beauty of her inimitable voice and momentarily appeased my senses. However, she did not totally relax my initial sense of dread. On the contrary she allowed that emotion to linger marginally palpable, enveloping us in significance both intangible and portentous. Her plaintive voice had the faculty to both soothe and jolt our reason.

The music is stringent, severe, and inflexible. It is post-modern. It speaks to our fears, but not only. As in the countless facets of contemporaneous love, Ginoux evokes the trials and tribulations of life today, offering fleeting intermissions of promise.  It is honest.

Of all the remarkable compositions and flawless interpretations I experienced that evening, his work remains with me. To me, an admitted neophyte in the realm of music, what is important in any art is that it is able to brand your inner senses, that it can  alter your perceptions, that is has the capacity to take you to places that one would usually hesitate to venture.

Ginoux’s music may, by some, be shuttled to the side and termed “some kind of “jazzified classicism”. But, that would be a regrettable oversimplification. True, it is difficult to fathom, it is new, different and irritates the sensibilities of those more attuned to “classic” music. It has the clout to disturb, stimulates the senses, to revive our acumen. His work is very unsettling.

Just prior to the First World War, another young composer created a novel genre of music. When it was presented to the public in Paris, his work all but emptied the concert hall. There was an indignant uproar. The audience was used to another kind of music. The tonality, the meter, the rhythm, the stress and even the dissonance clashed with conventional standards. Paris was perturbed. Paris was scandalized. Seven years later it was a hit, the composer was famous and today it is reputed to be one of the most recorded works in classical repertoire. I refer to  Igor Stavinsky’s  disturbing and visionary «Rites of Spring”. 

The works of Lionel Ginoux will one day rank with the greatest. He has a rare gift and it deserves to be recognized. That is the contentious wish of a proclaimed neophyte.
Larry Ware


Chronicle of Thierry Vagne — On disc release Un Brasier d’étoiles — June 2017

Here is a CD that feels the South: Henri Tomasi was originally from Marseille, Lionel Ginoux studied at the Marseille Music Conservatory, notably with Régis Campo, the singer Jennifer is from Nîmes and the pianist Marion Liotard had a first accompanying award at the Marseille Music Conservatory.
It is also a CD that releases heat without play on words with the title of the work of Lionel Ginoux: that of the voice of the soprano, the play of the pianist and the Mediterranean works of Tomasi.

The melodies of Tomasi – the first collection is in Corsican language, if they are written in a traditional language are nevertheless both “simple” and heady, often close to the popular melody (and impossible not to think of « Je te veux » in « Le chant de la fée des Île ». This curiously made me think of Ginastera’s recent songs recording. Remarkable work and perfect harmony between the two artists.

I first heard this CD a little distracted before going further and was struck by the drama that emerges from the cycle of Lionel Ginoux. The composer claims to have privileged the text in its creation process and wanted to give primacy to the melody while placing it in the musical context of the XXI century. This cycle sets to music Alain Borne texts devoted to Love.
The cycle begins with a long, virtuoso and rhythmic piano introduction that will structure the piece. With its twirling or throbbing rhythms, the piano is always at the service of a limpid and gripping melodic line. Many melodies, not to speak of refrain, operate backwards that contribute to this dramatism. When the CD stops you feel as though you are leaving a dream world with regret. Clear sound recording.

What a good idea to entrust the illustration of the CD to a contemporary artist (Takeshi Jonoo) as was commonly done in the 60s, rather than the inept jackets that are seen too often.
Thierry Vagne


Chronicle of Benito Pelegrin – January 2012

It is not every day that we have the privilege of witnessing the premiere of a melodies cycle. It is nevertheless the gift offered to the public of Marseille, in the Parvis des Arts, by the young composer Lionel Ginoux, with the smiling complicity of the pianist Marion Liotard and the soprano Cynthia Ranguis, both interpreters and dedicators of Un Brasier d’étoiles. This is the title of these eight melodies by Alain Borne set to music by Ginoux. (…) This talented young man, without denying the timeless classical musical heritage, incorporates contributions from the music of our time, from his time, including jazz.
Here, his melodies cycle was compared, echoing, with great melodies of the repertoire, nothing less than Henri Duparc and Claude Debussy. (…) It was dangerous to put in parallel a new creation with giant creators of the past, at the risk of the comparison between the masters and the proclaimed disciple. But we will salute the boldness or unconsciousness, but above all the beautiful honesty of this youngster who does not hide his ancient and eternal sources.
But if he exposed himself, it was probably less than his vocal interpreter, the soprano Cynthia Ranguis, subjected to the test of great classics (…) and the no less demanding of a creation that solicited much on all her long tessitura, often in strength and high in full voice.
She gave its measure in the creation of the melodies by Ginoux, this Un Brasier d’étoiles, sombre harmonies, dissonances, sometimes jazzy treatment of the piano, violent vibrations of the bass, big broths of arpeggios, obstinate trills, on a cantabile vocal line sometimes bristling treble as the frozen ridges of a tormented sea. Apart from the melody 4, « Dis-moi …”, of an intimate delicacy, Debussy by the transparent color and the simple line of the voice and the piano dreamy, and the 6, holed with strange silences, the whole has a kind of violence that does not exclude the sensual languor sometimes but sounds funereal like the 8, with the long vocal vocal, tragic (« J’ai vécu sans amour comme vivent les pierres…”).
Thus, compared to the great predecessors claimed, this music is contemporary since today. Modern? The concept has little meaning since it is known that continuous human and artistic progress is a generous myth of the « Lumières ». Today, we admit, there are no more avant-gardes, who were always outdated: the post-modern artist takes his property where he finds it (as was always the case), but in the ironic consciousness of the vanity of pretended progress in art. Contemporary is what interests me, whether it is the caves of Lascaux to a futuristic creation of yesterday.
The pianist Marion Liotard, trained in the subtlety of the accompaniment, was like a fish in the water from the beginning to the end: Argentinian sparkling or infinite runoff, a rare delicacy of touch in the Invitation au voyage to the Un Brasier d’étoiles and its shadowy, stormy fulgurances, captain unrolling and unfurling the almost Wagnerian, orchestral waves of this Ginoux piano, conceived to his measure and to the wide range of his talent.
Benito Pelegrin


1 soprano
1 piano


duration 38′

premiere 10 july 2010
Cynthia Ranguis, soprano
Marion Liotard, piano


Jennifer Michel, soprano
Marion Liotard, piano




Il était un


Sous la chevelure


J’ai pensé à toi


last performance 8 october 2016 Limoges Opera House
Jennifer Michel, soprano
Marion Liotard, piano