The forgotten Don Quichotte: Trois chansons and the early vocal


The forgotten Don Quichotte: Trois chansons and the early vocal
University of Iowa
Iowa Research Online
Theses and Dissertations
Fall 2015
The forgotten Don Quichotte: Trois chansons and
the early vocal style of Marcel Delannoy
Steven Baker Jepson
University of Iowa
Copyright 2015 Steven Baker Jepson
This dissertation is available at Iowa Research Online:
Recommended Citation
Jepson, Steven Baker. "The forgotten Don Quichotte: Trois chansons and the early vocal style of Marcel Delannoy." DMA (Doctor of
Musical Arts) thesis, University of Iowa, 2015.
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Part of the Music Commons
Steven Baker Jepson
An essay submitted in partial
fulfillment of the requirements for the
Doctor of Musical Arts degree in the Graduate College of
The University of Iowa
December 2015
Essay Supervisor: Professor Stephen Swanson
Copyright by
All Rights Reserved
Graduate College
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa
This is to certify that the D.M.A. essay of
Steven Baker Jepson
has been approved by the Examining Committee for the
essay requirement for the Doctor of Musical Arts
degree at the December 2015 graduation.
Essay Committee:
Stephen Swanson, Essay Supervisor
John Muriello
Nathan Platte
Rosemarie Scullion
Timothy Stalter
There is a long list of people that deserve a great deal of credit for their assistance
in this project.
Many thanks to Eugene Gwozdz for transcribing the original Trois Chansons
orchestra scores (in Delannoy’s own hand!) into Finale, allowing me to listen to music
that has never been recorded in its entirety. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Cecile
Quesney, who graciously opened her research on Delannoy to me; without her help, this
essay would not have been possible. Cecile also performed research on my behalf at the
Bibliothèque nationale de France. My advising instructor and essay supervisor at The
University of Iowa, Stephen Swanson, helped me explore this subject with a keen eye (no
pun intended). I need to thank the other members of my essay committee, and especially
to Dr. Timothy Stalter, who correctly pointed out which windmills to tilt, and which
haystacks to avoid looking in for needles. Christophe Bouvet, Delannoy’s grandson, was
essential in introducing me to Cecile Quesney, and he keeps his grandfather’s music alive
with his Facebook page. Wayne Wyman was essential in bringing Trois Chansons back
to life, and he invigorates me every time we collaborate. Gino DeLuca is my go-to for
knowledge on music hall and cabaret music. Special thanks to Glendower Jones at
Classical Vocal Reprints, Susan Sondrol Jones at The University of Iowa, Marjorie
Sarthou at Salabert, Steven Tharp at the University of Missouri for help securing the
music needed for this essay, and Stephanie Kupfer at The University of Iowa for French
translation assistance. And of course, I would not have been able to do this without the
support of my many friends, real and virtual, around the globe. My love goes out to
Katie, Tim, Kelly, and Randy. Lastly, to my wife, partner, editor, confidant, and
taskmaster, Loretta – I couldn’t have done this without all you do.
Thank you all.
French composer Marcel Delannoy based his song cycle Trois Chansons on
stories from Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s novel, El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de
la Mancha, or simply Don Quijote. Although a popular composer during his lifetime and
adept in many genres, Delannoy is virtually unknown amongst modern musicians. The
purpose of this essay is to re-introduce Delannoy to contemporary American musicians,
singers, and teachers of singing. The focus is on Trois Chansons as a worthy complement
to the popular baritone recital repertoire of Jacques Ibert and Maurice Ravel, also based
on stories from the Cervantes novel. An exploration of Delannoy’s compositional style
for solo voice in the period 1928-1935 utilizes available sources, including select
piano/vocal scores. An analysis of Trois Chansons compares and contrasts the
piano/vocal and orchestra scores from a compositional, thematic, and conceptual basis,
with a comparison to the Ravel and Ibert compositions. The goal of this essay is to
promote interest in Trois Chansons as a complement to the Don Quichotte pieces of Ibert
and Ravel, and inspire further study of the composer and his other works.
LIST OF MUSICAL EXAMPLES ................................................................................ vi
PREFACE ................................................................................................................... viii
INTRODUCTION ...........................................................................................................1
Purpose of Study..........................................................................................................3
Methodology ...............................................................................................................4
CHAPTER 1: DELANNOY’S LIFE ...............................................................................7
CHAPTER 2: DELANNOY’S STYLE ......................................................................... 24
CHAPTER 3: DELANNOY’S VOCAL WORKS, 1928-1935 ...................................... 30
QUATRE REGRETS DE JOACHIM DU BELLAY (1928-1930) ................................. 33
CINQ QUATRAINS DE FRANCIS JAMMES (1934-1935) ......................................... 47
TROIS CHANSONS (1932-1934) ............................................................................... 57
“Chanson du Galérien” (“Song of the Galley Slave”) ............................................. 58
“Chanson du Galérien” Orchestral Study ............................................................... 67
“Chanson du Vigneron” (“Song of the Winemaker”) ............................................. 69
“Chanson du Vigneron” Orchestral Study .............................................................. 75
“Chanson du Matelot” (“Song of the Sailor”) ......................................................... 78
“Chanson du Matelot” Orchestral Study ................................................................. 87
WORKS OF IBERT AND RAVEL ............................................................................... 92
CONCLUSION ........................................................................................................... 109
The case for Marcel Delannoy ................................................................................. 109
The case for Trois Chansons .................................................................................... 110
The case for further study ........................................................................................ 111
APPENDIX A: Catalog of the works of Marcel Delannoy .......................................... 113
APPENDIX B: Major film scores of Delannoy ........................................................... 116
APPENDIX C: Vocal Works of Marcel Delannoy ...................................................... 117
APPENDIX D: Original French of Translated/Paraphrased Quotations ....................... 118
APPENDIX E: Permissions ........................................................................................ 122
BIBLIOGRAPHY ....................................................................................................... 125
Musical Example 1: Le Fou de la Dame, “Air de la Reine,” page 1................................ 27
Musical Example 2: “Heureux,” mm. 1-9. ..................................................................... 35
Musical Example 3: “Heureux,” mm. 10-15, 16ths boxed. ............................................... 36
Musical Example 4: “Fêtes romanesques,” mm. 13-19................................................... 38
Musical Example 5: “Fêtes romanesques,” mm. 19-25, chromatic sequences boxed. ..... 38
Musical Example 6: “Je ne chante,” mm. 1-11. .............................................................. 40
Musical Example 7: “Je ne chante,” mm. 25-36. ............................................................ 41
Musical Example 8: “Je ne chante,” mm. 43-47. ............................................................ 42
Musical Example 9: “Carnaval,” mm. 16-18 above, 33-35 below................................... 43
Musical Example 10: “Carnaval,” mm. 21-24 above, 38-42 below. ................................ 44
Musical Example 11: “Carnaval,” mm. 56-63. ............................................................... 45
Musical Example 12: “Carnaval,” mm. 48-49. ............................................................... 46
Musical Example 13: “Résurrection,” mm. 32-35. ......................................................... 48
Musical Example 14: “Résurrection,” mm. 11-15. ......................................................... 49
Musical Example 15: “La Joueuse,” mm. 1-5................................................................. 49
Musical Example 16: “La Joueuse,” mm. 8-11............................................................... 50
Musical Example 17: “La Joueuse,” mm. 28-33. ............................................................ 51
Musical Example 18: “Morphée et la Muse,” mm. 1-3. .................................................. 51
Musical Example 19: “Morphée et la Muse,” mm. 12-15. .............................................. 52
Musical Example 20: “Colombine,” mm. 15-19. ............................................................ 53
Musical Example 21: “Reprise,” mm. 1-11. ................................................................... 54
Musical Example 22: “Reprise,” mm. 43-54. ................................................................. 55
Musical Example 23: “Chanson du Galérien,” mm. 10-12, vocal line, first verse. .......... 59
Musical Example 24: “Chanson du Galérien,” mm. 1-2. ................................................ 60
Musical Example 25: “Chanson du Galérien,” mm. 2-3, vocal line. ............................... 60
Musical Example 26: “Chanson du Galérien,” mm. 4-7, piano/vocal, first verse. ........... 61
Musical Example 27: “Chanson du Galérien,” mm. 8-10. .............................................. 62
Musical Example 28: “Chanson du Galérien,” mm. 11-12, with the first beat of 13........ 63
Musical Example 29: “Chanson du Galérien,” mm. 13-16. ............................................ 64
Musical Example 30: “Chanson du Galérien,” mm. 17-19. ............................................ 65
Musical Example 31: “Chanson du Galérien,” mm. 21-25. ............................................ 66
Musical Example 32: “Chanson du Galérien,” mm. 28-30. ............................................ 66
Musical Example 33: “Chanson du Galérien” orch. score, mm. 1-2 ............................... 68
Musical Example 34: “Chanson du Galérien” orch. score, mm. 14-15............................ 68
Musical Example 35: “Chanson du Galérien” orch. score, mm. 36-38 (tbn). .................. 69
Musical Example 36: “Chanson du Vigneron,” mm. 5-8. ............................................... 71
Musical Example 37: “Chanson du Vigneron,” mm. 9-12. ............................................. 71
Musical Example 38: “Chanson du Vigneron,” mm. 13-14. ........................................... 72
Musical Example 39: “Chanson du Vigneron,” mm. 14-18. ........................................... 73
Musical Example 40: “Chanson du Vigneron,” mm. 19-20. ........................................... 73
Musical Example 41: “Chanson du Vigneron,” mm. 21-23 (incomplete m. 24). ............. 74
Musical Example 42: “Chanson du Vigneron” orch. score, mm. 5-8 above, 9-12 below. 76
Musical Example 43: “Chanson du Vigneron” orch. score (partial), mm. 13-14. ............ 77
Musical Example 44: “Chanson du Matelot,” mm. 1-4................................................... 82
Musical Example 45: “Chanson du Matelot,” mm. 5-8................................................... 83
Musical Example 46: “Chanson du Matelot,” mm. 9-11................................................. 83
Musical Example 47: “Chanson du Matelot,” mm. 17-20............................................... 84
Musical Example 48: “Chanson du Matelot,” mm. 24-25, ‘rag’ feature boxed. .............. 85
Musical Example 49: “Chanson du Matelot,” mm. 30-33, piano. ................................... 85
Musical Example 50: “Chanson du Matelot,” mm. 44-47............................................... 86
Musical Example 51: “Chanson du Matelot,” mm. 60-63............................................... 87
Musical Example 52: “Chanson du Matelot” orch. score, violin, mm. 1-2. ..................... 88
Musical Example 53: “Chanson du Matelot” orch. score, pno/vln/vla, mm. 29-31. ........ 89
Musical Example 54: “Chanson du Matelot” orch. score, mm. 93-96. , .......................... 89
Musical Example 55: “Chanson du Matelot” orch. score, mm. 145-148. ........................ 90
Musical Example 56: “Chanson romanesque,” mm. 1-4. ................................................ 95
Musical Example 57: “Chanson romanesque,” mm 45-48. ............................................. 96
Musical Example 58: “Chanson à Dulcinée,” mm. 1-9. .................................................. 97
Musical Example 59: “Chanson à Dulcinée,” mm. 31-36. .............................................. 98
Musical Example 60: “Chanson épique,” mm. 1-3. ........................................................ 99
Musical Example 61: “Chanson épique,” mm. 20-21, with fermatas added. ................. 100
Musical Example 62: “Chanson du départ,” mm. 1-11. ................................................ 101
Musical Example 63: “Chanson à boire,” mm. 1-6. ...................................................... 103
Musical Example 64: “Chanson du Duc,” mm. 1-12. ................................................... 105
Musical Example 65: “Chanson de la mort de Don Quichotte,” mm. 1-9. .................... 106
This subject was born of a curiosity. Earlier in my career as a voice instructor and
concert performer, I became enamored with the Don Quichotte cycles of Jacques Ibert
and Maurice Ravel, and the story behind the music chosen for the G.W. Pabst film on
Don Quixote. I enjoyed reading the Cervantes classic, and the film with Russian operatic
bass Feodor Chaliapin as the lead was a fascinating look at the fictional character. I was
able to incorporate what I read and saw into my portrayal of the man and his crazed
character in a successful production of Man of La Mancha in 2009. While preparing for
my 2013 D.M.A. lecture recital at The University of Iowa, Vocal Music based on the
works of Cervantes, I wanted to include as much as I could on the music surrounding the
Pabst film. Research continually led me to the story of the five composers reportedly
contracted en masse to compose for Chaliapin. Two cycles resulted, those of Ibert and
Ravel. Of the other three composers, Darius Milhaud and Manuel de Falla are well
known, but they produced nothing that would connect them to the film. That left me with
Marcel Delannoy, an unknown composer of dubious stature. Or so I thought.
The more I delved into his life and oeuvre, the more I found that Marcel Delannoy
does hold a significant place in the history of French music of the twentieth century.
Through my research, I realized that finding the elusive ‘needle in the haystack’
confirming Delannoy’s involvement in the Pabst film would not be easy. Instead, I
recognized that delving into Delannoy’s vocal music during the period of 1928 to 1935
would be very worthwhile of study; his popularity as a composer was beginning, and the
production of the film occurred during this time. My hope is that this essay shines a light
on this forgotten composer, and results in more performances of his works.
Many composers have written vocal music based on the Miguel de Cervantes
Saavedra (1547-1616) classic El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha, or simply
Don Quijote.1 The first part of the novel was published in 1610, the second in 1615.2 Two
of the better known examples, Chansons de Don Quichotte by Jacques Ibert (1890-1962)
and Don Quichotte à Dulcinée by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), have become part of the
standard recital repertoire for the baritone voice. Although both composers submitted
compositions for the 1933 G.W. Pabst film, The Adventures of Don Quixote, the film
features only Ibert’s music. 3
In 1934, Éditions Salabert (currently Durand-Salabert-Eschig/Universal Music
Publishing Classical, U.S. distributor Boosey & Hawkes) published Trois Chansons by
Marcel Delannoy (1898-1962), three pieces also based on events in the Cervantes novel. 4
Twentieth century writer Jacques Chabannes wrote the text for “Chanson du Vigneron.”
The text for “Chanson du Matelot” was written by Marcel Belvianes and Georges
Andrés-Cuel, also twentieth century writers. According to the piano/vocal score, the third
Better-known composers who have written vocal works based on the Cervantes classic
include Henry Purcell, Georg Phillip Telemann, Jules Massenet, and Joaquín Rodrigo. This essay
uses the Spanish spelling of the novel when referencing the novel and its main character. Mention
of the Pabst film will use the common English Quixote. The French spelling is Quichotte.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha. Part
One (1605) and Part Two (1615). Available online through (First accessed 8 July 2010).
The Adventures of Don Quixote. G. W. Pabst, Director. Paris and London, Webster and
Vandor Films, 1933. Available through VAI Video (First accessed 15 October 2011).
Marcel Delannoy, Trois Chansons. Piano/Vocal Score. Paris: Éditions Salabert
(Collection Maurice Senart), 1934.
piece, “Chanson du Galérien,” utilizes an “anonymous text of the 16th Century.”5 The
song text is very similar in detail to the stories told by the galley slaves in Chapter 22 of
Cervantes’ Don Quijote, Part One,6 and it is possible that this “anonymous text” is a
paraphrase of Cervantes’ chapter. A depiction of the story also occurs in the Pabst film.
Although Delannoy was a well-known composer during his lifetime, the majority of his
extensive oeuvre lingers in near obscurity today. Outside of Salabert, the only copies of
the piano/vocal score for Trois Chansons are at the Bibliothèque nationale de France in
Paris (BnF), the Juilliard School library in New York, and the University of Alberta,
Canada. The orchestral score is available for rental through Salabert, although there have
been no rentals since the mid-1930s.7
Marcel Delannoy’s body of work consists of four operas, one oratorio, seven
ballets, three opera-ballets, ten instrumental works, eighteen symphonic works, forty-six
solo vocal works, four choral works, and twenty-two film and television scores.8 He
wrote for a number of music journals, 9 but most musicologists remember Delannoy for
Delannoy, Trois Chansons. Piano/Vocal Score, 1934.
Cervantes, Don Quijote. Part One, Chapter 22.
Marjorie Sarthou, Department Head – Hire Department, Universal Music
(Salabert/Durand/Eschig), Email correspondence with author, 12 March 2014.
Claude Chamfray, “Marcel Delannoy.” Le Courrier Musical de France 1-2 (JanuaryJune). Paris: Association pour la diffusion de la pensée française 1963, 65-66. A listing of his
film and television work exists on the IMDb (www., and a more extensive listing of
his works can be found in Appendix A. A complete list of the vocal works of Marcel Delannoy is
included in Appendix C.
Aujourd’hui, Beaux-Arts, Cahiers franco-allemands, Deutsch-französische Monatshefte,
Candide, Collaboration, Groupement des énergies françaises pour l'unité continentale, Comoedia,
Contrepoints, Esprit, Excelsior, Images de France, Je suis partout, L’Action française, La Gerbe,
La Page musicale, La Revue française de Prague, La Revue musicale, L’Art musical populaire,
L’Écho de Paris, Les Cahiers Boëllmann-Gigout, Le Cri du peuple,, Le Matin, Le Nouveau
Journal (Bruxelles), Les Lettres françaises, Les Nouvelles Littéraires, Les Ondes, Le Temps,
his scathing review of Olivier Messiaen’s (1908-1992) Quartet for the End of Time, in
Les Nouveaux Temps.10 He wrote a biography of fellow composer, mentor, and friend
Arthur Honegger.11 Delannoy also has a possible connection to the Pabst film; several
sources mention him as one of five composers commissioned to write material for the
film’s star, famed Russian operatic bass Feodor Chaliapin (1873-1938).12
Purpose of Study
The vocal work of Marcel Delannoy languishes in near obscurity in the United
States, with rare performances worldwide. However, his compositions show another facet
of the rich heritage of French mélodie during the twentieth century, evidencing a
distinctly different style than that of his contemporaries. An examination of selected
works composed between 1928 and 1935 may further interest in performing these and
other works by Delannoy.
L’Illustration, L’Information musicale, Les Nouveaux Temps, L’OEuvre, Musiciens
d’aujourd’hui, Paris-Soir, Polyphonie, Pour la victoire, « Journal français d'Amérique », Pariser
Zeitung, Paris-Midi, Paris-Soir, Vedettes, Völkischer Beobachter (Wiener Ausgabe), Wiener
Figaro, Mitteilungen der Wiener akademischen Mozartgemeinde. Cécile Quesney, Compositeurs
français à l’heure allemande (1940-1944): Le cas de Marcel Delannoy. Doctoral thesis,
Université de Montréal/l’Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2013, 354-5 (First accessed 12 November
Marcel Delannoy, “Depuis le mysticisme jusqu’au sport,” Les nouveaux temps (13 July
1941): 2. From Rebecca Rischin, For the End of Time: The Story of the Messiaen Quartet. Ithaca
NY: Cornell University Press, 2003, 82-83.
Marcel Delannoy, Honegger. Genéve/Paris: Editions Slatkine, 1986.
This list continually appears online, most notably in the IMDb
(, Wikipedia
(, and in an online article on Delannoy by Dr.
David Wright (, First accessed 14
September 2013). The mention of five composers for this project also appears in several
biographies on Ravel: Benjamin Irvy, Maurice Ravel: a Life. New York: Welcome Rain
Publishing, 2000, 170; Roland-Manuel, Maurice Ravel. London: Dennis Dobson Ltd, 1947, 104;
and Victor I. Serhoff, Maurice Ravel. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1953, 264.
Research on Delannoy is difficult in the United States due to limited resources.
Among these resources, virtually all of which were written during his lifetime, are a small
biographical booklet by critic André Boll (1896-1983),13 a chapter in the book L’écran
des musiciens, 14 and articles in La Revue musicale, a French music journal published
from 1920 to 1940.15 Archival material on Delannoy consisting of music, manuscripts
and correspondence is available through the Bibliothèque nationale de France. A
Facebook page devoted to Delannoy has existed since 2010, administered by Delannoy’s
grandson, Christophe Bouvet.16 Recordings of his works are scarce, and are chiefly of his
ballets, operas, and film scores. Research suggests that a complete recording of Trois
Chansons does not exist.17
Marcel Delannoy lived through two World Wars and found success in many
musical genres of his time. Twentieth century critics and composers alike considered him
André Boll, Marcel Delannoy. Paris: Ventadour (Collection “Musiciens
D’Aujourd’hui”), 1957. Boll was a costume designer, architect, and decorator for opera, ballet
and theater in Paris. He also was an art critic. With his brother, Michael, he developed a
movement of opinion based on intellectual elitism, science, and personality education. “Boll,
André,” Gallica entry, Bibliothèque nationale de France. (First accessed 21 June 2015)
Jose Buyr, “Marcel Delannoy.” L’écran des musiciens. Paris: Des Cahiers de France,
1930, 74-79.
René Dumesnil, "Marcel Delannoy,” La Revue musicale, 127 (June 1932), 32-43, and
André Boll, “Marcel Delannoy, musicien et poète,” La Revue musicale 209 (March 1949), 22-29.
“Marcel Delannoy.” Facebook, (First
accessed 17 May 2014).
Marjorie Sarthou, Department Head – Hire Department, Universal Music
(Salabert/Durand/Eschig), E-mail conversation with the author, 23 February 2014. A 78 recording
of Chanson du Galérien and Chanson du Matelot has been found at the Bibliothèque nationale de
France, although it is only available for listening there. There is no evidence of other recordings.
one of the most successful and important French composers of his generation. 18 Yet his
star diminished quickly after his death, and he is now virtually unknown. Why? Before
answering this question, one must look at the life of the man for insights. Material on the
life and style of Marcel Delannoy comes from a number of sources, but primarily from
the following, listed in order of importance:
Cécile Quesney’s 2014 thesis on Delannoy’s life during the German occupation
of Paris during World War II.19 This 338-page thesis concentrates on Delannoy’s
life and the political turmoil during the Occupation, but does cover his life and
commentary concerning his compositional style.
Archives on his life from the Bibliothèque nationale de France. 20 This material
was found through exploration of the Quesney thesis. Whenever possible, the
archives were researched through the BnF catalog; either online or through
researchers in Paris contracted by the author.
The André Boll ‘biography’ on Delannoy (1957). This 57-page booklet was part
of the collection “Musiciens D’Aujourd’hui,” which was published by Ventadour
from 1957-1959. Nine composers were featured; among them Oliver Messiaen,
Florent Schmitt, Georges Auric, and Jacques Ibert. The biography reads more like
a conversation between Boll and Delannoy, but does discuss his compositional
style, his opinions on current musical trends, and his life.
Delannoy’s biography on his friend and mentor, Arthur Honegger (1953).
Although this is a biography on another composer, Delannoy used passages from
his own journals to discuss experiences that were important to both composers,
and it provides insights to Delannoy’s own life and opinions.
Boll’s article on Delannoy in La Revue musicale (1949). Much of this material is
also found in the Ventadour biography, but it does focus more on his work before
Examples of criticism are located in Chapter I (Life) and II (Style).
Cécile Quesney, Compositeurs français à l’heure allemande (1940-1944): Le cas de
Marcel Delannoy. Doctoral thesis, Université de Montréal/l’Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2013
(First accessed 12 November 2014).
References from the Bibliothèque nationale de France not available through other
sources will be cited as being from Quesney, Le cas de Marcel Delannoy.
René Dumesnil’s article in La Revue musicale (1932) is a 13-page article
exploring Delannoy’s works from 1927 to 1932, including opera, piano, and vocal
Delannoy’s life is explored, with emphasis on his musical life and events that
shaped him as a composer. One aspect of Delannoy’s life that will be briefly explored is
how his merging of folk styles and tunes with more elite forms (mélodie and opera) was
championed by French political organizations, in particular, the Left. His style is defined,
with emphasis on his vocal style and how it compares to that of three of his
contemporaries. Then, two available song cycles that bookend Trois Chansons are
presented as a comparison of how his style matured during this formative period of his
life. Trois Chansons is explored primarily from a textual basis, showing how Delannoy
married music to text, with harmonic and rhythmic features discussed when they show
unique properties. Finally, a comparison of Trois Chansons is made to that of the betterknown Don Quichotte cycles of Ibert and Ravel.
Marcel Delannoy was born on 9 July 1898 in La Ferté-Alais, a small village 32
miles south of Paris on the edge of the Essonne river. From an early age he worried about
self-expression, experimenting first with colors, and then with words. At age ten he began
taking piano, finally realizing that sounds would best express his strong feelings. At
twelve he attended a boarding school, the collège d’Étampes, where he enjoyed Latin but
abhorred mathematics, considering it a punishment.21
His father was a chief engineer, which necessitated the family’s move to Saint
Germain en Laye, approximately 12 miles from the center of Paris and now one of the
western suburbs of the city. Delannoy found this liberating, as he could now attend day
school. This allowed him to enjoy not only bicycling through the forest, but also the
company of his sister, Licette. The siblings shared a love of music, and Licette would
later become the first interpreter of his work.22
In 1914, at the beginning of World War I, Delannoy donned the blueberry-colored
uniform of the French army as a teenage conscript.23 The “lugubrious symphony of war
only exacerbated the giddiness of adolescence.” 24 During his service, he was able to
attend a workshop at the School of Fine Arts for Architecture. He had no enthusiasm for
From a manuscript of Delannoy’s dated 24 December 1949, and a letter to Vladimir
Fedorof, dated 1 March 1950. BnF-Mus, LA-Delannoy Marcel-1 found in Quesney, Le cas de
Marcel Delannoy, 101. In addition, portions are in Boll, Marcel Delannoy, 12.
Because of their bright blue uniforms, French soldiers during World War I called each
other ‘Blueberries.’
Boll, Marcel Delannoy, 12.
this, as the music inside him was paramount. On leave in early 1917, Delannoy began to
write down improvisations, dreaming of a grand symphony inspired by the contrast of
spring and war. Returning to the front as a gunner in April of 1917, he met another
‘Blueberry,’ composer Emmanuel Bondeville (1898-1987),25 who introduced him to
impressionist music on a damaged piano in a bombed village. During a short leave,
Delannoy took the entrance exam to the School of Fine Arts for Architecture, but music
still called to him. While writing themes in a shot-book during the Battle of Mount
Kemmel, Delannoy decided to devote himself solely to music. 26
After the war, in order to make a living, Delannoy took a position at an
architectural firm doing drawings and paintings. However, the creative inspiration he
found amongst the horrors of the battlefield finally won out, and he began to compose in
earnest at the age of 19. A chapter devoted to Delannoy in French Music after Debussy
by Paul Landormy restates Delannoy’s then current situation:
At first he wasn’t thinking at all about music, and no one intended it for
him. His father was an engineer. Marcel Delannoy first wanted to be an
architect: he was educated at the collège d’Étampes, and then at Saint Germain-en-Laye. While at those studies, he learned piano. Forgetting his
first decision, he wants now to be a painter. War arrives and, in 1917,
makes of Marcel Delannoy a gunner. And all of a sudden the music takes
him - takes him wholly. He will be a musician.27
Emmanuel Bondeville was a French composer and recipient of the Croix de Guerre. He
held positions at the Monte Carlo Opera, the Opéra-Comique, and the Paris Opéra. “Emmanuel
Bondeville,” Grove Music Online. (First accessed 23 December 2014.)
Boll, Marcel Delannoy, 12.
Paul Landormy, La musique française après Debussy (French music after Debussy).
Paris: Gallimard, 1934, 310. Also René Dumesnil, "Marcel Delannoy,” La Revue musicale, 127
(June 1932), 32.
In 1918, Delannoy married soprano and pianist Lisette Claveau, who introduced
him to compositional harmonic rules. Before then, Delannoy had a rudimentary idea of
harmony, learned through his piano studies. Although his wife encouraged his music
studies, the stress of working a full time job while pursuing a musical career in post-war
France became too great, and they divorced in 1923.28
Although Delannoy did not have a music school education, he studied privately
with two professors at the Conservatoire – Jean Gallon for harmony and André Gédalge
for fugue. Gallon (1878-1959) was one of the first instructors at the Conservatoire to
include the works of Fauré, Debussy, and Ravel in his courses, 29 and Gédalge (18561926) had the reputation of being a generous professor and a quality educator.30 Through
Gallon and Gédalge, Delannoy studied the writings of Napoléon Henri Reber (18071880) and Théodore Dubois (1837-1924), whose treatises on harmony were the basics of
academic training for composers at the Conservatoire. Therefore, although his studies did
not include the rigors and scrutiny of the Conservatoire, two of the Conservatoire’s best
instructors aided him in his early musical education.31
From a manuscript of Delannoy, dated 24 December 1949, and a letter to Vladimir
Fedorof, dated 1 March 1950. BnF-Mus, LA-Delannoy Marcel-1, found in Quesney, Le cas de
Marcel Delannoy, 102-103.
Alain Louvier, “Gallon, Jean.” Grove Music Online, gallon
%2C+jean&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (First accessed 19 October 2014).
Alain Louvier, “Gédalge, André.” Grove Music Online,
music/10809?q=gedalge%2C+andre&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (First accessed 19
October 2014).
Quesney, Le cas de Marcel Delannoy, 102-103.
Delannoy’s introduction in 1923 to French/Swiss composer Arthur Honegger
(1892-1955) would be one of the most important in the young composer’s life. 32
Although a student at the Conservatoire, by 1916 Honegger’s compositions found favor
in the Parisian musical scene. He quickly became close friends with Delannoy, their
friendship growing out of a mutual respect for each other’s talent. In Honegger, Delannoy
found a composer who would help shape his career early on, not only by assisting him
with his writing but also by introducing him to influential composers and others in Paris.
Their relationship was not of a master and his pupil, as Delannoy himself stated in his
biography on Honegger, but more of a sharing of ideas between two friends. Honegger
saw in Delannoy’s works a compositional style quite different from his own. Their
musical relationship was that of equals, which Delannoy appreciated and respected. 33 In
Honegger’s biography, Delannoy used material from his own journals to supplement the
more established composer’s history, and added his personal memories:
Finally, for the first time, a true musician listens to me. I think I interested
him... I go back Monday night to discuss with him lessons in composition
and orchestration. I fear what he may ask me!... The price of lessons was
never to be mentioned again. The fourth visit was like receiving the advice
of an elder. In the fifth, there was free discussion between two
Honegger introduced Delannoy to other composers and musicologists. Through
composer and critic Roland-Manuel (1891-1966), Delannoy met Maurice Ravel, who was
at the height of his career. He also met musicologist André Coeuroy (1891-1976),
physician, literary critic, and musicologist René Dumesnil (1879-1967), composer and
Dumesnil, "Marcel Delannoy,” La Revue musicale, 127, June 1932, 32.
Delannoy, Honegger, 56.
music critic Pierre-Octave Ferroud (1900-1936), composer Maurice Jaubert (19001940),35 and composer and virtuoso pianist Alexandre Tansman (1897-1986). Thus,
Honegger provided Delannoy with access to the creators of avant-garde music.36
Honegger also banded together a group of musicians, “Les Caméléons,”
comprised of himself, Delannoy, Jaubert, Ferroud, and composer and film director
Jacques Brillouin (1892-1971). The group’s name came from a run-down Montparnasse
bistro where they first met.37 This group, according to Delannoy, was as diverse as Les
Six or the l’École d’Arcueil. 38 However, Les Caméléons was short lived, as members
went in different musical directions. 39
One of the most vocal supporters of Delannoy was Charles Koechlin (1867-1950),
a former student of Massenet, Gédalge and Fauré, and the figurehead of the musical
avant-garde in the 1910s. At the time when Koechlin met Delannoy, Paris knew Koechlin
as a composer, educator, and conference organizer. He was also a music critic and
musicologist.40 Koechlin was an ardent supporter of contemporary music and its
composers, including Darius Milhaud (1892-1974), Francis Poulenc (1899-1963), and
Jaubert, known mostly for incidental film music, was also the music director of the
Pathé-Nathan Studios from 1931 to 1935, where he conducted film music.
Delannoy, Honegger, 56.
Delannoy, Honegger, 58.
The l’École d’Arcueil was a group of ten composers formed in 1923, when Milhaud
presented them to Eric Satie (1866-1925), who suggested they succeed Les Six. Among the
original four was Roger Désormière (1898-1963), who would become a conductor, and later a
collaborator with Delannoy. The loose group eschewed academic and Romantic music, especially
Wagner. “l’École d’Arcueil,” Encyclopedie (First accessed 14 December 2014.)
Delannoy, Honegger, 58-59.
Philippe Cathé, Sylvie Douche, Michel Duchesneau and Marie-Hélène Benoit-Otis,
Eds. Charles Koechlin: Compositeur et humaniste. Paris: Vrin, 2010.
Delannoy. Correspondence shows that Delannoy benefited from the support of Koechlin
without formally being his pupil.41
Honegger, in his dual capacity as guide and ‘Godfather,’42 opened the door of the
Parisian music world to Delannoy. Up to this point in his career, Delannoy’s
compositions had been small piano pieces and vocal works. Honegger’s 1921 oratorio Le
Roi David, combined musical styles from Gregorian chant to jazz and proved to be
influential to Delannoy. To honor Honegger, Delannoy decided to work on a larger scale.
In 1923, he began to compose his first opera, Le Poirier de Misère, which premiered at
the Opéra-Comique in Paris in 1927.43 This mystery in three acts, with a libretto by
writers Jean Limozin (d. 1936) and André de la Tourrasse (1904-?),44 was presented in
the spring of 1925 to Louis Masson, Director of the Trianon Lyrique and future Director
of the Opéra-Comique. The libretto is from an ancient legend, possibly of Flemish origin,
in a collection entitled “Tales of the Beer Drinker” (author unknown). A vagabond, who
reveals himself as Saint Denys, visits Misery. Saint Denys promises to keep Death
entrapped in a tree controlled by Misery. However, the people in the world become old
and stale, and they plead to Misery to free Death. Misery relents, and with the natural
renewal of death, spring and love return.45 With the assistance of Honegger, composer
In the December 1931 letters of Delannoy to Koechlin, and the response of Koechlin
on 18 January 1931. Quesney, Le cas de Marcel Delannoy, 103.
Delannoy, Honegger, 60.
Delannoy, Honegger, 59.
Limozin and Tourrasse wrote librettos for other composers such as Claude Arrieu
(1903-1990) and Jacques Ibert. The BnF website does not list their complete birth and death
Roland-Manuel, “Music Week: Le Poirier de Misère,” Le Menèstrel, February 1927.
Louis Aubert (1877-1968), and Roland-Manuel, 46 Delannoy presented the first two acts
to Masson; Honegger and Roland-Manuel turned pages and Delannoy played and sang.
Assisting him at the piano was composer Germaine Tailleferre (1892-1983)47 and
Delannoy’s sister, Licette.48 Masson was so impressed with the work that he guaranteed
its premiere at the Opéra-Comique in 1927, with the inclusion of a third act.49
The premiere of Le Poirier de Misère at the Opéra-Comique on 21 February 1927
was polarizing on both musical and political fronts. Much of the musical criticism
concentrated on Delannoy’s naïveté as a young composer without formal training from
the Conservatoire. Many found freshness in the straight-forward combination of popular
music and the current opéra-comique formulae, while others considered it flying in the
face of current academic and harmonic rules. René Dumesnil, in his book La musique en
France entre les deux guerres (Music in France between the Two Wars), describes the
premiere as having the effect of a bomb going off in the middle of the theater. 50
Musicologist Henry Prunières (1861-1942),51 writing for the New York Times, described
Boll, Marcel Delannoy, 20.
The only female member of Les Six.
Licette was the first performer of Le Poirier de Misère and died tragically in 1936 off
the coast of Brittany with her young son and husband, Jean Limozin, the co-librettist of Le
Poirier de Misère and Le Fou de la Dame with Jean Tourrasse. Boll, Marcel Delannoy, 23. Also
an internet conversation with Christophe Bouvet, beginning 17 May 2014.
Boll, Marcel Delannoy, 20.
René Dumesnil, La musique en France entre les deux guerres, 1919-1939. Genève:
Éditions du Milieu du monde, 1946, 200.
Prunières was the founder of the monthly musical periodical La Revue musicale.
Patricia Howard, “Henry Prunières,” Grove Music Online.
A8res&search =quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (First accessed 23 December 2014).
Le Poirier as a work full of life and a certain quality, praising the choruses, popular
themes and the melodic gift of Delannoy, while at the same time pointing out hesitant
instrumentation and instrumental writing weaknesses that he deemed as too confused. 52
This first attempt at orchestration showed his lack of training in this skill, evident in his
unusual choice of instrumentation, notably percussion. Music critic Jean Marnold (18591935) noted in particular the audacity of harmony, where he "instinctively [uses] the
highest degrees of natural resonance, especially the harmonic 13th, 17th, 19th,” which
made Delannoy’s score "a kind of miracle of genial intuition.” 53 In l'action française, the
reviewer said that even if the piece contained good things, especially the frequent use of
choruses, “…Delannoy’s music is filled with false notes that do not seem to be obviously
needed, and which add nothing to its expressive strength.” 54 Composer and critic Raoul
Brunel (1864-1944), in L’Oeuvre, was even more caustic, stating Delannoy’s music
…of a rare inexperience and filled with easy tricks, aggressive sonorities,
which beginners imagine is all that is needed to assert themselves. Heavy
repeated veneers serve him as rhythm. The melodic lines, when present,
are graceless and ruthlessly accompanied outside their natural tone. The
orchestra is heavy, with a constant abuse of wood and brass. He rarely
uses the delicious sound of the strings. He abuses timbres voyants, celesta,
tam-tam, etc., whose usage demands more discretion than he imagines. It
is brutal and impetuous. I would allow this impetuosity if it was the mark
Henry Prunières, "Poirier of misery," New York Times, 13 April, 1927, 15. Fund
Montpensier, BnF-Mus, From Quesney, Le cas de Marcel Delannoy, 114.
Raoul Brunel, L'Oeuvre, 22 February 1927, Untitled, Fund Montpensier, BnF-Mus
press clipping. From Quesney, Le cas de Marcel Delannoy, 114.
"Musical Chronicle," l’action française, 10 March 1927, (no author given). Fund
Montpensier, BnF-Mus press clipping. From Quesney, Le cas de Marcel Delannoy, 113.
of a boundless nature, but this is just an artificial movement, intended to
hide the lack of really musical ideas. 55
Conversely, in the journal Candide, critic Émile Vuillermoz (1878-1960) had
nothing but praise for Delannoy while at the same time decrying current trends:
Without aggressive bias, carefree snobbery and without the pretention to
destroy all music that had preceded him, Marcel Delannoy begins to
defend this concept of a simpler, more naked, more uncouth and more
elementary technique than the dazzling sound extravaganza of the
Impressionists. Using pure timbre and both brittle and naive polyphony
which does wonders for this medieval subject, dating back to the very
sources of our old music by using the modal alterations of our old folk
songs using simple and charmingly awkward rhythms, this young
composer is really following a parallel path to the painters and writers who
did not want to repeat Claude Monet or Maeterlinck. Finally, we see some
signs of this famous renewal that had been announced a bit too early by
misinformed messengers. 56
Marnold, reminding his readers of a previous statement, wrote, "…you should
remember the name of Mr. Marcel Delannoy. One can hope without fear that he will
become one of our great musicians. I wrote the same thing, in 1903, about Maurice
Ravel.”57 Finally, Ravel himself, to whom Delannoy had dedicated the score in 1926, 58
Raoul Brunel, L'Oeuvre, 22 February 1927, Untitled, Fund Montpensier, BnF-Mus
press clipping. From Quesney, Le cas de Marcel Delannoy, 114.
Emile Vuillermoz, "Two generations" (section is also devoted to a work by Gabriel
Pierné), Candide, 24 February 1927, Fund Montpensier, BnF - Mus. From Quesney, Le cas de
Marcel Delannoy, 115.
Jean Marnold cited in Boll, Marcel Delannoy, 32. In 1905, Marnold wrote an article
entitled “Le scandale du Prix de Rome,” where he publically questioned why Ravel, already a
noted composer, had been eliminated from the competition for the Prix de Rome. Ravel and
Marnold afterwards became good friends. “Jean Marnold,” (First accessed 14 July 2015).
The dedication to Maurice Ravel reads "for Maurice Ravel, from another very
sympathetically respectful and admiring ‘youngster.’ Paris, July 1926. Marcel Delannoy. N.B.
This score still has some bad mistakes and oversights," BnF-Mus, 4-VM5-325. From Quesney, Le
cas de Marcel Delannoy, 115. It is interesting to note that the original copy of Le Poirier has a
dedication to Honegger.
took up the defense of the young man, comparing some of the criticism to that which
Ravel suffered from the pen of music critic Pierre Lalo (1866-1943):
I heard Le Poirier de Misère, the first work of an exceptionally gifted
composer, whose personality is dazzling. How can one find good faith in a
score that is not blameless, far from it, but in which we see brilliant verve
and ingenuous freshness, despite its flaws, which stem from the great
youth of the author, a ‘pharmacy of sound substances’ and ‘a little oldfashioned art’ (said P. Lalo)!59
Along with criticism of Delannoy’s inexperience, the plot created a stir on the
political front, partially due to the length of time it took to compose the work. Masson
commissioned the opera during the administration of the Cartel des Gauches. A left-wing
political party resulting from the 1923 alliance of the Radical-Socialist Party with the
French section of the Worker’s International, the Cartel des Gauches was a counter to the
conservative Bloc National. The Bloc National was in power when the opera premiered,
and the conservative press decried the young Delannoy’s work as being full of vulgarity
and ever-increasing “bolshevist tendencies.” In a political context, characters in the opera
such as Misery, The People, Saint Denys, and Death were symbols of pro-left ideals. 60
Le Poirier de Misère was a turning point in the career of young Marcel Delannoy,
an unknown composer with no formal musical training whose success may have
generated animosity among musicians with a Conservatoire background. His first largescale work premiered at a major venue - the Opéra-Comique in Paris. His style of
combining modern musical genres, most notably the harmonic elements of jazz, with
Maurice Ravel, the new literary, 2 April 1927, article cited in 'Ravel, critical,' François
Lesure Musical, Revue du Théâtre musical Paris-Châtelet, 4, June 1987, 69. From Quesney, Le
cas de Marcel Delannoy, 115.
Jane F. Fulcher, The Composer As Intellectual: Music and Ideology in France, 19141940. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008, 107.
older melodic themes was innovative, although similar to Honegger’s Le Roi David.
Many critics, musicians, and musicologists were pleased with his grasp of melody,
especially in the vocal lines. But it was his first attempt at large orchestration that was
polarizing. Some found it fresh and exciting, whereas others considered it vulgar. With
the addition of the political intrigue built around the subject matter, Le Poirier garnered a
good amount of press. However, in the end it established Delannoy as a composer of
interest, and led to his popularity as a new and innovative composer. The question many
considered was whether Delannoy would be able to build from his shortcomings.
The opportunity came in the same year, when patron of the arts and ballet
instructor Jeanne Dubost commissioned Delannoy and other composers to compose a
collective ballet.61 L’éventail de Jeanne, a ballet for children, premiered favorably at
Dubost’s studio and was presented, again with success, at L’Opera de Paris two years
later.62 Delannoy’s contribution, a "Bourrée," followed a "Fanfare" by Ravel, a “Marche”
by Ferroud, a "Waltz" by Ibert, and a "Canaria" by Roland-Manuel. Delannoy’s piece
preceded five dances written by other twentieth century composers: a "Sarabande" by
Albert Roussel (1869-1937), a “Polka” by Milhaud, a “Pastourelle” by Poulenc, a
“Rondeau” by Georges Auric (1899-1983), and a “Kermesse-Valse" by Florent Schmitt
The score (reduced for two pianos), published by Heugel in 1929, indicates "the
creation of this Ballet took place in private at Madame Jeanne Dubost on 16 June 1927." From
Quesney, Le cas de Marcel Delannoy, 118.
4 March 1929, with the children of the corps de ballet of the Opera. On premiere of the
ballet at Garnier, Henry Malherbe was very unfavorable towards the ballet, and saw the 'work' as
“puerile and disparate,” and expressed surprise at the excitement with the work. “Les Temps,”
Chronique musicale, 3 April 1929. From Quesney, Le cas de Marcel Delannoy, 118.
(1870-1958).63 Delannoy’s generation was widely represented in this collaborative
project, and he relished the opportunity to have his music showcased along with that of
other popular composers. Delannoy apparently listened to the comments concerning his
orchestral style and, as a result of his ‘baptism by fire’ with Le Poirier de Misère, his
section showed growth. Writer Henry Malherbe (1886-1958), as critic for Chronique
musicale, comments on the rapid technical progress made since Le Poirier:
Mr. Marcel Delannoy desired, it seems, to wash away the reproach of
technical ignorance that was evident at the debut of his Poirier de Misère
at the Opéra-Comique. He gave his Bourrée a traditional form, while
imbuing it with a vague Fauré-like charm. This very contrapuntal piece is
driven and pushed with the care due a 'first prize'.64
In 1927, Delannoy married Opéra-Comique soprano Odette Ertaud, and their
daughter, Sylvine, was born in 1929.65 By 1930, Marcel Delannoy was an important and
popular composer. His opera-ballet, Le Fou de la Dame, premiered at the OpéraComique in 1928 to more favorable reviews than Le Poirier, and he began receiving
international attention. In 1930, Delannoy met Henry Prunières in Honegger’s home and,
as chair of la Société Internationale de Musique Contemporaine,66 Prunières presented
Delannoy’s String Quartet for inclusion in the new Oxford Festival of Music. The Krettly
Coincidentally, L’Eventail de Jeanne features four of the five composers mentioned in
the possible composition story of the music for G.W. Pabst’s film Don Quixote.
Henry Malherbe, “Les Temps,” Chronique musicale, 3 April 1929. From Quesney, Le
cas de Marcel Delannoy, 116.
The mother of Christophe Bouvet, grandson of Delannoy and administrator of the
Facebook page devoted to Delannoy.
Formed 11 August 1922, la Société Internationale de Musique Contemporaine (SIMC)
promoted contemporary music from all countries without favoring any due to aesthetics,
nationality, religion, or political ideas. Koechlin also supported the work of Delannoy as
evidenced by their correspondence from late 1930 to early 1931. Charles Koechlin-Marcel
Delannoy: correspondence, 30-39. From Quesney, Le cas de Marcel Delannoy, 104.
Quartet premiered it on 25 April 1931 to favorable reviews. The music for his ballet La
Pantoufle de Vair premiered at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago in 1931,67 as was his
Petite Suite.
Delannoy received the Blumenthal Foundation award in 1933.68 His style of neoclassicism and jazz mixed with past French influences (explored in detail later), was more
in keeping with the ‘true’ musical history of France than the modern works of
contemporaries like Poulenc and Milhaud. In a letter to Delannoy from the early 1930s,
Koechlin encourages the composer to retain the human character of his music, using tone
and melody:
Continue to make music that is melodic and without the pretentions of
atonality - while reserving the right to be polytonal or atonal if you feel the
need, which may very well happen. The music of Central Europe, with the
addition of Russia, is often very inhuman (or at least it has seemed so to
me to this day) with its excessive ambition of dynamism, of power, of
mechanization. I am pleased to see that in France the sense of humanity
and melody is preserved, and you're one of those who I count on the most
for this. 69
Delannoy received a knighthood in the Légion d'honneur in 1939. The
commemoration says, "…he took without concession, but with a perfect distinction, the
tradition of the French, its clear and lively music. He is considered one of the masters of
Commissioned by famed ballet star Ruth Page; it would be reworked in 1934 as
Delannoy was the recipient of the Florence Blumenthal American Foundation for
thinking and French art. The Blumenthal was a philanthropic organization that offered prizes to
artists from different disciplines, including musicians. Folder Marcel Delannoy Fund of the
Legion of Honor, National Archives; site of Fontainebleau, 430-19800035-5757. From Quesney,
Le cas de Marcel Delannoy, 116.
Koechlin, letter to Delannoy, 18 January 1931, Marcel Delannoy-Charles Koechlin:
correspondence, 39. From Quesney, Le cas de Marcel Delannoy, 121.
the current school.”70 Cécile Quesney, in her thesis Le cas de Marcel Delannoy, further
enforces the point of his compositions being considered distinctly French and a shining
example of the style of the time:
His music then meets the expectations of Esprit. It is accessible, lively,
spiritual and anti-intellectual, in that it illustrates with authenticity and
simplicity the subjects that affect men of his time and gives music its
collective dimension; the music of Delannoy of the mid-1930s was not
only in step with the objectives of the new ‘Esprit’ musicians, but also of
the Popular Front.71
It was unique for a relatively self-taught musician to have amassed such high
credentials as the Blumenthal award, the Légion d'honneur, and to have had his
introduction to the Parisian musical scene at the Opéra-Comique. It would have been
natural for organizations such as the Popular Front, an alliance of left-wing parties, to
court Delannoy as an ‘anti-intellectual’ thriving in an elitist genre. It is unclear whether
Delannoy agreed with the politics, but his music obviously would receive more exposure
under the umbrella of such an organization, considering the Left was currently in power.
Thus Delannoy, along with other composers such as Auric, Honegger, and Milhaud,
joined the Fédération Musicale Populaire (FMP), whose presidents were Albert Roussel
and Charles Koechlin, already supporters of Delannoy’s music. The FMP’s goal was to
integrate folk music with modern techniques in order to create links between the common
people and the intellectual community. 72 In association with Les Maisons de la Culture
Record of Marcel Delannoy's entrance to the Legion of Honor, French National
Archives, 430-19800035-5757. From Quesney, Le cas de Marcel Delannoy, 141.
Quesney, Le cas de Marcel Delannoy, 124.
Christopher Lee Moore, Music in France and the Popular Front (1934-1938): Politics,
Aesthetics and Reception. PhD diss., Schulich School of Music, McGill University (Montreal),
2006 (First accessed 8 February 2015).
and backed by the Popular Front, the FMP enjoyed great success until late 1937. Music
selection for the Paris Exposition of 1937 was under the auspices of the Popular Front,
and Delannoy supplied music for the opener of the Exposition, Liberté, a multi-composer
collage connected with fireworks,73 and an operetta, Philippine.74 Despite its earlier
successes, the Popular Front and the FMP dissolved by 1938 due to a sagging economy
and pressure from a growing conservative presence in the French legislature. Although
Delannoy’s merging of folk music with higher art forms such as classical mélodie and
opera fit in very well with the dynamics of the Popular Front and the FMP, there is no
evidence that Delannoy’s intent was as part of a socio-political agenda.
Pro-Nazi and communist organizations began to take control of the political
landscape. In 1940, after the fall of France to Nazi Germany, the Vichy government was
firmly in place as the ruling party in France. In 1939, Delannoy rejoined the French army,
and was an officer in Nantes during the German invasion. In order to take care of his
family, he decided to stay in France and continue to compose rather than flee. His friends
Honegger and Poulenc also stayed in France, and all three found success during the time
of the Occupation.
Instead of languishing under Nazi/Vichy rule, Delannoy prospered. Performances
of his works occurred in Germany as well as France. An orchestral version of four scenes
from his opera Ginevra played in Cologne in 1942, and he continued to compose for
films (Nuit de décembre and Tempête in 1940; Volpone in 1941). He was also a music
critic for Les Nouveaux temps, where he gained the notoriety for which current
musicologists remember him - his scathing review of Oliver Messiaen’s Quartet for the
Moore, Music in France and the Popular Front, 285-288.
Moore, Music in France and the Popular Front, 270-274.
End of Time.75 Due to his stature as a composer before the Occupation, Delannoy was a
committee member of the Association de Musique Contemporaine, an organization
founded by composer and music critic Robert Bernard (1900-1971). The Association was
a wartime replacement for La Revue musicale and the Guide du concert, and featured
Delannoy’s music in the organization’s concerts in Paris. 76 He was also a member of the
Groupe Collaboration, a conservative organization meant to foster cooperation with Nazi
Germany in all areas: economic, social, scientific, artistic, literary, and youth.77
After the War, the National Purification Committee for Writers, Authors, and
Composers,78 formed in 1945, scrutinized Delannoy’s association with pro-Vichy/Nazi
organizations. This committee had the authority to suspend for up to two years the
professional life of anyone found guilty of collaboration. In 1946, the Committee found
that his actions during the Occupation “promoted the propaganda enterprises of the
enemy.” (Along with his critical work with Les Nouveaux temps and his membership in
Groupe Collaboration, Delannoy had attended the 1941 Mozart festival in Vienna as a
member of the French delegation of the Reich Ministry of Propaganda.) In his defense,
Delannoy wrote that the attractive vision of artists working together despite the political
enmity between the nations was what allowed him to become involved in projects whose
Marcel Delannoy, “Depuis le mysticisme jusqu’au sport.” Les nouveaux temps, 13 July
1941: 2.
Leslie A. Sprout, The Musical Legacy of Wartime France. Berkley: University of
California Press, 2013, 12.
Sprout, Musical Legacy, 17.
Comité national d’épuration des gens de lettres, auteurs et compositeurs. Sprout,
Musical Legacy, 70-71
political implications he was too foolish to heed. 79 However, Delannoy’s mention of
composers that were banned in Paris during the Occupation in his music criticism, plus
other extenuating circumstances, led to a six-month suspension applied retroactively back
to 1944.80
Although effectively silenced for a time after the war by accusations of
collaboration, in 1947 Delannoy resumed composing in a number of genres, including
film. In addition to film, radio and television also featured his compositions. Some
musicians and critics saw Delannoy’s folk-inspired style as quaint and unsophisticated
compared the rise of new avant-garde compositional techniques, including electronic
music and the anti-nationalistic Darmstadt School. 81 Composer and conductor Pierre
Boulez (b. 1925), a disciple of the Darmstadt School and strongly against Delannoy’s
outdated style, used the implications of collaboration to discredit him. 82 Delannoy’s last
two compositions, Poème symphonique for piano and cello and La Nuit du Temps, an
opera-ballet for television, were completed in 1962, the year of his death. 83 He died on 14
September, in Nantes.
Sprout, Musical Legacy, 71.
His suspension was retroactive before the ruling because the Committee acknowledged
that an informal ban on Delannoy’s music, as well as that of other composers, existed in Paris
after the liberation. Sprout, Musical Legacy, 72.
Christopher Fox, “The Darmstadt School.” Grove Music Online,
grove/music/49725?q=darmstadt+school&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit. (First
accessed 4 June 2015).
Christophe Bouvet, private internet conversation via Facebook with the author, 14 June
Claude Chamfray, “Marcel Delannoy.” Le Courrier Musical de France, Nos. 1-2, 66.
Marcel Delannoy followed the rules of harmony taught by those with whom he
studied, particularly Jean Gallon and André Gédalge, instructors at the Conservatoire. It
would be incorrect to say that Delannoy was self-taught, due to this level of training.
However, he did not go through the rigors of formal music education; much of the early
negative criticism of Le Poirier, especially in his orchestration, might not have happened
if he had honed his craft at the Conservatoire.
Throughout his career, critics described Delannoy as innovative. His approach
was naïve and fresh, but it did not follow the atonal tendencies of the Second Viennese
School. Delannoy’s innovation came from his use of French folk music, ranging from
early Renaissance to common folk tunes. To this, he added modern harmonic rules,
including those found in jazz. He tended to follow his own path, although there are early
parallels with Honegger’s Le Roi David through his cohesive melding of wide-ranging
musical styles within a single work. In a 1949 letter, Delannoy stated, “I stayed
indifferent to all writing ‘fads,’ without anything pushing a priori. Authenticity and style
was never a problem for me.” 84 Although other composers such as Milhaud and Poulenc
began to venture into the realm of serialism and atonality, Delannoy held an "instinctive
distrust for all systems" and remained fixated on melody. He was skeptical of the current
twelve-tone post-serial style: “As far as I’m concerned, the traditional material is enough
for me. I'll never exhaust the quasi-infinite combinations of it. Only the lazy, the helpless
or the primitives can assign paramount importance to what I consider an enrichment of
From a manuscript of Delannoy, dated 24 December 1949, and a letter to Vladimir
Fedorof, dated 1 March 1950. BnF-Mus, LA-Delannoy Marcel-1. From Quesney, Le cas de
Marcel Delannoy, 106.
vocabulary...”85 True to traditional tonality throughout his life, Delannoy summarizes his
profession of musical faith in a short, cryptic sentence: "I want to be original in
remaining natural.”86
In Claude Rostand’s Dictionary of Contemporary Music, he describes Delannoy’s
style and aesthetic as such:
He took the advice of Jean Gallon, Gédalge and Honegger but, without
being really an autodidact, his training owes much to himself. He is a
traditionalist and neo-classicist gifted with a certain ease of invention and
in whose work the influence of jazz and French popular song are
frequently found. He composed in a wide variety of genres and leaves a
considerable catalogue.87
Delannoy was not afraid to mine the considerable wealth of music familiar to the
French people, using songs from all eras of French musical history. As a composer who
continually strove to renew himself and his compositions, many pieces in his early years
have been considered to be, as René Dumesnil writes, “diametrically opposed.” In his
article on Delannoy in La Revue musicale, Dumesnil looks at Le Poirier de Misère and
Le Fou de la Dame the same way Flaubert looked at writing Salammbô after Madame
Bovary; although the same person wrote them and critics will expect to find connections,
they are different.88 Delannoy championed the use of familiar folk melodies, but imbued
them with influences from modern styles. For example, his opera-ballet Le Fou de la
Dame was written as a chanson de geste, which in old French means a medieval
Boll, Marcel Delannoy, 8.
Boll, Marcel Delannoy, 7.
Claude Rostand, “Marcel Delannoy.” Dictionary of contemporary music. Paris:
Larousse, 1970, 75.
Dumesnil reused this expression by Delannoy, using examples of the operas Le Poirier
Misère (1927) and Le Fou de la Dame (1929). "Marcel Delannoy," La Revue musicale, 32-33.
narrative, yet it has a mix of both ancient and current themes and styles all carefully
crafted together.89 Many sections took their inspirations from French Renaissance
polyphonic song, but the work includes a Baroque sarabande along with a chanson
gaillarde in 5/4. This combination of archaic styles with modern neoclassicism allows a
presentation of the older forms “without stiffness and without pedantry, which comes
mainly from the sincerity and truth with which the composer makes his characters speak
or depicts them musically.” 90
According to Dumesnil, the Queen’s aria, “Quittez écus et gants et lances” (stop
the shields, gloves and lances) from Le Fou de la Dame (Musical Example 1) shows the
mixing of the "rigidity of a time when people wore mail and armor with the fantasy of an
era in which the rhythm of jazz reigned sovereign."91 The Queen’s beginning command is
well set as heraldic fifths for maximum effect. The musicologist notes that the melodic
line is in contrast to the accompaniment, but the overall effect evokes a feeling of
extended tonality joined by an instant of modality. In fact, the key of D in the bass is very
present, with the liberal use of the lowered 7th, colored with the tonality of G minor
characterized by liberal progressions. This modal gives an archaic character to an
extremely melodic and soaring vocal line. The accompaniment, in which several
independent lines overlap, evokes the ambiguity of jazz in its major/minor tonality
mixture, rhythm, and the use of the 9th. This example is representative of the style of
During the evening of a Carnival, two lovers imagine a battle in a game of chess
through the eyes of the chess pieces. Introduction to Le Fou de la Dame. Paris: Heugel et Cie.,
Dumesnil, “Marcel Delannoy,” La Revue musicale, 39.
Delannoy, an eclectic one that draws as much from the popular imagination as it does
from early music, combining jazz sounds with modal colors.
Musical Example 1: Le Fou de la Dame, “Air de la Reine,” page 1.
© Editions Alphonse Leduc. Used with permission.
Additions to then-current trends exist throughout the opera; Delannoy introduces
1920s polyphonic jazz, thus adding a distinct American flavor to the Renaissance sound,
while still keeping the overall effect distinctly French. 92 Though this essay is about his
song style, this particular opera is an example of how Delannoy is able to combine the
essence of melodies familiar to the French with the modern stylings of jazz.
Another major aspect of Delannoy’s style is his original melodies inspired by folk
and popular music, examined in Chapter 3. Instead of literally using existing melodies,
more often he found inspiration from how they sounded. Delannoy was quite vocal in his
defense of the use of folk music. In an article in L’Art musicale populaire he complained
that French folk music was dying, and that France was “perhaps the only country where
we see a people forget its folklore and, at the same time, its soul.” 93 This support and
attraction to folk music creates, according to Koechlin, “in nature an even-tempered
composer.”94 Dumesnil comments that, in his mélodies, Delannoy showed a natural sense
and understanding of the voice. Perhaps aiding this was the fact that both of his wives
were singers. However, his care and concern for vocal contour did not distract from his
unique harmonic and contrapuntal ideas. Writing about Delannoy’s song cycle Les
Historiettes (1926), André George, in les Nouvelles Littéraires, compared the songs to a
shot of white wine in the morning on a farm: “Pâle Chanson” (J. Moreas) has a united
and complex frame on which stands out the pure line of the melody, and “M’Entendez92
Comparisons deduced from Quesney, Le cas de Marcel Delannoy, 108.
Marcel Delannoy, “Les perspectives musicales de la France,” L’Art musical populaire
(August- September 1937), 31.
"Rules, the taste and the beautiful absolute" (Aesthetics and Musical Language).
Philippe Cathé, Sylvie Douche, Michel Duchesneau and Marie-Hélène Benoit-Otis, Eds. Charles
Koechlin: Compositeur et humaniste. Paris: Vrin, 2010, 421.
vous ainsi?” (J. Cocteau) and “Le Galant Jardiner” (J. Moreas) contain melodies both
strange and easy.”95
Quesney succinctly states, “This is fairly representative of the style of Delannoy,
an eclectic style that includes the popular style only in the imagination of ancient music,
and which associates the sounds of jazz with vocalizations of a modal color.” 96
Delannoy’s melodic writing bears this in mind; his music is often song-based, the vocal
and/or instrumental lines well crafted with the addition of modern harmonic figures found
in jazz.
Dumesnil, “Marcel Delannoy,” La Revue musicale, 43.
Quesney, Le cas de Marcel Delannoy, 113.
Marcel Delannoy composed six vocal works between 1928 and 1935. Three of the
six piano/vocal scores are available to illustrate his compositional style for voice during
this period: Quatre Regrets de Joachim du Bellay, Trois Chansons, and Cinq Quatrains
de Francis Jammes.97 Trois Chansons is the only work for which orchestral arrangements
have been located. Delannoy himself orchestrated two of these pieces; Georges Ferveaux,
a fellow composer also represented by Salabert, orchestrated the third. There are
differences between the orchestral and the piano/vocal scores. The individual chansons
within each work are:
Quatre Regrets de Joachim du Bellay (1928-1930)
“Fêtes romanesques”
“Je ne chante”
Trois Chansons (1932-1934)
“Chanson du Galérien”
“Chanson du Vigneron”
“Chanson du Matelot”
Cinq Quatrains de Francis Jammes (1934-1935)
“La Joueuse”
“Morphée et la Muse”
Quatre Regets du Joachim du Bellay, Éditions Durand, 1931. Trois Chansons, Éditions
Senart (later Salabert), 1934. Cinq Quatrains de Francis Jammes, Éditions Heugel, 1936.
Salabert and Durand are now a part of Universal Music, Inc. Heugel is now a part of Alphonse
LeDuc. Both Quatre Regrets and Cinq Quatrains are available only in piano/vocal from these
publishers; Trois Chansons is available only as an orchestra score. As stated in the body of the
essay, these are the three compositions by Delannoy readily available for study during the
prescribed period.
Quatre Regrets and Cinq Quatrains will be a baseline for Delannoy’s use of
harmony, rhythm, melody, and interpretation of text. An exploration of Delannoy’s style
begins with a comparison to three of his contemporaries. The first composer is his friend
and mentor, Arthur Honegger. Honegger found his inspiration from the contrapuntal style
of Bach, as compared to the non-Germanic aesthetics of other members of Les Six. A
tonal composer, he found ways to balance his Baroque roots while weaving an influence
of German romanticism and colorful harmonies. 98
Another contemporary for comparison is Jacques Ibert. Portions of Ibert’s
composition, Chansons de Don Quichotte, were used in the 1933 Pabst film, The
Adventures of Don Quixote. His harmonic language, described as “neither atonal nor
serial, and very rarely polytonal,”99 made regular use of 9th, 11th, 13th, altered, and addednote chords. Even though his style pushed the edge of traditional tonality, he remained
rooted to a tonal center by the use of traditional cadential formulae. A composer known
for his economy of composition, Ibert included quotes from composers in his works, such
as Debussy, Dukas, and Bartok.100
The final composer is Francis Poulenc. Of the three composers mentioned for
comparison, Poulenc, while still considered a tonal composer, embraced a more compact
Geoffrey K. Spratt, “Honegger, Arthur.” Grove Music Online,
grove/music/13298?q=Arthur+Honegger&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (First accessed
10 October 2014).
Alexandra Laederich, “Ibert, Jacques.” Grove Music Online,
grove/music/13675?q=jacques+ibert&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (First accessed 9
January 2013).
style evidenced by song sections of two- to four-bar phrases. Poulenc found tonality more
in specific portions of a piece, rather than in the entire song. In his mélodies, he was
typically a through-based composer, rarely composing strophically. His technique had
much in common with the surrealist poets he set, and he valued the resonance of the
individual elements. For the ‘experience’ of the listener, Poulenc wove the tonal areas
together with highly inventive melodies, matching the colors of the text. He did not
follow his contemporaries, but he did find them inspirational, especially Satie. Poulenc’s
mélodies, whimsical in nature between World War I and World War II, finally reached
their maturity in the 1930s and 1940s. 101
Delannoy did not follow the style of his contemporaries. As discussed in Chapter
2, he used a neoclassic style that relied heavily on inspiration drawn from popular French
country/folk tunes, from Renaissance chansons to modern folk songs. He found modern
influences in jazz harmony, progressions, and instrumental orchestration. A discussion of
cabaret’s influence on Delannoy occurs in the analysis of “Chanson du Matelot.” His
melodies never strayed too far from likability. His writing was thematic, in both the vocal
line and the accompaniment. Unlike Poulenc, he was willing to compose strophically, as
he did in Trois Chansons.
Myriam Chimènes and Roger Nichols, “Poulenc, Francis.” Grove Music Online,
hit (First accessed 10 October 2014).
Published 1931, Durand. Premiered 1932.
Poet Joachim du Bellay (1522-1560) was a critic of the French language. He
stated that, with proper cultivation, it could develop into a poetic form that would be an
equal to the classical forms of Latin and Greek.102 His best known work, the 191 sonnets
that make up the Regrets, were written using alexandrines, a style of verse using twelve
syllables of six ‘feet’ (the French heroic verse). These poems express the disappointment
Bellay experienced from his travel to the Italian peninsula from 1553 to 1557. At first, he
had been very enthusiastic about the journey because of the Italian peninsula’s status as
the birthplace of the Roman Empire and later the Renaissance. However, he quickly grew
weary of the manners and customs of the people he met and longed for home. Towards
the end of his time in Rome, Bellay fell in love with a married woman named Faustine,
which may have hastened his return to Paris. 103
The four pieces Delannoy chose to set from the 191 sonnets (“Heureux,” “Fêtes
romanesques,” “Je ne chante,” “Carnaval”) satirize Roman/Italian customs, and in “Je ne
chante,” Bellay criticizes himself for his journey. A hallmark of Delannoy’s style begins
to emerge through these pieces; a subtheme a measure in length is introduced and
repeated, then is slightly changed on the level of a note or two within the same existing
figure to help build tension as required by the text. This is explored in detail when found
in particular pieces.
Joachim du Bellay, Le Regrets (The Regrets). Translated from the French and Latin by
David R. Slavitt. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2004, 6.
Heureux qui comme Ulysse a fait un beau voyage,
Ou comme celui-là qui conquit la toison,
Et puis est retourné, plein d’usage et raison,
Vivre entre ses parents le reste de son âge!
Happy is he who, like Ulysses, has made a successful
like the one bearing the Golden Fleece,
then returns, full of experience and reason,
to live among his people for the rest of his days!
Quand reverrai-je, hélas, de mon petit village
Fumer la cheminée, Et en quelle saison
Reverrai-je le clos de ma pauvre maison,
Qui m’est une province, et beaucoup davantage?
Alas, when will I see once again the smoking chimney
of my village, in what season will I see the garden of
my modest house, which to me is a kingdom, and so
much more?
Plus me plaît le séjour qu’ont bâti mes aïeux,
Que des palais Romains le front audacieux,
Plus que le marbre dur me plaît l’ardoise fine :
The home my ancestors built pleases me more than
the bold Roman palaces, fine slate pleases me more
than hard marble:
Plus mon Loir gaulois, que le Tibre latin,
Plus mon petit Liré, que le mont Palatin,
Et plus que l’air marin la douceur angevine.
The Gallic Loire more than the Latin Tiber,
my little village of Liré more than the Palatine Hill,
and more than the sea air, the sweetness of Anjou.
Translation by Steven B. Jepson, with assistance from Stephanie Kupfer
“Heureux” discusses how Bellay can be happy with the simple things in the
French countryside, even after he has seen the so-called grandeur of the Italian citystates. In the text he references legendary figures popular during the time of Homer,
Ulysses (Odysseus) and Jason (of the Golden Fleece), and how both found happiness
upon returning home from long journeys. The tempo, grave et doux (slowly yet sweetly;
given tempo is quarter note = 76)104 helps to encourage the feeling of melancholy. The
melody meanders, but does follow the general pattern shared in the two segments; the
first segment is longer and carries into a ritardando, which acts as a break between the
segments. The text is set syllabically with a duple motion, leading into the remembrance
section of each segment with a descending triplet in the piano that helps carry the motion
forward. Delannoy sets the text in a duple meter, yet occasionally utilizes upward moving
Of the three cycles of Delannoy studied in this essay, only Cinq Quatrains has given
metrical tempo markings. All other metrical tempo markings are the suggestion of the author.
triplets, both in eighth notes and quarter notes, to emphasize important words in phrases,
such as “Ulylsee” (Ulysees) and “Reverrai” (“see again;” Musical Example 2).
Musical Example 2: “Heureux,” mm. 1-9.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
In the areas of remembrance (towards the end of each segment), the vocal line
moves around a common third, G#3 - B3, always returning to this common third at the
end of phrases. Textually, this strengthens the memories of home with a chordal stability.
The accompaniment is mostly repeated downward arpeggiations; this is where Delannoy
begins a repeated one-measure pattern, then slyly changes it to build tension in contrast to
what is happening in the voice (the ‘subtheme’ previously mentioned, Musical Example
Musical Example 3: “Heureux,” mm. 10-15, 16ths boxed.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
Fêtes romanesques (#121)
Roman Holidays
Se fâcher tout le jour d’une fâcheuse chasse,
Voir un brave taureau se faire un large tour,
Étonné de se voir tant d’hommes alentour,
Et cinquante piquiers affronter son audace.
Getting angry all day in this unfortunate hunt,
Seeing a brave bull making wide turns,
surprised to see so many people,
And fifty picadors to face his boldness.
Le voir en s’élançant venir la tête basse,
Fuir et retourner d’un plus brave retour,
Puis le voir à la fin pris dans quelque détour,
Percé de mille coups, ensanglanter la place.
See him come, rushing head down,
He backs off and makes a braver return,
Then to see him in the end, caught in a detour,
pierced by a thousand blows, blood all over.
Voir courir aux flambeaux, mais sans se rencontrer, Seeing them run torch relays, but without ever
Donner trois coups d’épée, en armes se montrer,
meeting, Three sword thrusts, showing themselves at
Et tout autour du camp un rempart de Tudesques.
arms, And all around the camp, a Germanic rampart,
Dresser un grand apprêt, faire attendre longtemps,
Puis donner à la fin un maigre passe-temps:
Voilà tout le plaisir des fêtes romanesques.
Making a big fuss, making everyone wait a long time,
Then providing in the end meager entertainment:
That’s all the fun of Roman Holidays.
Translation by Steven B. Jepson, with assistance from Stephanie Kupfer
In “Fêtes romanesques,” Delannoy conveys the cacophony of an Italian bullfight,
mixing the spectacle of the crowd with what is occurring in the ring. Bellay taints his text
with disdain: “That’s all the fun of Roman Holidays.” The tempo is marked rude (rough;
given tempo is half note = 92), which helps define the texture of the piece and the text.
Delannoy’s setting of the text is simple and edgy, with virtually all upward movement
occurring by leap, usually a third. Most of the stepwise motion is in downward moving
passages, introducing the bull and the picadors and setting Bellay’s brusque commentary
after the bullfight has ended. The dynamics in the piece remain around forte, with only
one crescendo, enhancing the harshness of the declamation. The accented offbeats in the
piano signify the charges of the bull, but the vocal line remains on the beat. Rhythm
creates a Mediterranean flair more than melody or harmony. The downward motion of
the right hand, combined with the offbeat rhythm, is audibly more Spanish than Roman
(Musical Example 4). Delannoy has set this piece with the feel of a country fair rather
than a large coliseum.
Musical Example 4: “Fêtes romanesques,” mm. 13-19.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
Delannoy uses a chromatic sequence to help visualize the charges of the bull
(Musical Example 5). The third sequence depicts the last charge and is cut short; the text
describes blood and gore. A fermata over a rest freezes the moment.
Musical Example 5: “Fêtes romanesques,” mm. 19-25, chromatic sequences boxed.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
Je ne chante…
I don’t sing… (text in parens not set by Delannoy)
Et vu tant de regrets desquels je me lamente,
Tu t’ébahis souvent comment chanter je puis.)
(Given the household work I’m tasked to,
Given the unwelcomed worry which endlessly
torments me,
and since I lament over so many regrets,
You’d be amazed at how often I can sing.)
Je ne chante, Magny, je pleure mes ennuis,
Ou, pour le dire mieux, en pleurant je les chante,
Si bien qu’en les chantant, souvent je les enchante:
Voilà pourquoi, Magny, je chante jours et nuits.
I don’t sing, Magny, I cry for my troubles.
Or, to put it better, in crying I sing them,
So well that in singing them I often enchant them;
That is why, Magny, I sing day and night.
Ainsi chante l’ouvrier en faisant son ouvrage,
Ainsi le laboureur faisant son labourage,
Ainsi le pèlerin regrettant sa maison,
So sings the craftsman at his work,
Also the laborer in his plowing,
Also the pilgrim longing for his home,
Ainsi l’aventurier en songeant à sa dame,
Ainsi le marinier en tirant à la rame,
Ainsi le prisonnier maudissant sa prison.
Also the adventurer in thinking of his lady,
Also the galley slave pulling on the oars,
Also the prisoner cursing in prison.
(Vu le soin ménager dont travaillé je suis,
Vu l’importun souci qui sans fin me tourmente,
Translation by Steven B. Jepson, with assistance from Stephanie Kupfer
Delannoy did not set all of “Je ne chante” to music. The complete poem begins by
describing to Oliver Magny (1529?-1561),105 the recipient of this particular Regret, the
chores Bellay needs to accomplish before he can concentrate on writing, which he calls
‘singing’. However, ‘singing’ is now drudgery to Bellay; his experiences in this different
land have caused him to become disillusioned. His complaints and burdens are given the
same voice as those doing menial tasks, from simple craftsmen to prisoners. The piece
begins with a lilting melody in the right hand of the piano which the voice echoes
(Musical Example 6), but the continual motion of eighth notes gives a sense of unease;
there is always a part moving in eighth notes in the beginning section. Although the
constantly moving eighth notes keep the poet’s thoughts flowing, ennui comes from the
chord changes in the piano that do not follow any particular pattern.
Oliver Magny was a close friend of Bellay. He was the secretary for Jean de SaintMarcel, seigneur d’Avanson (member of the French Privy Council) when d’Avanson was in
Rome. Slavitt, The Regrets, 277.
Musical Example 6: “Je ne chante,” mm. 1-11.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
Throughout the piece, Delannoy moves from a calme (given tempo is quarter note
= 96) to allargando to heighten the feeling of ennui. There is an extensive use of
sixteenths in the piano, when Bellay begins to describe others with menial tasks, which
creates a loss of melodic focus. Any concept of a tonal center blurs with the motion of the
sixteenths. Delannoy’s skillful setting of the text in simple eighths and occasional
quarters relates to the drudgery of Bellay speaking about his tasks. Mention of the other
burdened people adds longer notes, which moves against the sixteenths in the
The ¾ measure before Bellay discusses the laborer moves the thought process
along, enhanced by the descending motion in the accompaniment (Musical Example 7).
However, the still dissonant motion descends and ascends for the pilgrim, symbolizing
the journeys taken. The pilgrim section also has a C pedal tone, which serves as a
constant under the unrest of the text.
Musical Example 7: “Je ne chante,” mm. 25-36.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
As in “Heureux,” Delannoy follows a pattern in the accompaniment but slyly
changes it. The effect is not only to add harmonic dissonance, but also to create a sense of
confusion as Bellay struggles to describe the comparisons to his ‘singing,’ considering
these comparisons begin with “ainsi” (also). Four of the six mentions of the word “ainsi”
happen through the downbeat, where the second syllable occurs on the beat, adding
emphasis and building tension. Toward the end of the piece, he builds dissonance using
accented sixteenth notes in the piano, marked fortissimo, and a tempo marking of Large
(broadly) accentuating the mention of the prisoner cursing (“maudissant”). Also, with
each mention of burdened people, the voice moves higher, reaching a Gb4 on the first
After this buildup at Rehearsal 4, Delannoy returns to a version of the original
melodic line, alone in the right hand. This jarring change either heightens the tension or
abruptly releases it, as the singer repeats the comment of the prisoner cursing, the only
repeated phrase in the piece (Musical Example 8).
Musical Example 8: “Je ne chante,” mm. 43-47.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
Voici le carnaval, menons chacun la sienne,
Allons baller en masque, allons nous promener,
Allons voir Marc Antoine ou Zany bouffonner
Avec son Magnifique à la vénitienne:
Here is the Carnival! Let’s each bring his sweetheart,
Let’s go to the masked ball, let’s go and promenade,
Let’s go see Marc Antony or the Zaines being foolish
With the magnificent ones like the Venetians.
Voyons courir le pal à la mode ancienne,
Et voyons par le nez le sot buffle mener,
Voyons le fier taureau d’armes environné,
Et voyons au combat l’adresse italienne.
Let’s watch the palio in the old ancient way
and let’s see a foolish buffalo led by his nose,
Let’s watch the proud bull surrounded by weapons
And let’s watch combat in the Italian style.
Voyons d’oeufs parfumés un orage grêler,
Et la fusée ardente siffler menu par l’air.
Sus donc! Dépêchons-nous, voici la pardonnance:
Let’s watch scented eggs hail down,
And the fiery rockets whistling through the air,
Let’s go then! Let’s hurry, here our reprieve:
Il nous faudra, demain, visiter les saints lieux,
Là nous ferons l’amour, mais ce sera des yeux,
Car passer plus avant, c’est contre l’ordonnance.
Tomorrow we will have to visit the holy places,
There we will make love, but only with our eyes,
For any more than that is against the law.
Translation by Steven B. Jepson, with assistance from Stephanie Kupfer
In “Carnaval,” Bellay provides a detailed depiction of a local Shrove Tuesday
celebration. Delannoy sets this well, along with the realization that all gaiety must cease
when the pilgrimage to church begins. The happy and joyous feel of the carnival is
established through the text and melody of the vocal line. This is echoed in the
accompaniment through a jaunty countermelody in the right hand, used when describing
the buffoons and the bulls (Musical Example 9).
Musical Example 9: “Carnaval,” mm. 16-18 above, 33-35 below.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
The tempo marking is quarter note = 152 and avec franchise (with frankness),
which helps enhance the strength of the downbeat in the text. In addition, he emphasizes
the description of the Venetians and Italians by placing these words in dotted quarters;
this is echoed by the lower three voices in the accompaniment, while the top line contains
an opposing melody using the carnival theme previously established and described in the
previous paragraph (Musical Example 10).
Musical Example 10: “Carnaval,” mm. 21-24 above, 38-42 below.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
Delannoy, in the stark transition from Carnival to church, effectively juxtaposes
the gaiety of Shrove Tuesday against the solemnity of Ash Wednesday. The return of the
accompaniment’s depiction of the revelry after the vocal line marked à l’aise (at ease) is
without the previous staccato markings, and the change in dynamics allows the party to
fade in the distance (Musical Example 11). The voice re-enters (again, à l’aise) at Quasi
lento to begin the journey to church, with the voice given a ritardando when explaining
that love will only be made with the eyes during Lent. The somber chordal
accompaniment continues as the voice comments on the carnal ideas and actions being
stifled; any allusion in the accompaniment to the earlier revelry diminishes in the
repeated sections marked piano.
Musical Example 11: “Carnaval,” mm. 56-63.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
Although orchestrated, the scores for Quatre Regrets are not available through the
publisher. 106 Delannoy hints at orchestration by notating a suspended cymbal in the
middle of the piano/vocal score (Musical Example 12). Dumesnil described Quatre
Regrets as Delannoy taking “…a special effort to give a new image to the musical
archaism, and thinking outside the box.”107
Musical Example 12: “Carnaval,” mm. 48-49.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
The Boll appendix on Delannoy’s vocal works does list Quatre Regrets as
orchestrated, but conversations with Universal Music does not show a copy of the score in their
catalog. It is also not in the catalog of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
Dumesnil, “Marcel Delannoy,” La Revue musicale, 43.
Published 1936, Heugel. Premiered 1936 by Odette Ertaud.
The texts for Cinq Quatrains de Francis Jammes (1868-1938) are from Les
Quatrains, written in four volumes from 1923 to 1925. Never pigeonholed into any
French literary style, Jammes wrote of humble simplicity and the rustic life he enjoyed in
the Basque countryside around Tournay, at the foot of the Pyrenees. His friendship with
fellow writer André Gide (1869-1951) helped promote his works among the French
literary community and composers,108 and the popularity of his works grew after his
death. Self-taught and insistent on simplicity and innocence, his style flew in the face of
the literary and philosophic trends of the time, such as the Symbolist poetry of Verlaine
and Mallarmé. After Jammes’ rededication to Catholicism in 1905, his poetry became
more austere and occasionally more dogmatic. 109 Delannoy was one of the first
composers to champion the works of Jammes.
Vous m’avez introduit chez un peúple robuste
Dont par d’Etchegoyen j’hérite mon sang.
Et l’on me couchera dans cette terre fruste
Où les morts seront plus beaux,
Plus beaux que les vivants.
You have introduced me to a robust people
whom by Etchegoyen I inherit my blood.
And it lies with me in this rough land
where the dead will be more beautiful,
more beautiful than the living.
Translation by Steven B. Jepson, with assistance from Stephanie Kupfer
Noted composers include Lili Boulanger, Michel Bosc, Raymond Bonheur, Maurice
Jaubert, Louis Durey, Claude Arrieu, Robert Bernard, and Arthur Honegger, as well as Delannoy.
“Francis Jammes.” The LiederNet Archive, lieder/j/jammes (First accessed
18 March 2015).
Francis Jammes.” (First accessed 28 February 2015).
Delannoy’s setting for “Résurrection” is expansive and thematic in the
accompaniment and melody. The beginning and end of the piece are reminiscent of
Vaughan Williams, with strong chordal changes and simple motion in the outer voices,
centering around one note or chord. The inner voices remain relatively static (Musical
Example 13). There is no tempo marking except assez large et rude (with size and
roughly; suggested tempo is quarter note = 64). The text speaks of the protagonist’s
introduction to an ancestral homeland where the dead have more beauty than the living.
Delannoy sets the text in two-measure couplets, and emphasizes the most important word
in the phrase with longer held notes in the second measure.
Musical Example 13: “Résurrection,” mm. 32-35.
© Editions Alphonse Leduc. Used with permission.
The melodies in both the vocal part and the right hand are grand in scope, and
those in the accompaniment dovetail into smaller, simpler, noble melodies. For example,
the Tempo after the rit. at measure 13 begins a folk-inspired melody in the right hand
accompaniment (Musical Example 14). The pianissimo ending from the wonderfully
built fortissimo on major triads is satisfying (see Musical Example 13, above).
Musical Example 14: “Résurrection,” mm. 11-15.
© Editions Alphonse Leduc. Used with permission.
La Joueuse
The player
Comme un chèvrefeuille qui s’élance au-dessus du mur, As a honeysuckle that soars above the wall,
Et que balance le vent, o Belle comme le jour,
And that sways, o beautiful as the day,
Sans te poser à terre tu cours.
Without touching the ground, you run.
Translation by Steven B. Jepson, with assistance from Stephanie Kupfer
“La Joueuse” begins in the piano with a simple, delicate upper grace note to an A.
The gentle acceleration promotes the image of a performer (La joueuse) preparing for her
entrance in a show (Musical Example 15). The tempo is marked Gracieux et sans hâte
(gracefully and without speed; suggested tempo is eighth note = 58). This directs the
pianist and singer not to push the tempo and allows for more fluidity between them.
Musical Example 15: “La Joueuse,” mm. 1-5.
© Editions Alphonse Leduc. Used with permission.
Delannoy follows the fermata with a continual, yet changing arpeggio in the
accompaniment, with a simple vocal line above it (Musical Example 16). This brings an
impressionistic flavor to the piece. The vocal line portrays the performer, La joueuse. The
text compares the performer’s music to that of a honeysuckle, or its fragrance, soaring
over a wall, which Delannoy mimics in the flow of the vocal line. Prior to the highest
note in the piece (A5, on the word “belle”), there is a motion focusing on the downbeat,
with emphasis placed on the downbeat with a tenuto, followed by staccato on the three
sixteenths. Also, the vocal line uses a single pitch through each measure illustrates the
performer’s tentative steps. After the word “belle,” motion is predominantly stepwise
through measures, building confidence through the performer’s routine.
Musical Example 16: “La Joueuse,” mm. 8-11.
© Editions Alphonse Leduc. Used with permission.
Delannoy’s practice of adding notes not belonging to the tonal scheme causes
some discord in this delicate balancing act, as the singer describes the honeysuckle
swaying in the wind. The dialogue of sixteenth notes between the voice and piano from
measures 28 to 33 brings balance and playfulness (Musical Example 17). The tonal center
easily shifts between E major and A major.
Musical Example 17: “La Joueuse,” mm. 28-33.
© Editions Alphonse Leduc. Used with permission.
Morphée et la Muse
Morpheus and the Muse
Sommes-nous donc si loin?
Te demandai-je en songe et tu me répondis:
Nous sommes arrivés aux lieux de ta jeunesse et
l’ombre qui s’allonge
Est celle de la ferme où tu venais rêver.
Are we so far? (Are we now so far away?)
I asked of you in a dream and you answered me:
We are arrived at the places of your youth, and the
shadow which extends
Is that of the farm where you'd just been dreaming.
Translation by Steven B. Jepson, with assistance from Stephanie Kupfer
The mood of “Morphée et la Muse” begins with a descending melodic line,
primarily in half steps, underscoring the call to Morpheus, the god of dreams (Musical
Example 18). Très calme et doux (very calm and gentle; suggested tempo is quarter note
= 60) further encourages the feeling of sleep.
Musical Example 18: “Morphée et la Muse,” mm. 1-3.
© Editions Alphonse Leduc. Used with permission.
A set of arpeggiated figures in the left hand, repeated while moving down
chromatically under the simple vocal line, helps to convey distance, emphasizing the
question asked in the beginning (“Are we so far away?”). The call to Morpheus involves
two-measure phrasing, staying within the range of a sixth (Eb-C). The voice becomes
integral at tempo, where Morpheus answers the muse. This section has a simple repetitive
accompaniment, setting a stable foundation for Morpheus’ response (Musical Example
19). The answer of Morpheus is much more expansive in range and is continuous, using
only rests of a quarter and an eighth. The result might remind one of a combination of
Debussy mélodie with Gounod romanticism, well-crafted and sophisticated.
Musical Example 19: “Morphée et la Muse,” mm. 12-15.
© Editions Alphonse Leduc. Used with permission.
Frêle petite fille O rose dans la fange
Du cirque piétinée avant que de t’ouvrir
Dieu ne t’avait-il pas faite à l’image des anges
Et pour que le printemps parfumât tes soupirs.
Frail little girl, O rose in the mire,
In a shambles, trampled before you opened,
Didn’t God make you in the image of angels
and so that Spring perfumed your sighs?
Translation by Steven B. Jepson, with assistance from Stephanie Kupfer
In “Colombine” the text speaks of a trampled flower, but the accompaniment is
reminiscent of the circus, as would be expected when depicting the Commedia dell’arte
character named after the flower. Tempo is marked as Modéré, simplement (moderate,
simply; suggested tempo is eighth note = 72). The harmony and simple accompaniment
structure resembles that of Satie, although the melody contains more use of chromatic
motion in the melodic structure (Musical Example 20). For a simple piece, it shows a
great deal of sophistication. The motion of the text carries primarily through eighth notes
into measures of longer held notes. Delannoy allows for a lot of freedom in the voice,
with a number of areas marked à l’aise, a duple suggested as a poco sixteenth, and a
diminuendo added with a ritardando ad lib. The accompaniment is instructed to follow
the voice, and at the final tempo returns to the simple circus figure of the beginning.
Musical Example 20: “Colombine,” mm. 15-19.
© Editions Alphonse Leduc. Used with permission.
Déchirons la tristesse ainsi que le soleil partage un
banc de brume au flanc de la montagne,
Et nous ne verrons plus que l’espoir qui nous gagne
Et la verte prairie et les rosiers vermeils
Let us tear the sadness just as the sun splits a
bank of mist on the slope of the mountain,
And we will no longer see anything but the hope
that overtakes us and the green prairie and scarlet
Translation by Steven B. Jepson, with assistance from Stephanie Kupfer
In “Reprise,” Delannoy combines a hopeful text with a happy tune solidly in the
key of F major (Musical Example 21). Jammes wrote of a simple life found in the
Pyrenees; Delannoy uses a folk-inspired melody to illustrate that the sadness of the
current day disappears in the ‘reprise’ of a new day promising green prairies and scarlet
Musical Example 21: “Reprise,” mm. 1-11.
© Editions Alphonse Leduc. Used with permission.
The constant motion in both the vocal line and the accompaniment marked Allant
et franc (flying and free; suggested tempo is quarter note = 152) is akin to a busy day in a
small village, not containing the typical city bustle and grit. Interesting to note is
Delannoy’s setting of the word “tristesse” (sadness) – instead of being set to slower and
lower notes in the voice, the word is given a lighter treatment much higher in the voice,
with a gaiety of rhythm that belies its meaning (Musical Example 21 above, mm. 9-11).
His depiction of the mountains is grand, using octave leaps and triads. The tonal center is
well established, and Delannoy never strays from it. Both the vocal line and the
accompaniment are continually driving forward.
As the text speaks of the promise of green prairies and red roses, Delannoy deftly
contributes a rising vocal line to Bb5, which descends to the only measure without eighth
note movement (Musical Example 22, m. 46, boxed). This measure is a strong I-V-I
cadence in F, even more emphasized by the wide leaps in the vocal line, marcato
markings throughout, and a ritardando molto. The a tempo, along with its driving
motion, quickly returns, This leads to the left hand carrying staccato eighth notes
downward while the right hand plays upward moving inversions of F, building the finale
to a strong finish.
Musical Example 22: “Reprise,” mm. 43-54.
© Editions Alphonse Leduc. Used with permission.
Delannoy’s compositional skills improved in the years between Quatre Regrets
and Cinq Quatrains, including his ability to set text. Quatre Regrets are commentaries,
using Bellay’s voice to tell the tales, whereas Cinq Quatrains are, for the most part,
settings of poetry. Delannoy was able to choose different styles to match the poetry. He
took an impressionistic approach in “La joeueuse” and “Colombine,” utilizing a sparce
accompaniment neatly underpinning the vocal line. He kept his connection to the folk
traditions with a strong melodic line in “Resurrection,” and by using a happy, almostfamiliar tune over a joyous accompaniment in “Reprise.” “Morphée et la Muse” explored
Romanticism with a delicate simplicity. Delannoy’s transitions through tonal centers are
better in Cinq Quatrains, and his use of modality is more refined. In the short span of six
years, Delannoy shows a better grasp of balance between the vocal line and
accompaniment, more sophistication, and a strong command of harmonic and rhythmic
TROIS CHANSONS (1932-1934)
Published 1934, Salabert. Premiered (partial) 1933 by Solange Demolière.
Trois Chansons is an “evolutionary step” between the compositional styles of
Quatre Regrets and Cinq Quatrains. The cycle explores the use of folk-related themes,
and contains jazz and cabaret influences. The texts for Trois Chansons, based on
characters in Cervantes’ two-book epic about the knight-errant Don Quijote, have
different authors for each chanson. “Chanson du Galérien” (“Song of the Galley Slave”)
was penned by an ‘anonymous 16th Century composer.’ This text is probably a
paraphrase of Cervantes’ writings, since the description in each verse is very similar to
the events in the tale of the galley slaves in Chapter 22 in Book One of Don Quijote.110
Jacques Chabannes (1900-1994) was a screenwriter, journalist, novelist, and the author of
the text for “Chanson du Vigneron” (“Song of the Winemaker”). A multifaceted man, he
was obviously familiar with the Cervantes novel. Throughout the books, Quijote and
Sancho Panza continually praise winemakers and their heavenly product. Writers
Georges-Andre Cuel and Marcel Belvianes penned “Chanson du Matelot” (Song of the
Sailor”), which describes the life of a sailor. Book One of Don Quijote contains the story
of sailor Ruy Perez, a Christian sailor recently released from the Moors,111 The texts of
Trois Chansons offer another contrast to the other pieces examined. Whereas Delannoy
Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quijote, Book 1, Chapter 22.
Cervantes, Don Quijote, Book 1, Chapter 42.
selected preexistent poems for Quatre Regrets and Cinq Quatrains, the texts for Trois
Chansons were written specifically for Delannoy’s composition.112
Trois Chansons is tonal, and never strays from the tonic. Delannoy reuses
thematic material to create a mood, as he does in “Colombine” (Cinq Quatrains) and
“Heureux” (Quatre Regrets). “Chanson du Vigneron” is an unidentified folk tune,
possibly pastoral. All three songs contain influences of jazz harmonies and
cabaret/vaudeville song settings, especially in “Chanson du Matelot.” In addition, a note
for the performer is provided in the piano/vocal score at the beginning of each piece:
“N.B. Le choix des nuances, variant à chaque couplet, est laisée, en général, au soin des
interprètes.” (“The choice of nuance, varying in each verse, is left, in general, to the care
of the interpreters.”) This statement allows the singer to experiment and make his own
choices for dynamics and colors throughout sections where they are not marked in the
vocal line.
“Chanson du Galérien” (“Song of the Galley Slave”)
A ha! O Dieu, Sauveur du monde, pardonne moi, car A ha! O God, savior of the world, forgive me, for I
sur la mer profonde mourir je dois. Dedans une galère must die in the deep sea. For I am detained in a
suis détenu, pour avoir père et mère, hélas battu !
galley for having a father and mother, alas beaten!
L’amour ! L’amour des dames m’a bien détruit, et
dans cette galère –Hélas ! conduit ! Nuit et jour la
taverne je fréquentais, etant de mal gouverne
chacun frappais !
Love! Love of the ladies has well destroyed me,
and I am in this galley – alas, where does it go?
Night and day I went to the tavern, and I got
knocked hard!
A ha ! Tout nu en chemise ! Las! Il faut ramer nuit
et jour sans feintise sur cette mer! Ha ! De nerfs de
bœufs sans cesse battu je suis, Je n’ai plus de
caresses de mes amis !
A ha! Naked in my shirt! Alas! I must row day and
night without pretense on the sea! Ha! I am one of
the nerves of cattle unceasingly beaten; I no longer
have the caresses of my friends!
Translation by Steven B. Jepson
Chabannes was a novelist and did not write prose. Cuel was a screenwriter, and
Belvianes was an academic writer, best known for his booklets on cathedrals and the Madonna in
The first of Trois Chansons, “Chanson du Galérien” contains a continuous,
strophic melody over an accompaniment based on repeated and occasionally changing
motives. It consists of three couplets, broken into two separate parts. The first part of the
couplet is a statement of the slave’s current state; the second part is an explanation of
what caused the situation, followed by a mocking ‘laugh’ in the accompaniment. These
parts are separated in the score by a b. [bouche] ½ fermée (mouth half open), resulting in
a downward moan for the vocalist (Musical Example 23). In the first two verses, this
“moan” is a vocal commentary on the situation; the performance interpretation is up to
the vocalist. Since each verse relates to a different aspect of his life, the moan is either a
cry of confusion or pain, depending on the verse. The final verse removes the b. ½
fermée, replacing it with an almost self-mocking laugh.
Musical Example 23: “Chanson du Galérien,” mm. 10-12, vocal line, first verse.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
As for the complete verses, the text of the first verse asks for the forgiveness of
God, as the slave wonders why he must die at sea and why he is continually beaten. The
second verse muses on what brought him there – his love of women and too much time in
the taverns. The third verse is the harshest and most satirical; sweating so much that his
covering all but disappears, beaten like cattle, he will never see his friends again.
Use of repetition in the accompaniment is prevalent in this piece. Entire measures
are repeated/transposed as the vocal line moves above it. The tempo marking is Assez
large et pesant (rather broad and weighted; suggested tempo is quarter note = 46), and the
pianist is directed to make the beginning au loin, en s’approchant peu à peu (in the
distance, approaching slowly). These directions help depict the image of a ship at sea,
driven by the oars of galley slaves. The constant ‘rocking’ motion of the boat throughout
the piece is from the utilization of upward sixteenth grace notes, most frequently on the
downbeats of measures. The use of a dotted eighth and two 32 nd notes, prevalent in the
piece, conveys motion. (Musical Example 24).
Musical Example 24: “Chanson du Galérien,” mm. 1-2.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
The first verse begins one measure earlier than the other verses. The vocal line
contributes to the rocking motion supplied in the piano with the combination of an “A
ha!” and a portamento. The rocking motion continues throughout the first section of each
verse (Musical Example 25).
Musical Example 25: “Chanson du Galérien,” mm. 2-3, vocal line.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
The 32nd notes in the vocal line (Musical Example 26, circled) found in measures
4 and 6 create tension, with the legato phrasing of measures 5 and 7 offering release. This
is a focal counterpoint to the ‘rocking’ theme supplied by the piano (Musical Example
26, boxed), which represents the dipping and pulling of the oars through the water,
followed by the raising and resetting of the oars for the next stroke. The voice mimics the
piano’s motion, but much slower; what takes the piano one measure the voice does in
Musical Example 26: “Chanson du Galérien,” mm. 4-7, piano/vocal, first verse.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
In measures 8-10 the vocal line moves down stepwise through Eb major, while
the bass follows a quarter note pattern identical in all three measures. The vocal line is
offering a feeling of desperation through the stepwise motion, while the 32 nds in the piano
symbolize the continual forward motion through the waves, now on the first three beats
of each measure (Musical Example 27). Delannoy continually uses the same bass pattern
to build the repetitive drudgery that a galley slave experiences, shackled to his oar, with
no view of sea or sun.
Musical Example 27: “Chanson du Galérien,” mm. 8-10.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
The moans that connect the two sections begin at measure 11. Beginning with a
downward movement of a half step, the voice drops a major third, while the piano
continues the motion of the oars (Musical Example 28, boxed). The Gb in the voice
finally resolves to an F after this pattern is repeated. Every beat is marked in the voice
and piano with a marcato, indicating emotional stress.
Musical Example 28: “Chanson du Galérien,” mm. 11-12, with the first beat of 13.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
In measures 13–16, a two-bar pattern repeats in the piano while the upper part of
the right hand and the vocal line change above it. These measures feature a sarcastic
‘weeping/laughing’ triplet pattern, first heard in the vocal line then echoed in the piano.
This is the first use of triplets in the piece, which helps set the section as a more
conversational, almost drunken parlando. This section describes why the aforementioned
pain occurred. (Musical Example 29). The motion of the piece has also switched from the
piano to the voice; the voice now has the moving line, whereas the piano is supplying
more static quarter and half notes.
Musical Example 29: “Chanson du Galérien,” mm. 13-16.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
The text of the slave’s pain/loss at the end of the second section is repeated for
emphasis; this is the only repetition of a series of words in the piece. The piano responds
with a descending slide in a jagged rhythm. This resolves into an A major 7 chord
(Musical Example 30, circled), which is the only major chord in the entire piece. This
harmonic change can appear to be a glimmer of hope for the slave.
Musical Example 30: “Chanson du Galérien,” mm. 17-19.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
However, this possible hope is removed as the first measure of the piece is
repeated, reestablishing the sense of hopelessness as the verses continue. In the coda,
Delannoy begins to deconstruct this measure, still complete with the ‘rocking’ motive of
a sixteenth leading into the third beat. This is marked for the voice and the piano, as the
direction is en s’éloignant peu à peu jusqu’à se perde (away, little by little, to be lost).
The vocal line goes back to the strong/weak motion found in the beginning of the piece
(starting on Db rather than F), then continues by vocalizing the 32 nd notes usually found
in the piano, marked portez (strike or hit) with a marcato, simulating the pull of the oars
through the water (Musical Example 31, boxed). Although the rocking motion carries
into C, the rest of the accompaniment centers on Bb, where the piece ends (Musical
Example 32).
Musical Example 31: “Chanson du Galérien,” mm. 21-25.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
Musical Example 32: “Chanson du Galérien,” mm. 28-30.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
“Chanson du Galérien” is the most enigmatic and perplexing of Trois Chansons.
The text is the most connected to the Cervantes novel, following the tale of the galley
slaves closely. According to the date stamp of the Salabert piano/vocal score, copies of
the piece were available March 1934, but chanteuse Solange Demolière (dates unknown)
premiered part of the cycle in 1933. 113 Perhaps this piece was finished first and premiered
before the others were completed. It is the most ambitious of the three, and the one with
the most anguish, given its subject. If the possibility of Delannoy submitting material for
Pabst and Chaliapin to peruse is true, then this piece would have been the most obvious
to submit, as this scene appears in the film, which premiered in 1933. However, whereas
the material by Ibert and Ravel written for the film centered on Quijote, this piece centers
on another character, which would not have been ideal for Pabst’s vision or for
Chaliapin. 114
“Chanson du Galérien” Orchestral Study
A study of the orchestra score reveals that it is an enlargement of the piano/vocal
score. The verses differ distinctly between the orchestra score and the piano/vocal score;
in the piano/vocal score, only the third verse contains marked changes. The
instrumentation is as follows:
Viola (3)
Clarinet in Bb
Horn in F
Violin Solo
Cello (2)
Alto/Tenor Saxophone
Trumpet in C
Violin (6)
Double Bass (2)
In general, the winds and strings work together throughout the piece to symbolize
the magnitude and starkness of the open sea, with brass added for color and contrast. A
poco a poco crescendendo in the three lower strings that begins pianissimo replaces the
Boll, Marcel Delannoy, 45.
Chapter 4 contains a more detailed comparison.
piano/vocal score instruction for the sound of the ship to be in the distance. The constant
‘rocking’ motion of the boat, characterized by upward sixteenth grace notes (as discussed
in the piano/vocal analysis), moves from the piano and viola in verse one to the bassoon
in verse two, connecting to the ‘amour’ theme of the second verse (Musical Example 33).
Musical Example 33: “Chanson du Galérien” orch. score, mm. 1-2
(pno/vla), 20-21 (bsn).
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
The percussion becomes more prevalent in the second verse, with more use of
wood block and snare. The mocking ‘laugh’ figure transfers from clarinet to trumpet
(Musical Example 34), and finally to solo violin in the third verse.
Musical Example 34: “Chanson du Galérien” orch. score, mm. 14-15
(Bb cl above), 31-32 (C trp below).
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
In the third verse, the countermelody normally found in the strings transfers to the
brass and winds. The trombone, becoming more prominent in the third verse, gives a very
harsh commentary using the triplet sixteenth grace notes previously found in piano,
violin, and bassoon, now marked as a glissando with a crescendo (Musical Example 35).
Musical Example 35: “Chanson du Galérien” orch. score, mm. 36-38 (tbn).
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
The alto sax also doubles the vocal part in the third verse. Solo violin also is used
to double the vocal part, but only sparingly, especially in the ‘mocking’ triplets. In the
Coda the melody is carried by trombone, bassoon, and tenor sax, as the dark tonal
qualities of these instruments add to the portrayal of the desperation of the slave’s life.
Insights for a pianist involve the particular differences between the first and
second verses, considering there is little direction given in the piano/vocal score. For
instance, mostly brass and percussion interpret the second verse (concerning love),
whereas the first verse (the sea) is portrayed by winds and strings. This change in
orchestral texture could encourage the pianist to approach the second verse in a more
percussive manner.
“Chanson du Vigneron” (“Song of the Winemaker”)
Quand las de ses souffrances l’homme lève vers
Dieu. Son regard douloureux et vide d’espérances.
Dieu lui dit : La terre est dure, le ciel est noir, sous
la froidure on perd l’espoir. Prends patience : sur le
coteau vigne s’élance, les ceps sont beaux.
When full of suffering, man looks up to God, with a
painful look and empty hopes. God says to him: the
earth is hard, the sky is black, in the cold we lose
hope. Have patience: on the hill the vine soars,
the stocks are beautiful.
L’amoureux a sa belle a dit son tendre amour. À
tous ses beaux discours elle parait rebelle. Dieu lui
dit : Printemps s’avance verts sont les prés garde
espérance viendra l’été. Prends patience sur le
coteau vigne s’élance, raisins sont beaux.
The lover speaks his tender love to his beauty. After
all of his fine speeches she remains rebellious. God
says to him: Spring advances, meadows are green,
have hope that summer will come. Have patience:
on the hill the vine soars; the grapes are beautiful.
En vigne chacun porte ce qu’il a de meilleur.
L’oubli et la chaleur au fond de sa comporte. Dieu
nous dit : Satan s’écroule est sans pouvoir quand le
vin coule dans le pressoir doux comme un ange. Le
jus divin de la vendange de nos raisins.
With wine, each door is the right one; oblivion and
the heat is found the bottom of its composition.
God tells us: Satan collapses and is powerless when
the wine flows in the press, sweet as an angel.
The divine juice from the harvest of our grapes.
Translation by Steven B. Jepson
“Chanson du Vigneron” (text by Jacques Chabannes) states that the growing of
grapes and the drinking of wine can solve life’s issues, whether it be despair (first verse),
love (second verse), or moral conflict/the lure of Satan (third verse). In F major, the song
has the semblance of familiar country folk tune, which matches the sentiment of the text.
Compared to the strong rocking motion in 4/4 found in “Chanson du Galérien,” this piece
has a simple, gentle motion in 6/8, suited for the vistas of grapevines on the rolling hills.
The tempo marking of this pastoral piece is Dans un sentiment très fruste (in a very crude
sense; in a less refined style; suggested tempo is eighth note = 134), which helps with the
simple interpretation of man’s struggles with life. In each verse, man bewails his
problems to the heavens and God responds, explaining why people should have patience:
because the vines and their fruits are wonderful. The easy rise and fall of man’s vocal
line, (symbolizing the rolling hills of the vineyard), combined with its small range (F-Bb3
with C2 as a pickup) and simple chord progressions, allow the singer to be more
simplistic in his pleas to God (Musical Example 36).
Musical Example 36: “Chanson du Vigneron,” mm. 5-8.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
Measure 9 begins an upward movement in both piano and voice. This is the
farthest the ‘human’ side of the song moves away from the tonic, yet it jumps down a
fifth when describing the worst part of his suffering (“despair,” “the woman rebels,” “an
empty glass” – Musical Example 37).
Musical Example 37: “Chanson du Vigneron,” mm. 9-12.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
At “Dieu lui/nous dit” (measures 13-14), stability and reason are achieved by
returning to the tonic (F) through new chromatic motion not previously found in the
piece. This achieves an otherworldly or celestial feeling in contrast to the previous chord
progressions, which evoked simplicity. It also is a plagal cadence, synonymous with an
“Amen.” (Musical Example 38).
Musical Example 38: “Chanson du Vigneron,” mm. 13-14.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
In God’s explanation, Delannoy composed a whimsical vocal line using a
repeated pattern which transposes down a second every two measures, similar to a
melody one would hear in a nursery rhyme (Musical Example 39). In this section, the
motion is downward, as if from heaven, instead of upward, as it was in the ‘human
misery’ section.
At “Prends patience/Doux comme un ange” (Musical Example 40), the
angelic/otherworldly imagery returns through a chord progression not found in the rest of
the piece; its complexity adds gravitas to the words “have patience/sweet like an angel.”
It is interesting to note that in both sections where the otherworldly chord progressions
occur, the answer in the vocal line is extremely simple. The motion in the vocal line
compliments the more complex progressions underneath, underscoring a relative ease to
God’s responses.
Musical Example 39: “Chanson du Vigneron,” mm. 14-18.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
Musical Example 40: “Chanson du Vigneron,” mm. 19-20.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
Beginning at measure 21, the vocal line and right hand move stepwise through the
F scale (Musical Example 41). Delannoy adds a measure of 9/8 to allow the dotted
quarter pulse to continue through the scale. The ritornello brings back the introduction.
Musical Example 41: “Chanson du Vigneron,” mm. 21-23 (incomplete m. 24).
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
Delannoy uses stepwise sliding cadences rather than leap-wise motions (see
Musical Example 38, measure 13). Another four-measure section follows in God’s
explanation, broken up into two simple, almost nursery-rhyme patterns consisting of IV-I
progressions. Measure 19 is more complex compared to the relative simplicity of most of
the piece. This is counterpoint to the previous section; the words “Prends patience” and
“Doux comme un ange” are intended more as advice than explanation (“God tells
him/us”). Three measures of forte in both voice and piano lead to the ritornello,
enhancing God’s proclamation about the vines and the wine. Once again, Delannoy’s use
of familiar folk styles plays well in this piece about the simple wisdom found in the
growing of grapes and the drinking of wine.
“Chanson du Vigneron” Orchestral Study
Georges Ferveaux, a fellow composer also publishing with Salabert, orchestrated
“Chanson du Vigneron.”.115 The instrumentation is as follows:
Violin (3)
Double Bass
Alto/Tenor Saxophone
Clarinet in Bb (2)
Trumpet in C (2)
The orchestration of “Chanson du Vigneron” is more rigorously strophic than that
of “Chanson du Galérien” since all three verses are the same throughout the piece. There
is no use of percussion in this piece with the exception of timpani. Harp replaces the
piano part and only appears in the “God” sections (at the mention of God and the request
for patience) and in the two-measure coda. In the first four measures, all winds and
strings play together. Flute, oboe, clarinet, and first and second violins carry the melody
found in the piano/vocal score. The remaining strings accompany the first four measures
after the introduction as a countermelody (Musical Example 42). The use of harsher
sounding instruments (lower winds and brass) during the upward rise in the vocal line
accentuates the tension of the text (despair/the rebelliousness of the lover/the heat of
Marjorie Sarthou, Department Head – Hire Department, Universal Music
(Salabert/Durand/Eschig), Email conversation with author, 12 March 2014. Salabert contracted
Ferveaux; however, his dates are unknown.
Musical Example 42: “Chanson du Vigneron” orch. score, mm. 5-8 above, 9-12 below.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
At measure 13, at the mention of “Dieu,” strings return with the brass and
bassoon, as well as harp and timpani (Musical Example 43). Harp brings the essence of
deity, and the timpani roll on the word “dit” expresses the depth and wisdom of what is
about to follow.
Musical Example 43: “Chanson du Vigneron” orch. score (partial), mm. 13-14.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
Winds (without flute or oboe) along with low strings carry the pseudo nurseryrhyme vocal line, supporting the idea that God is explaining himself as if talking to a
child. At “Prends patience” and “Doux comme un ange” (third verse), lead violins are
added, saxophone gives way to clarinet, and harp enters to portray the voice of deity and
instill calm. Full winds and strings carry the last three measures before the ritornello,
with the 9/8 measure using same voicing as in the introduction. Although this is
Ferveaux’s orchestration, it is similar to Delannoy’s style of instrumental voicing seen in
the other pieces of Trois Chansons. Although the sections where the harp is featured are
not written as being arpeggiated, a pianist could make this choice to help set off the God
sections from the rest of the piece.
“Chanson du Matelot” (“Song of the Sailor”)
Avoir vingt ans pour bicoque un bateau – toque,
trinque, choque avec les matelots. Changer, certes,
de défroque moins souvent que d’horizon emporter
de la bonne humeur en cargaison. Voilà quelle est
notre vie vous fait elle point envie.
For twenty years I’ve had a boat as my shanty –
salute, clink glasses, shocks (drinks) with the
sailors. I change, of course, my rags (clothes) less
often than the horizon…to carry a good humor as
your cargo; that is our life – you might envy it.
Le ciel est dans notre âme autant que dans nos
yeux – toque, trinque, choque avec les gars joyeux.
Chaque port lointain évoque pour nous autres les
marins filles aux bras nerveux amoureux et câlins.
Chacune en sa chair fleurie a le gout de sa patrie.
The sky is in our heart as much as in our eyes –
salute, clink glasses, drinks with the merry men.
Each remote port evokes for us sailors’ girls with
sinewy arms, loving and cuddly. Each in its
flowered flesh makes us think of home.
Le rêve est sur le mât sous la coque est la mort –
toque, trinque, choque avec le mauvais sort. Qui du
gros temps ne se moque ne doit jamais voyager rien
ne vaut de se sentir fort dans le danger. Le péril ça
vient ça vie – honneur à qui sait en rire !
The dream is on the mast; under the hull is death –
salutes, toasts, drinks with the evil fate. That we mock
bad weather doesn’t mean we’ll never travel in it.
There is no value in feeling except in danger – the
peril that comes brings honor at which we’ll laugh…
Refrain : Ohé ! Marins et capitaines! Ohé! Brûleurs
de coeurs! Ohé, briseurs de chaines! Accourez pour
danser la danse avec la bateau qui s’élance sur les
flots où le vent met des frisons d’argent.
Refrain: Ahoy! Sailors and captains! Ahoy! Burners
of hearts! Ahoy, chain breakers! Come to the dance
with the boat that soars on the waves where the wind
sends promises of money.
Translation by Steven B. Jepson
Each piece in Trois Chansons highlights a different compositional facet of
Delannoy. With “Chanson du Galérien,” the style connects more to the image the text
portrays, using repeated figures to illustrate mood and raw emotion. “Chanson du
Vigneron” uses a melody reminiscent of a folk tune, possibly a nursery rhyme, to help
calm the protagonist. In “Chanson du Matelot,” however, the familiarity comes from the
present day, with Delannoy employing techniques found in jazz and cabaret. “Chanson
du Matelot” is more in line with music preferred by the general populace of the time.
The first place to explore how “Chanson du Matelot” differs from the others is the
text, written by two authors. Georges Andre-Cuel (1889-1956) was a contemporary of
Delannoy and worked as a writer, playwright, novelist, and screenwriter.116 The bestknown works of Marcel Belvianes (1893-19??)117 are non-fiction, such as the Frenchlanguage booklets La madone dans la peinture (The Madonna in Painting), Cathédrals de
France (French Cathedrals), and Plantes exotiques du monde (Exotic Plants of the
World). In 1930, he wrote a libretto adaptation of Moliere’s George Dandin, ou, Le mari
confondu, a comic opera in three acts118 and, in 1954, the book Sociologie de la
Musique.119 The story Andre-Cuel and Belvianes wove for Delannoy is a tale of
adventure and carefree living mixed with exotic ports, beautiful women, and laughing in
the face of danger.
“Chanson du Galérien” deals with the trials of living as a galley slave, and
“Chanson du Vigneron” explains why patience and wine is key to life. In contrast,
“Chanson du Matelot” is a rousing tribute to the free life of a sailor, a more joyous
“Georges Andre-Cuel.” Internet Movie Database (IMDb), (First accessed 8 October 2014).
There is no record of his death, but there is a record of Belvianes writing an article in
1982; “L’homme qui nous faisait aimer ce qu’il aimait.” Revue de Musicologie, Paris: Société
Française de Musicologie, 381-386.
Music by Max d’Ollonde (1875-1959), premiered in Paris in 1930. George Dandin,
ou, Le mari confondu. Paris: Heugel, 1930.
“Belvianes, Marcel (1893-).” Worldcat Identities, (First accessed 18 October
celebration of a lifestyle than the other two compositions. Instead of illustrating this by
using a traditional, familiar melody from France’s musical history, Delannoy allows the
tale to come forth in a twentieth century vein by incorporating contemporary musical
styles of the period. The entire piece resembles a cabaret song. “Chanson du Vigneron” is
more connected to the country, whereas “Chanson du Matelot” has a rowdy port-town
feel, more in keeping with the singing style of chanteur Maurice Chevalier (1888-1972).
Cabaret does not have a distinctive musical form per se: all composers who have
worked in cabaret have drawn on existing folksong, popular song or operatic parodies for
their inspiration.120 Elements within cabaret include the singer/character, usually within a
series of songs, describing their situation and occasionally ‘breaking the fourth wall’ to
interact with the audience. An element of ease similar to ad lib pervades, allowing the
piece a more personal aspect. By the late 1920s, cabaret, in particular German cabaret,
took on the role of social and political commentary in the guise of entertainment. In
“Chanson du Matelot,” the sailor’s commentary focuses on the happiness in his life, and
he invites the listener to join in, explaining the possible dangers as well as the obvious
pleasures. The ebb and flow of the piece, along with Delannoy’s note that nuance is left
to the singer, allows the singer/pianist to craft movement in and out of tempo changes
according to their liking, and according to audience reaction. Many of the song’s lyrics
can (and should) elicit a reaction, which would be typical and expected in a cabaret piece.
Because of this, movement out of “reaction moments,” usually found at ritardandos
moving into a tempo, contain a measure or two of piano without the voice, forming a
natural vamp for a possible reaction from the audience before the voice continues.
Klaus Wachsmann and Patrick O’Connor, “Cabaret,” Grove Music Online.
ck&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (First accessed 31 July 2015).
Delannoy chose to use a number of devices in this piece that are common in jazz
and cabaret of the period. There are examples of descending chord planing on major 7 ths
and dominant 9ths, rhythmic bass-chord patterns adding motion, long lyrical lines set
precisely to the text, chromatic motion in the melody at the ends of phrases, modal
harmonies and melodies, and alberti bass patterns. Also found is a feature called
‘chromatic toggling,’ coined by Eugene De Luca in his dissertation, “The genre of
American Cabaret with an original Cabaret Show by Gino De Luca.”121 The idea behind
chromatic toggling is that a chromatic figure slowly moving up and/or down from the
given pitch in a melody gives the suggestion of a pleasurable, possibly sexual feeling.
This chromatic toggling is a common feature in cabaret songs.
The compositional structure used in “Chanson du Matelot” also appears in some
of the music of German composer Kurt Weill (1900-1950). Weill used the framework of
multiple stanzas followed by a longer refrain in a number of his pieces, most notably
“The Bilbao Song” from his musical Happy End (1929).122 The structure of this song is
similar to that of “Chanson du Matelot.” Both songs feature three verses, an easy, loping
accompaniment, and a lengthy refrain. Based in Paris during this period, Delannoy
should have been acquainted with Weill’s music, as it was widely performed there (his
musical Seven Deadly Sins premiered in Paris in 1933), but it is not known if the two
composers knew each other.123
Eugene Joseph De Luca, “The genre of American Cabaret with an original Cabaret
Show by Gino De Luca.” PhD Mus diss., The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, 2013, 64-65.
Kurt Weill, “The Bilbao Song,” from Happy End. 1929, Weill-Brecht-Harms Co., Inc.
(now Universal Music).
David Drew and J. Bradford Robinson, “Kurt Weill.” Grove Music Online,
In the piano/vocal score, the piece begins with chord planing from Eb major to C
VII with an added 9th, then to Bb, and finally moving to Eb at a tempo as the vocal line
leads in with an ad lib measure (Musical Example 44). The tempo is marked Allant et
bien rythmé (ranging and well-paced; suggested tempo is quarter note = 116), meaning
that the singer and pianist should not be too complacent in the declamation, but keep the
energy flowing. Two melodies appear at the same time: the vocal line, and a languid but
moving countermelody in the piano.
Musical Example 44: “Chanson du Matelot,” mm. 1-4.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
In each verse, the vocal line starts lazily, but adds motion with eighth notes in
measure 6 (as the piano moves in contrary motion) into the Eb salute to the sailors
(“toque, trinque,” Musical Example 45). Measures 9-11 have a steady bass figure
focusing on Bb, which allows the chords in the right hand to act more as a lively contrast
(First accessed 15 April 2015).
to the steady and carefree feeling in both the bass and the vocal line (Musical Example
Musical Example 45: “Chanson du Matelot,” mm. 5-8.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
Musical Example 46: “Chanson du Matelot,” mm. 9-11.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
At measure 17, where the stanza’s second section begins, the accompaniment
begins to take an active part in what the text is conveying, instead of merely reacting to
the vocal line. The first section deals with the everyday feelings and livelihood of the
sailor (along with drinking toasts). The second section speaks more of the requirements
for this kind of lifestyle and the adventures in store, achieved by the vocal line’s imitation
of a rolling wave (Musical Example 47).
Musical Example 47: “Chanson du Matelot,” mm. 17-20.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
The harmonic structure builds to an authentic cadence leading to the refrain,
assisted by a ritenuto in the last three measures. Of particular interest is the middle line in
the accompaniment at measures 24 and 25. This downward motion of eighth notes,
returning to the original note and given on the offbeat, is very typical of a ‘rag’ style,
which by this time was incorporated into jazz (Musical Example 48).
Musical Example 48: “Chanson du Matelot,” mm. 24-25, ‘rag’ feature boxed.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
At the refrain, a variation of the bass figure from measure 5 returns (see Musical
Example 45), this time using an alternating Eb/Bb pattern, each given one measure, as the
vocal line floats above it in a jaunty cabaret call to mariners of all kinds (Sailors,
Captains, Burners of Hearts). The right hand of the accompaniment is also in bass clef,
adding to the feeling of languidness (Musical Example 49). This continues to measure 44,
when the voice moves ad lib to Eb in the next measure.
Musical Example 49: “Chanson du Matelot,” mm. 30-33, piano.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
The ‘languid’ pattern in the accompaniment repeats for one measure, then holds
while the voice moves down chromatically à l’aise (with ease) while also tenuto (Musical
Example 50). This enhances the cabaret style of this piece; the text, emphasized by the
slow downward vocal figure at the end of the phrase, is followed quickly by an a tempo
and a vocal tacet to allow time for the “joke” to hit home to the audience. It is interesting
that Delannoy chose to emphasize that these sailors are the breakers of chains, unlike the
sailors in “Chanson du Galérien” who forge chains onto galley slaves.
Musical Example 50: “Chanson du Matelot,” mm. 44-47.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
The refrain, like the stanzas, is broken up into two sections. The first is a call to
the people the sailors know and love. The second is an invitation to come to the dance
with the boat that soars (“Accourez pour danser la danse avec le bateau qui s’élance”)
and speaks of letting the wind blow them to dreams of riches. The only arpeggiation in
the piece, at measure 55, enhances the image of moving over the waves. When the first
and second endings are reached at the text “d’argent” (of money/riches), the languidness
of the beginning of the refrain is repeated in the piano while the vocal line holds a Bb
with a grace note of A natural added. This evokes a more sensual feeling, using the
chromatic toggling feature found in jazz and cabaret (Musical Example 51).
Musical Example 51: “Chanson du Matelot,” mm. 60-63
(first and second refrain endings, ‘toggle’ circled).
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
“Chanson du Matelot” Orchestral Study
The differences between the orchestra score and the piano/vocal score are greater
in “Chanson du Matelot” than in the other pieces of Trois Chansons. The style is
expansive, containing more cabaret and jazz elements than the piano/vocal score. The
accompaniment is richer, the voice occasionally disappears for effect, and new material
helps to increase the character of a showpiece. The instrumentation is as follows:
Alto Sax
Violin (6)
Double Bass (2)
Clarinet in Bb
Horn in F
Viola (3)
Trumpet in C
Cello (2)
The first obvious difference is an additional measure in the beginning, which does
not appear in the piano/vocal score: the violins play a Bb scale beginning on A natural
upward an octave to a trilled A natural, doubled by the flute (Musical Example 52). This
leads to the chord planing in the winds and piano, which is the first measure in the
piano/vocal score. When the voice enters, the piano part is similar to what is contained in
the piano/vocal score, and the strings follow the general movement of the vocal line. An
easy clarinet solo enters at “toque, trinque” as the trumpet echoes the vocal line
Musical Example 52: “Chanson du Matelot” orch. score, violin, mm. 1-2.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
The next major change from the piano/vocal score appears just before the refrain.
Most parts hold through to the fourth beat of measure 30, with the violins (without solo)
and violas having a marked pizzicato on the fourth beat, followed by a fermata in all parts
(Musical Example 53). In the piano/vocal score, the piece moves into the refrain without
a fermata. In addition, the piano continues the percussive eighth notes throughout the
majority of the refrain, drops out at “sur le flots où le vent met des frissons,” and reenters on the second syllable of “d’argent.”
Musical Example 53: “Chanson du Matelot” orch. score, pno/vln/vla, mm. 29-31.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
The second stanza roughly follows the first, with more solo opportunities for the
alto sax. This time there is no fermata before the refrain, as in the piano/vocal score, but
the vocal line stops and a trumpet solo replaces it (Musical Example 54). The voice reenters at where “Ohé! Brûleurs de coeurs!” occurs, but hums the melody line up to
Musical Example 54: “Chanson du Matelot” orch. score, mm. 93-96. ,
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
The third stanza resembles the first, although the winds, brass, and low strings are
marked marcato on the accented beats, while the piano part is marked tressec [sic]
(should be très sec; very dry). This adds a dryer, stronger flavor at the “rag” section
mentioned in the piano/vocal analysis. In addition, a suspended cymbal plays on the
accented beats (Musical Example 55). The fermata before the refrain returns, as in the
first stanza.
Musical Example 55: “Chanson du Matelot” orch. score, mm. 145-148.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
The third refrain is more percussive; the piano, marked sec (dry), plays with the
pizzicato low strings. Measure 184 in the orchestra score begins the coda found in the
piano/vocal score, and for the first time includes a vibraphone. The alto sax has the
moving line on the second to last measure (allargando in the piano/vocal, Largo in the
orchestral), and all parts come in on the last measure to complete the piece on an F#9
chord with fermata. Flute, clarinet, bassoon and trumpet have a perdendosi, all other
instruments have a diminuendo to a pianissimo, while the voice has a closed-mouth hum
from Db to Eb. The voice, strings, horn and alto sax still sound while the other
instruments gradually fade away, and the double bass gives the final V-I in F# major as a
musical interpretation of the sun setting into the sea. There is a lot to glean from the
orchestra score of Chanson du Matelot for the pianist and singer alike. The changes
found in the orchestra score - from instrumentation to performance practices - allow for
richer differences between the verses.
Trois Chansons is an eclectic collection in the piano/vocal score format, and even
more so in the orchestral version. A variety of styles is evident, and Delannoy’s use of
particular instruments in his orchestration adds a deft touch. Careful study of the
orchestra score of all three pieces can only add to the performance practices of the
piano/vocal score.
In the late 1920s, a Greek financier in London came up with the idea of
developing a movie with sound based on Cervantes’ Don Quijote. The original plan was
to have film star and director Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) direct, with music by Maurice
Ravel on text by well-known French author Paul Morand (1888-1976).124 The centerpiece
of this film was the securing of famed Russian operatic bass Feodor Chaliapin to play
Quixote. The project would be multi-lingual, filmed simultaneously in English, French,
and German.125 After Chaplin declined, German director Georg Wilhelm Pabst (18851967) replaced him, and actor and writer Alexandre Arnoux (1884-1973) added
additional dialog. The project almost died due to the 1929 global financial crisis coupled
with poor organization, 126 but ultimately premiered in 1933 to favorable reviews. 127
As mentioned in the Introduction of this essay, a number of in-print and online
sources state that five composers - Marcel Delannoy, Manuel de Falla, Jacques Ibert,
Darius Milhaud, and Maurice Ravel - were commissioned, without the knowledge of the
other composers, to compose three pieces for the film. 128 This widely held belief is a
subject of much conjecture; to date, no evidence is available that connects Delannoy,
Catharine Savage Brosman, French Novelists, 1900-1930. Detroit: Gale Research Co.,
1988, 241.
The German version never was completed.
Lee Atwell, G. W. Pabst. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1977, 109-113.
Adventures of Don Quixote, directed by G.W. Pabst, Nelson Film/Vandor Film, 1933.
Available on YouTube - First accessed 3
March 2013).
Introduction, page 3. Footnote 12 contains a list of online and published source that
mention this ‘five composer’ theory.
Falla, or Milhaud to the production. Ibert and Ravel both completed compositions for
Chaliapin to review, but the extremely fussy singer, in the twilight of his career, felt that
the Ravel compositions did not show off his voice. 129 It is unclear whether the final
choice of composer was left entirely to Chaliapin.
A lawsuit brought by Ravel against the film’s producers stated that his
compositions were, without his knowledge, rejected.130 The journal discussing Ravel’s
legal suit shows that earlier he had been in conversation with Chaliapin concerning the
construction of the pieces. When told of the bass’ displeasure, Ravel decided to remove
himself from the film, to the point of returning the initial fee of 5,000 francs. 131 Ibert’s
compositions, Chansons de Don Quichotte,132 were eventually chosen. Ironically,
Chaliapin was not thrilled with all four of Ibert’s songs either. As a result, he chose an
old composition titled “Sierra-Nevada” by Russian composer Alexander Dargomyzhsky
(1813-1869) as his first song in the film. 133 Ibert also wrote a piece for Quixote’s squire,
Sancho Panza, which was sung in French by Dorville, and in English by George Robey.
Ravel did not take the news of his removal from the project well. Ibert, a friend of
Ravel, was embarrassed that his compositions were chosen over the better-known French
musical statesman, and their friendship was briefly strained. Due to injuries from a
Marcel Marnat, “L’image publique de Maurice Ravel 1920-1937.” Cahiers Maurice
Ravel #3, Paris: Fondation Maurice Ravel, 1987, 38-39.
Jacques Ibert, Chansons de Don Quichotte (song cycle). Paris: Éditions Leduc, 1933.
“Adventures of Don Quixote.”
(First accessed 3 March 2013).
taxicab accident in 1932, the song cycle Don Quichotte à Dulcinée134 would be the last
composition of Maurice Ravel’s career. Although not used in the film, Ravel completed
the orchestrations for the cycle in 1934.
The purpose of this chapter is not to propose that Trois Chansons of Marcel
Delannoy was composed for the film and rejected, but to put the controversy in some
context. In addition, comparisons between the three sets of compositions can prove useful
for singers and/or musicologists. An initial comparison reveals two similarities: Trois
Chansons, along with the Ibert and Ravel chansons, take their inspiration from Don
Quijote, and all three composers wrote their pieces during the same period.
Neither Paul Morand (Ravel’s librettist) nor Alexandre Arnoux (the author of
three of Ibert’s works) followed the Cervantes text in detail. Instead, they tried to capture
the mood of particular moments in Quijote's life. Ibert and Ravel chose to base their
compositions on Spanish dance rhythms whereas, in two pieces, Delannoy used French
folk melodies as the inspiration for his works. The two Ibert and Ravel pieces that are the
most similar to each other concern the reason for Quijote’s quests: his unrequited love,
Dulcinea. These are “Chanson à Dulcinée” (Ibert) and “Chanson romanesque” (Ravel).
The similarities between these pieces are that both songs could have been sung while
Quijote is riding Rocinante (his horse), both songs allow Quijote to get lost in his
imagination (with Ibert's more so in the slower sections), and both composers set the
accompaniment to enhance the motion of a person on horseback. It is interesting to note
that Delannoy’s works contain no references to Dulcinea.
Maurice Ravel, Don Quichotte à Dulcinée (song cycle). Paris: Éditions Durand, 1934.
Chanson romanesque
Romantic song
Si vous me disiez que la terre
A tant tourner vous offensa,
Je lui dépêcherais Pança:
Vous la verriez fixe et se taire.
Were you to tell me that the earth
Offended you with so much turning,
Speedily would I dispatch Panza:
You should see it motionless and silent.
Si vous me disiez que l'ennui
Vous vient du ciel trop fleuri d'astres,
Déchirant les divins cadastres,
Je faucherais d'un coup la nuit.
Were you to tell me that you are weary
Of the sky too much adorned with start,
Destroying the divine order,
With one blow I would sweep them from the night.
Si vous me disiez que l'espace
Ainsi vidé ne vous plaît point,
Chevalier dieu, la lance au poing,
J'étoilerais le vent qui passe.
Were you to tell me that space
Thus made empty does not please you,
God-like knight, lance in hand,
I would stud the passing wind with stars.
Mais si vous disiez que mon sang
Est plus à moi qu'à vous, ma Dame,
Je blêmirais dessous le blâme
Et je mourrais, vous bénissant.
But were you to tell me that my blood
Belongs more to myself than to you, my Lady,
I would pale beneath the reproach
And I would die, blessing you.
O Dulcinée.
O Dulcinea.
Translation by Steven B. Jepson
Ravel’s “Chanson romanesque” follows his known style for setting songs using
rhythms found in dance. Tempo, constant at moderato, helps drive the text and meaning
forward. The alternating bars of 6/8 and 3/4 are typical of a Spanish quajira, and the form
is similar to what is found in a zarzuela.135 This depicts a horse at an easy trot, as well as
Quijote’s steadfast devotion to his Lady Dulcinea (Musical Example 56).
Musical Example 56: “Chanson romanesque,” mm. 1-4.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
Gerald Larner, Maurice Ravel. London: Phaidon Press Ltd, 1996, 213.
There is more time for introspection between the second and third verses, with the
addition of four measures and a lulling ostinato on F major. The fourth verse is a quick
realization that Quijote may not be able to carry out his Lady’s wishes. There are only
two measures of accompaniment before he enters, and a figure in the right hand mimics
his previous entrances. The all-important word “mais” (but), starting his thought process,
enters on the offbeat (Musical Example 57). Throughout the song, Quijote is portrayed
more as a valiant figure who would ‘move the earth and stars’ if he could to please his
Lady, rather than as a comical figure. No better is this seen than in the final section of
Morand’s text: “Je blémirais dessous de blame et je mourais, vous bénissant” (I would
grow pale under the reproach, and I would die, blessing you).
Musical Example 57: “Chanson romanesque,” mm 45-48.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
Chanson à Dulcinée
Song to Dulcinea
A, un an, me dure la journée
Si je ne vois ma Dulcinée.
Mais, Amour a peint son visage,
Afin d'adoucir ma langueur,
Dans la fontaine et le nuage,
Dans chaque aurore et chaque fleur.
Ah, each day feels like a year
when I do not see my Dulcinea.
But…Love paints her visage,
sweetening my yearning
In the fountain and the cloud,
In every rainbow and every flower.
A, un an, me dure la journée
Si je ne vois ma Dulciné.
Toujours proche et toujours lointaine,
Etoile de mes longs chemins.
Le vent m'apporte son haleine
Quand il passe sur les jasmins.
Ah, each day feels like a year
when I do not see my Dulcinea.
Always close and always far away,
Star of my long wanderings –
Her breath floats to me upon the wind
When it passes through the jasmine.
A, un an, me dure la journée
si je ne vois ma Dulcinée.
Ah, each day feels like a year
when I do not see my Dulcinea.
Translation by Steven B. Jepson
Ibert’s “Chanson à Dulcinée” is the only one of his four pieces not used in the
film. The song follows a similar pattern to Ravel’s “Chanson romanesque" in its image of
Quijote, on horseback, explaining to his travelling companion Sancho the qualities of his
Lady Dulcinea. The song is set in rondo form, ABACA, with the A section acting as a
refrain: “Ah – un an, me dure la journée si je ne vois ma Dulcinée” (Ah, each day feels
like a year when I do not see my Dulcinea). The accompaniment in the A sections sets a
quicker tempo than in the Ravel (Allegro; 1/4=120 compared to Moderato; 1/8=208). In
addition, the quick figuring in the left hand when crossed over the right is similar to a
Spanish aragionaise, and creates a jauntier accompaniment to Quijote’s wistful longing
for his Lady (Musical Example 58).
Musical Example 58: “Chanson à Dulcinée,” mm. 1-9.
© Editions Alphonse Leduc. Used with permission.
The B and C sections, especially when orchestrated, are the only sections where
Ibert turns away from Spanish influences and instead embraces the heady feel of sultry
Parisian jazz-cabaret. Tempo slows to a moderato (quarter now equals 66 compared to
120), 9th chords are introduced in the accompaniment (Musical Example 59, circled), and
the vocal line includes more sustained jumps than the simpler line of the A refrain
(Musical Example 59, boxed). The vocal lines of B and C, although dissimilar, share a
common arc. The bluesy swing of the melodic line, with its sparse accompaniment,
stands as a stark contrast to the more characteristically Spanish A sections.
Musical Example 59: “Chanson à Dulcinée,” mm. 31-36.
© Editions Alphonse Leduc. Used with permission.
Chanson épique
Epic song
Bon Saint Michel qui me donnez loisir
De voir ma Dame et de l'entendre,
Bon Saint Michel qui me daignez choisir
Pour lui complaire et la défendre,
Bon Saint Michel veuillez descendre
Avec Saint Georges sur l'autel
De la Madone au bleu mantel.
Good Saint Michael who gives me liberty
To see my Lady and to hear her,
Good Saint Michael who designs to elect me
To please her and to defend her,
Good Saint Michael, I pray you descend
With Saint George upon the altar
Of the Madonna of the blue mantle.
D'un rayon du ciel bénissez ma lame
Et son égale en pureté
Et son égale en piété
Comme en pudeur et chasteté: Ma Dame.
With a beam from heaven bless my sword
And its equal in purity
And its equal in piety
As in modesty and chastity: My Lady
(O grands Saint Georges et Saint Michel)
L'ange qui veille sur ma veille,
Aa douce Dame si pareille
A Vous, Madone au bleu mantel! Amen.
(O great Saint George and Saint Michael)
The angel who watches over my vigil,
My gentle Lady so much resembling
You, Madonna of the blue mantel! Amen.
Translation by Steven B. Jepson
Contextually, Ravel's second song, “Chanson epique,” closely resembles what
occurs in the Cervantes book. It is very similar to the chapter where Quijote is in the
courtyard of an inn. 136 Having never properly been knighted, Quixote mistakes the inn for
a castle, and requests the ‘lord’ (actually, the innkeeper) to knight him after he holds an
overnight vigil. Ravel’s ‘epic song’ is in 5/4 and follows the pattern of a slow Basque
country dance called a zortzico. 137 However, the planing harmonies and the simple
melody line are more fitting for a supplication (Musical Example 60). His exhortations to
Saint Michael move higher at every entrance, giving more urgency to his prayer,
culminating in the request to bless his sword. There is no marked change in the tempo
within the song.
Musical Example 60: “Chanson épique,” mm. 1-3.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
Cervantes, Don Quijote, Book One, Chapter 3.
“Zortzico.” Oxford Dictionary of Music Online,
e11296?q=zortzico&search=quick&pos=6&_start=1#firsthit (First accessed 10 December 2013).
“Ma Dame” (My Lady) is the emotional climax, accompanied by a static G minor
chord that dies, with the exception of a held-over low G (Musical Example 61). A
common performance practice is to hold the G in the vocal line, as if there is a fermata,
then pausing for a moment before continuing with the comparison of Quijote’s Lady to
the “Madonna of the Blue Mantle.”
Musical Example 61: “Chanson épique,” mm. 20-21, with fermatas added.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
Chanson du départ
Song of departure
Ce château neuf, ce nouvel édifice
Tout enrichi de marbre et de porphyre
Qu'amour bâtit château de son empire
où tout le ciel a mis son artifice,
Est un rempart, un fort contre le vice,
Où la vertueuse maîtresse se retire,
Que l'oeil regarde et que l'esprit admire
Forçant les coeurs à lui faire service.
This new chateau, this new edifice
All resplendent with marble and porphyry,
Where love built a castle for his empire
and all of heaven added to their skills
It is a rampart, a fortress against vice
Where the virtuous maiden retires
Whom the eye regards and the spirit admires,
She forces hearts to do her service.
C'est un château, fait de telle sorte
Que nul ne peut approcher de la porte
Si des grands rois il n'a sauvé sa race
Victorieux, vaillant et amoureux.
Nul chevalier tant soit aventureux
Sans être tel ne peut gagner la place.
It is a chateau whose nature is such
that none can approach its entrance
Unless he has saved his people from great kings.
Victorious, valiant, and amorous –
No knight, no matter how adventurous
Can gain entrance without acquiring it.
Translation by Steven B. Jepson
Ibert’s “Chanson du départ” is fitting for the departure of Quijote on his first of
hopefully many quests. It easily fits into the novel where Quijote speaks about the
fantastical castle he sees, instead of the actual wooden stable where the milkmaid he
identifies as Dulcinea is sleeping. 138 The right hand of the accompaniment, played by
oboe in the orchestral version, is heard both prior to and at the end of each vocal line. Its
loping, simple phrasing enhances the feeling of departure by mimicking the movement of
a horse and rider leisurely setting off down a path with no particular pace or direction
(Musical Example 62, boxed).
Musical Example 62: “Chanson du départ,” mm. 1-11.
© Editions Alphonse Leduc. Used with permission.
The entire vocal line is set as recitative, allowing the singer/Quijote to marvel at
what he sees. However, the image he speaks of is not of beauty, but of duty and hardship.
The texts, “C’est un château, fait de telle sorte que nul ne peut approcher de la porte si
Cervantes, Don Quijote, Book One, Chapter 2.
des grandes Rois il n’a sauvé sa race” (It is a chateau whose nature is such that none can
approach its entrance unless he has saved his people from great kings) and “forçant les
coeurs à lui faire service” (she forces hearts to do her service), illustrate Quijote’s
realization that he must earn the honor of his Lady to be worthy not only to return, but to
even approach the gates. Alexandre Arnoux furnished Ibert with poetry for three of his
four chansons but, for this piece, Ibert used the poetry of Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585).
Called the “Prince of Poets” during his lifetime, 139 Ronsard’s text is from Le Premier
Livre des Amours, a collection of sonnets written in 1552. 140 Ibert strove to capitalize on
dichotomy of a modern man trying to live in the past, and the Renaissance poetry of
Ronsard spoke to Ibert.
Chanson à boire
Drinking song
Foin du bâtard, illustre Dame,
Qui pour me perdre à vos doux yeux
Dit que l'amour et le vin vieux
Mettent en deuil mon cœur, mon âme!
A fig for the bastard, illustrious Lady,
Who to shame me in your sweet eyes,
Says love and old wine
Will bring misery to my heart, my soul!
Ah ! Je bois à la joie!
La joie est le seul but
Où je vais droit...
Lorsque j'ai ... lorsque j'ai bu!
I drink to joy!
Joy is the one aim
To which I go straight…
When I am drunk!
Foin du jaloux, brune maîtresse,
Qui geind, qui pleure et fait serment
D'être toujours ce pâle amant
Qui met de l'eau dans son ivresse!
A fig for the jealous fool, dark-haired mistress,
Who whines, who weeps and vows
Ever to be this pallid lover
Who waters the wine of his intoxication!
Ah ! Je bois à la joie!
La joie est le seul but
Où je vais droit...
Lorsque j'ai ... lorsque j'ai bu!
I drink to joy!
Joy is the one aim
To which I go straight…
When I am drunk!
Translation by Steven B. Jepson
Charles Graves, Lyrics of Ronsard, London: Oliver and Boyd, 1967.
Donald Stone, Jr., Ronsard’s Sonnet Cycles: A Study in Tone and Vision (New Haven,
London: Yale University Press, 1966), 15.
Ravel's last piece, “Chanson à boire,” requires Quijote to be drunk, and does not
accurately fit in any particular chapter of the novel. This piece is set as an Arogonese
jota, a popular dance form used by many composers such as Glinka in The Arogonese
Jota, Bizet in the entr’acte to Act IV of Carmen, and Frederick Lowe in the orchestral
setting of “The Rain in Spain” in My Fair Lady.141 It is strophic, with each verse
introduced by a quick downward alternating figure in the piano before the jota begins,
which is interpreted as a musical ‘stumble’ (Musical Example 63).
Musical Example 63: “Chanson à boire,” mm. 1-6.
© Editions Durand/Universal Music Publishing Classical.
The “Dame” about which Quijote/Quijana sings cannot be his Dulcinea; he would
never address her in this tone or while in his cups. He is not defending anyone’s honor,
although he is allowing another joy to enter his life, the joy he feels when he is drunk. It
is ironic that this song and its final lines, “je bois a la joie” (I drink to joy) would be the
last music Maurice Ravel would write; the 1932 taxicab accident apparently accelerated
an illness that manifested itself in ataxia (the inability to coordinate movement) and
aphasia (the inability to express oneself vocally). The original orchestral manuscript for
“Jota,” Spanish Arts website.
(First accessed 4 October 2015).
Don Quichotte à Dulcinée, currently at the Harry Ransom Center at The University of
Texas at Austin, as well as correspondence from the time, illustrate the decline in Ravel’s
normally precise and deliberate handwriting.
Chanson du Duc
Song of the Duke
Je veux chanter ici la Dame de mes songes
Qui m'exalte au-dessus de ce siècle de boue.
Son cœur de diamant est vierge de mensonges
La rose s'obscurcit au regard de sa joue.
I want to sing here of the lady of my dreams,
Whom I shall exalt far above this era of mud.
Her heart is a diamond, pure of deceit.
The rose pales (is obscured) next to her beauty.
Pour Elle j'ai tenté les hautes aventures
Mon bras a délivré la princesse en servage,
J'ai vaincu l'Enchanteur, confondu les parjures
Et ployé l'univers à lui rendre l'hommage.
For her I have attempted high adventure.
My arm has delivered the princess from slavery.
I have conquered the sorcerer, confounded the liars,
And crossed the universe to render her homage.
Dame par qui je vais, seul dessus cette terre,
Qui ne soit prisonnier de la fausse apparence,
Je soutiens contre tout Chevalier téméraire
Votre éclat non pareil et votre précellence.
Lady for whom I travel - alone above the earth,
Who is not a prisoner of illusions I uphold against any reckless knight
your unequalled brilliance and your excellence.
Translation by Steven B. Jepson
The third song of Ibert’s cycle, “Chanson du Duc,” appears in the Pabst film at a
lavish party given in honor of Quixote and Sancho. In reality, the party is an elaborate
ruse that a local duke and the chief official of the town have prepared in the hopes of
making the deluded Quijana see the error of his ways. This scene is a combination of the
many deceptions played on Don Quijote throughout the novel. In the film version, the
duke encourages Quixote to sing of his beloved Lady, since all knights-errant should be
well versed in song. The three verses are similar in their construction, all starting at an
allegro, moving to più largo, and ending either with a rallentando (the first two verses)
or an allargando (last verse) to a fermata (Musical Example 64). The energy and mood
are heroic and declamatory. He extolls his Lady’s virtues and sings of his feats of bravery
for her and his mission to uphold her beauty above all others.
Musical Example 64: “Chanson du Duc,” mm. 1-12.
© Editions Alphonse Leduc. Used with permission.
Chanson de la mort de Don Quichotte
Song of the death of Don Quixote
Ne pleure pas Sancho, ne pleure pas, mon bon
Ton maître n'est pas mort, il n'est pas loin de toi
Il vit dans une île heureuse
Où tout est pur et sans mensonges
Dans l'île enfin trouvée où tu viendras un jour
Dans l'île désirée, O mon ami Sancho!
Les livres sont brûlés et font un tas de cendres.
Don’t cry, Sancho. Don’t cry, my good friend.
Your master is not dead - he is not far from you.
He lives on a happy isle
where all is pure and without deceit –
On a marvelous isle where all will go one day;
that desired isle, oh my friend Sancho.
The books are burned, and are but a cup of
Si tous les livres m'ont tué
il suffit d'un pour que je vive
Fantôme dans la vie, et réel dans la mort
Tel est l'étrange sort du pauvre Don Quichotte. Ah…
Of all the books I’ve read,
one would have sufficed for me to live by.
A phantom in life, and real in death –
Such is the strange fate of poor Don Quixote. Ah…
Translation by Steven B. Jepson
Ibert’s last song, “Chanson de la mort de Don Quichotte,” is through composed,
although the returning melody suggests a strophic style. In the film, this poignant song
occurs as Quijana watches his beloved books burn in front of him. He dies in the arms of
Sancho, but Quixote’s ethereal voice comforts the squire; their journey is not yet over. In
a neat cinematic effect, Pabst has one book in the flames emerge out of the cinders, its
pages reforming, finally to become the Cervantes novel El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote
de la Mancha (The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha). The song, written
in the style of a slow habañera, plods like the tempo of Sancho’s donkey (Musical
Example 65).
Musical Example 65: “Chanson de la mort de Don Quichotte,” mm. 1-9.
© Editions Alphonse Leduc. Used with permission.
This melody, also prevalent in the sparse incidental music throughout the film,
suggests the poignancy of the entire tale. It allows the viewer to realize that this story,
although sad, will end with an ironic twist. Quijana, as Quixote, does not complete his
quest, but the legend of his travails will live on throughout history. The approach of the
singer must be that of quiet dignity and not of sadness. The singer states that Sancho’s
master is not far; he is on a marvelous isle to which they will all go one day. The final
“ah” is either Quijana’s last gasp, or the fading memory of the tale the cycle has now
presented to the audience.
The chansons of Ibert and Ravel capture the overall character of Don Quijote;
Delannoy chose to interpret stories not through the eyes of the title character, but through
other colorful characters and images found within the novels. Ibert’s chansons all were
directly related to specific events in the film and he maintained a consistent image of the
title character. Two of Ravel’s chansons fit this pattern, but the drinking song breaks
character and raises questions as to whom Don Quichotte is addressing in this song.
Delannoy’s chansons have a clear connection to Cervantes’ books, but are not
centered on the title character. Chanson du Galérien is the easiest to fit within the
confines of the film; in an existent scene, Quixote and Sancho hear the similar woes of
slaves being taken to the galleys. Chanson du Vigneron could be inserted into the scene
where Quixote and Sancho are on the beach, discussing Sancho’s island paradise.
Chanson du Matelot would be much more difficult to add; there is no scene in the film
that specifically references the life of a sailor, and the ‘fourth wall’ style of cabaret would
be too much of a departure from Pabst’s directorial style. If Trois Chansons was
composed for the movie, it would have been considered an embellishment of the film,
instead of a vehicle for the star of the film, Chaliapin.
Both Ibert and Ravel chose to use typical Spanish dance rhythms in their
chansons, whereas Delannoy, true to his own style, drew inspiration from folk melodies
and popular jazz/cabaret idioms. Instead of supplying songs that were specific to the
demands of the script, one can argue that Delannoy instead stayed true to the overall
concept of the novel, without fixating on a particular character or the fact that these songs
would be sung only by the film’s star. The comparison of the three composers’ works
also brings out the stark contrast between the two contemporaries who had extensive
formal music educations and the gifted, and to a degree self-taught, Delannoy.
The case for Marcel Delannoy
The vocal works of Marcel Delannoy occupy a unique position in the rich history
of twentieth century French mélodie. In spite of his lack of formal music school training,
Delannoy received respect and recognition during his lifetime from musicologists, as well
as from fellow composers and the public. He chose not to incorporate techniques popular
with many of his contemporaries, such as Poulenc’s experimentation with new colors
found in the post-tonal traits of the Second Viennese School, or Ravel’s use of rhythms
from other countries to flavor his compositions. Delannoy was not a part of the struggle
to eschew Romanticism and did not base his works on surrealist twentieth century poets.
Instead, he used material rich in the French spirit: melodies from his homeland slightly
modified to suit his needs and combined with complex twentieth century harmonies,
especially harmonies found in jazz.
The melodies Delannoy chose spanned the catalog of French musical history. All
eras were available to him, which allowed him to create a body of work popular with
French musicians and critics alike; many found his eclectic style refreshing and novel,
while others decried his early works for a lack of refinement and formal education.
Delannoy proved that he could quickly learn from his mistakes, and each new work
shows an evolution of his style. The folk-inspired music was accessible and familiar,
although he never quoted complete melodies from any existing works; they connected to
the soul of the people. However, his tonal style lost favor during the period of avantgarde composition after World War II, and his perceived pro-Vichy leanings during The
Occupation contributed to his music not enduring long past his death in 1962. A few
pieces have seen some success since his death, but only because they are part of larger
works, such as L’Eventail de Jeanne. Of his vocal works, the only pieces readily
available as recordings are Le Serpent142 and an aria from his opera, Ginevra.143
The case for Trois Chansons
The purpose of this essay has been to show that Delannoy’s Trois Chansons is
significant enough to warrant more study, and should be included in the baritone concert
repertoire as a worthwhile addition and/or alternative to the already known Ibert and
Ravel Don Quichotte cycles. The Delannoy works are intriguing, challenging, and
entertaining for both the performer and the audience. Delannoy chose to base his pieces
on characters other than Quijote, presenting a refreshing alternative to the well-known
musical depictions of the novel. These portrayals offer another opportunity to bring the
novel to life.
Delannoy’s other works presented in this essay have significant merit of their
own, and are available through Salabert and Leduc. It is the author’s intent to
professionally record all three of these works (Trois Chansons with orchestra) to help
increase their familiarity to musicians and the public alike. As of the time of this writing,
Trois Chansons was performed (with piano) on the author’s faculty recital, and continues
to be received favorably by audience members and listeners on Soundcloud.144 A
Paul Derenne, Mélodies rares. France: INA, mémoire vive, 1998.
André Cognet and Elizabeth Vidal, D'Amour et de Nostalgie (Rare french songs and
duets). Paris: Ligia Digital, 2006.
University of Missouri Faculty Recital, 21 September 2015.
professional recording of the three Delannoy song cycles should help spark interest in
performing these works.
The case for further study
As stated in the Introduction, material on Marcel Delannoy is scarce. The
Bibliothèque nationale de France holds his archives, as well as rare recordings of some of
his works, including the incomplete recording of Trois Chansons. The Cecile Quesney
thesis on his life during the Occupation makes excellent source material, and the Boll
‘biography’ and Delannoy’s biography on Honegger give further insights into the
composer’s life and work.
A good deal of research exists on effects of social, economic and political trends
on the music of inter-war France. An excellent place to start is Jeffrey Jackson’s
dissertation, Making Jazz French: Music and Cosmopolitanism in Interwar Paris, a study
of jazz’s reception within France while also discussing its larger cultural history. In
Soundings: music in the twentieth century, Glenn Watkins allows the reader to compare
musical trends on a specifically national level throughout Europe. Leslie A. Sprout’s The
Musical Legacy of Wartime France delves into the roles Germany, Vichy France, and the
French resistance each had in the composition, performance, and reception of wellknown works during World War II, and how the pieces are viewed by musicologists of
today. In Music in France and the Popular Front: 1934-1938, Politics, Aesthetics, and
Reception, Christopher Moore explores the role the Popular Front in presenting music to
the French public and its connection to the political climate of the time. Jane Fulcher’s
The Composer as Intellectual relates that leading French composers between the wars
were not only aware of political and ideological issues, but also took an active part during
the period.
None of the materials listed above can speak to whether there was any animosity
between Delannoy and other composers because he was, for all practical purposes, selftaught. If true, this facet of his life would have played very well into the mindset of the
Popular Front and the people behind the FMP; a composer with a strong connection to
‘the people’ had reached a level of distinction that many Conservatoire-trained musicians
had yet to achieve. Koechlin, among others, hailed Delannoy as a representative of the
true spirit of French music, which the Légion d’honneur committee echoed in their
proclamation. Further research into the social implications of the level of popularity the
self-taught Delannoy achieved would best be conducted at the BnF in the archives for
Delannoy and other composers (such as Ibert, Milhaud, and Poulenc), as well as in those
for liberal- and conservative-connected musicologists.
As for the ‘five composer’ theory concerning the G. W. Pabst film, material could
possibly be found at the French Film Institute and through more extensive research in the
archives for the five composers. There are a number of books on star Feodor Chaliapin
(including two autobiographies) that offer insight into the singer and his character;
however, none mentions the Pabst film.
Whatever the outcome of any further research, the vocal works of Marcel
Delannoy, many of which are readily available, offer another facet of the kaleidoscope of
French mélodie during the twentieth century. Hopefully more interest will be given to the
other works in his oeuvre, as well as to his compositions for instruments and the stage.
APPENDIX A: Catalog of the works of Marcel Delannoy
prepared by Claude Chamfray from the Fund Marcel Delannoy (BnF-Mus)
Date Age
Biographical Information
Born 19 July in la Ferté-Alais.
Begins study at the School of Fine Arts. Begins 2 pieces for voice and piano: “Le Miroir” and
“Premier chagrin” (1st performance 1931 by Licette Delannoy, Ed. Heugel).
Begins 3 mélodies: “Marine,” “M’entendez-vous,” “Plaintes d’Ariane” (completed in 1927, 1st
perfomance in 1928 by Odette Ertaud, Ed. Heugel).
Quatre mouvements, for piano (1st performance by Henriette Faure in 1925, Concerts du
Begins Le Poirier de Misère, opera in 3 acts, libretto by J. Limozin and A. de la Tourrasse.
(Completed in 1925, 1st performed at the Opéra-Comique on 21-2-1927, conductor Albert Wolff.
Ed. Heugel).
Begins Trois historiettes, text by Moréas and Cocteau, for voice, flute, bassoon, piano.
(Completed in 1926, 1st performed in 1926 by Marthe Brega. Ed. Heugel).
Deux poèmes d’André Germain, for voice, flute, string quartet and piano (1st performance in 1926
by Marthe Brega. Ed. Heugel).
Bourrée of L’Éventail de Jeanne, collective ballet (performed at l’Opéra on 4-3-1929, conductor
Szyfer. Ed. Heugel). Begins Le Fou de la dame, ballet-opera, libretto by A. de la Tourrasse and J.
Limozin. (Completed 1928. Performed in concert - 1929 in Genève, director E. Ansermet. In
theater – 2-6-1930 at the Opéra-Comique, conductor G. Cloez. Ed. Heugel); Film music for Le
Marchand de lunettes of G. Delaquys (First concert performance in 1928, Concerts Straram);
begins Philippine, operetta in 2 acts, libretto by H. Lyon and J. Limozin. (performed for
l’Exposition de 1937, conductor M. Jaubert. Ed. Eschig).
Begins Quatre Regrets de Joachim du Bellay for voice and piano. (Completed in 1931.
Orchestrated thereafter. 1st performed in 1932 by Yvon le Marc’Hadour. Ed. Durand). Completed
Ballade, for orchestra (1st perfomance 9-2-1929, Concerts Lamoureux, conductor Albert Wolff).
Figures sonores, for wind quartet, also for chamber orchestra (1st performance 26-3-30, Concerts
Straram. Ed. Eschig), Rigaudon for piano (1st performance by Tibor Harsanyi, Salle Chopin, Ed.
Eschig). Begins work on Quatuor à cordes (completed in 1931, 1st performance 25-4-31, by the
Krettly Quartet. Ed. Durand).
La Clef des songes, for solo piano (1st performance in 1949 by Babet Léonet. Ed. Fortin).
La Pantoufle de vair, ballet in 1 act and 3 scenes after Ch. Perrault (commissioned by Ruth Page).
Created for the Ravinia Festival (Chicago, U.S.A.) under the title Cinderella in 1934. Performed
in Paris; 14-5-35 at the Opéra-Comique. Ed. Eschig. Also added the Petite suite, for children’s
chamber orchestra. 1st performance 30-8-31, Ravinia Festival. Version for full orchestra created
27-02-38 at l’O.S.P., dir. Jean Morel.
1st Symphony (1st performance 15-3-33 at l’O.S.P., dir. Pierre Monteux. Ed. Sénart-Salabert).
Rapsodie, for piano, saxophone, trumpet, violincello. Created for l’E.N.M. Ed. Heugel). Deux
Chansons de Clarin (text A. Arnoux): “La Tourterelle” (orchestrated) and “Le Serpent” (Created
for Odette Ertaud in 1933. Ed. Heugel); Trois Chansons: “Du Galérien,” “Du Vigneron,” “Du
Matelot” (#1 and #3 orchestrated by the author. Created in 1933 for Solange Demolière. Ed.
Deus Abraham for soprano, tenor, mixed choir and organ (1st performance Saltzburg Cathedral in
1935. Ed. Eschig); Deux Ballades de Paul Fort (created in 1934 for Y. Le Marc’Hadour. Ed.
Heugel); Ballade des vingt mineurs, text by A. de la Tourrasse. Begins Cinq Quatrains de Francis
Jammes, for voice and piano (completed in 1936, 1st performance in 1936 by Odette Ertaud. Ed.
Heugel). Later orchestrated: 1st performance in 1952. Concert Pasdeloup with Berthe Monmart).
Creation of Arisophane, incidental music for Le Paix, adapted by François Porché. (Extracted
“Hymne” and “Pastorale” for voice and piano. 1st performance in 1936 by Paul Derenne. Ed.
Sérénade concertante for violin and orchestra (1st performance at Baden-Baden in 1937, dir.
Lessing, Violinist Soëtens. Ed. Eschig). Transcribed for violin and piano, becomes Sérénade for
Violin and Piano. 1st performance in 1938 by M. la Candela. Incidental music for L’Inconnue
d’Arras by A. Salacrou.
Jeunesse for choir and orchestra (1st performance Exposition of 1937, dir. Maurice Jaubert, Ed.
Eschig); Diner sur l'eau for piano (1st performance Exposition of 1937 by Françoise Gobet. Ed.
Begins Ginevra, opéra giocoso, libretto by J. Luchaire. (Completed in 1942. Premiered 25-7-42 at
the Opéra-Comique, conductor R. Désormière. Ed. Eschig). In 1943, adapted into Quatre Décors
de Ginevra for orchestra; 1st performance Concerts Cologne on 24-4-42, conductor Gaston Poulet.
Begins Trois Pièces for violin and piano: “Danse des négrillons,” “Antienne,” “Danse des
maraîchers.” (completed in 1954, Ed. Eschig). Incidental music for La Faim de Knut Hamsun and
for La Terre est ronde of A. Salacrou.
Les 3 Choux de M. Patacaisse, children’s lyric scene for children’s chorus and solo baritone.
Deux Villanelles for voice and piano; Noël dans le style populaire, text by A. de la Tourrasse, for
voice and piano. Begins Les Noces fantastiques, ballet in 2 acts and 4 scenes, story by Serge Lifar.
(completed in 1944, premiered at l’Opéra de Paris on 9-2-55, conductor Robert Blot. Ed. Eschig).
Adapted into two suites for orchestra. 1st performance Concerts Cologne, conductor Gaston
Poulet, in 1946).
Begins État de veille, suite for low voice and small orchestra. Poems by Robert Desnos
(completed in 1945. 1st performance with orch. in 1956, conductor Jean Martinon. Voice H.
Bouvier. Ed. Eschig); Incidental music for Mamouret de Sarment. Begins Puck, Opera-fairytale
from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, libretto by André Boll. (completed in 1945. Premiered at the
Municipal Theater of Strasbourg on 29-1-49, conductor Ernest Bour. In Paris, for the Municipal
Theater, in November 1949. Adapted into a suite for orchestra, 1st performance by the Orchestre
National, conductor André Cluytens on 15-6-56. Begins Le Cahier de Sylvine; 5 pieces for piano
(completed in 1956).
Incidental music for Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, by Molière.
La Prise de Guingamp for piano (Ed. Noël). Begins Il neige de l’oubli for high voice, Tombeau
for low voice, Il neige de la joie for coloratura (completed in 1951. 1st performance in 1949 by D.
Monteil and Martinelli. Ed. Eschig).
Concerto de mai, for piano and orchestra (1st performance Concert des Jeunesses Musicales in
May 1950 by Aldo Ciccolini, conductor Jean Fournet. Ed. Eschig). Begins Suite à chanter
(completed in 1955. 1st performance in 1956 on Radio-Lille, by Lydia Karine, conductor V.
Cloez. Ed. Eschig).
Travestis, ballet in one scene, story by Saint-Maur (premiered at Casino d’Enghien-les-Bains in
1952, conductor Blareau. Ed. Meridian). Incidental music for Coriolan by Shakespeare. (Festival
de Lyon-Charbonnières. Adapted into a suite for orchestra: 1st performance in Nantes, conductor
Jean Fournet).
Maria Goretti, oratorio, text by Marcelle Maurette. Venise seuil des eaux, ballet, story by P.
2nd Symphonie, for strings (1st performance on national radio by the Maurice Hewitt Orchestra in
1955. In concert: on 3-3-55 by the Orchestre National, conductor Pierre Dervaux. Ed. Salabert).
Au Royaume de la comète, ballet in 1 act, story by Maria Feres, from the Ballade Concertante
(premiered at Teatro la Fenice, conductor Louis de Froment). Ballet cruel, choreographic poem
(1st performance on national radio in 1956, conductor Jacques Pernoo).
Finishes Ballade concertante, for piano, saxophone and 11 instruments (1st performance by the
Orchestre de Chambre R.T.F., conductor P.M Le Conte en 1959); 2 Chants primitifs espagnols,
adaptation by Lydia Karine: “Canto de la virgin” and “Marevilloso Epiadosos” (1st performance
in 1956 by Lydia Karine). Begins Abraham et l’ange, choreography opera, libretto by P.
Chavannes and M. Sarrazin. (completed in 1960. 1st performance in Concert in 1960, conductor
Georges Tzipine).
Suite à danser, for Jazz-Symphony.
Odes de Grégoire de Narek for low voice and string quartet (1st performance at the Société
Nationale in 1957 by Lydia Karine and the Quattrocchi Quartet).
Le Moulin de la galette for orchestra; Le Dernier Chant de la Sulamite, cantata for contralto, alto
and piano, poem by G. Murail (1st performance in 1958 by Lydia Karine). D’Amour et
d’aventure, poème de Fombeure, for a cappella choir (1st performance in 1959, Maîtrise R.T.F.).
La Voix du silence, suite of 6 vocal pieces, poetry by M. Carême (1st performance 3-12-61,
R.T.F., with Camille Maurane).
Apothéose de Nice for mixed choir and orchestra (1st performance Fêtes du rattachement of Nice à
la France, in 1960). Music for Mangeront-ils? by V. Hugo.
La Nuit du temps, opéra-ballet for television. Libretto by P. Soupault (premiered on 27-11-62 with
L. Karine). Poème Symphonique for piano and violincello.
Died in Nantes on 14 September.
Translation by Steven B. Jepson
APPENDIX B: Major film scores of Delannoy
- Maldone; Jean Grémillon (C-C with Jacques Brillouin, on themes by Maurice
Jaubert) (1927)
- Rhapsodie hongroise; Hanns Schwarz, German (C-C with Jacques Brillouin ?). Silent
film; music played by live orchestra and sounds recorded on discs by Columbia (1929)
- Crabes et Crevettes, film documentary by Jean Painlevé (1930)
- Il était une fois; Léonce Perret (C-C: Maurice Thiriet) (1933)
- Les Deux orphelines; Maurice Tourneur (C-C: Jacques Ibert) (1933)
- Une femme chipée; Pierre Colombier (1934)
- Nuit de décembre; Kurt Bernhardt (1939)
- Tempête; Dominique Bernard-Deschamps (1940)
- Volpone; Maurice Tourneur (1941)
- Le Sifflet merveilleux (CM) animated film; Paul Grimault (?)
- Le Marchand de notes (CM) animated film; Paul Grimault (1942)
- Monsieur des Lourdines; Pierre de Hérain, from the novel of Chateaubriand (1943)
- L’Épouvantail (CM), animated film; Paul Grimault (1943)
- La Ferme du pendu; Jean Dréville, from the novel of Gilbert Dupé (1945)
- Le Bateau à soupe; Maurice Gleize (1946)
- La Flûte magique (CM) (C-C: Elsa Barraine) animated film; Paul Grimault (1947)
- Le Village perdu; Christian Stengel (1948)
- La Norvège sans les Vikings ?, (CM) (C-C: Marcel Landowski) (1948)
- Orage d’été; Jean Gehret (1949)
- Tempête sur les Mauvents; Gilbert Dupé (1950)
- Le Guérisseur; Yves Ciampi (1954)
- La Bande à Papa; Guy Lefranc (1956)
CM = Film Short C-C = Co-composition
Sources: Fonds Delannoy (BnF-Mus); Jean-François Houben, 1000 compositeurs de
cinéma, Paris, Cerf-Corlet, 2002; Jean-Claude Lamy & Bernard Rapp, Dictionnaire des
films, Paris, Larousse, 2002; Jean Tulard, Guide des films, Paris, Robert Laffont, 3 vol.,
2002; Alain Lacombe & François Porcile, Les Musiques du cinéma français, Paris,
Bordas, 1995; Ciné-Ressources: cataloged collection of books and archives of cinema: (first accessed 18 October 2015).
Translation by Steven B. Jepson
APPENDIX C: Vocal Works of Marcel Delannoy
(excludes choral/opera/oratorio)
Le Miroir (Haraucourt)
Premier Chagrin (Noailles)
Marine (Gabory)
M’entendez-vous (Cocteau)
Plaintes d’Ariane (Noailles)
Trois Historiettes (Moreas)
Deux Poèmes (A. Germain)
Quatre Regrets (Joachim du Bellay) –
scored for orchestra
Deux Chansons de Clarin (A. Arnoux)
La Tourterelle
Le Serpent
Trois Chansons (various)*
Chanson du Galérien,
Chanson du Vigneron
Chanson du Matelot
Deux Ballades (Paul Fort)
Ballade de vingt mineurs (A. de la Tourrasse)
Cinq Quatrains (Francis Jammes)
Hymne; Pastorale
Les Trois Choux de M. Patacaisse –
Baritone and three solo female voices/
childrens’ choir
Deux Villanelles
Noël dans le style populaire (A. de la
Bercuse du Grillon*, Sept pair’s de soulieres,
La rose et le rossignol* (from Ginevra)
Etat de veille* (Robert Desnos) – Vocal
suite with interlude
Il neige de l’oublil
Il neige de la joie
Suite a chanter (with chorus) :
Chant Céruléen
Chant de l’oubli
Cantiques Espagnols Primitifs
Canto de la Virgen
Maravillosos et Piadosos
Odes de Gréoire de Narek, voice and choir
1931, Licette Delannoy
1928, Odette Ertaud
1926, Marthe Brega
La musique vivante
1926, Marthe Brega
Salle des Argiculteurs
1932, Yvon le March’adour
1933, Odette Ertaud La boîte à
musique (Nantes)
1933, Solange Demolière,
(partial); 1934, Yvon le
1934, Yvon le March’arour
Le dernier chant de la Sulamite, cantata for
contralto and alto
La voix du silence, suite of 6 vocal pieces
(M. Carème)
Work (author)
(singer, if available)
1936, Odette Ertaud
1936, Paul Derenne
1945 (solo), Eliette Schenneberg,
Paul Derenne.
1946, H. Bouvier
1950, w/orchestra, Pierre Germain
1949, Denise Monteil (radio)
1949, Martinetti (Milan)
1955, Denise Monteil (radio)
1956, Lydia Karine
(Radio Lille, direction of Victor
1956, Lydia Karine
Salle normale de musiche
1957, Lydia Karine
Société Nationale
1958, Lydia Karine
3/12/61, Camille Maurane
Radio-Télévision Française
*= orchestra score available through Universal Music Publishing Classical.
Translation by Steven B. Jepson
APPENDIX D: Original French of Translated/Paraphrased Quotations
Footnote 21: Je suis né le 9 juillet 1898 à la Ferté-Alais, dans une petite maison au bord
de l’Essonne. Mon père était ingénieur-voyer. Très tôt, je me suis trouvé la proie d’une
inquiétude : celle d’exprimer ce que je ressentais si vivement. D’abord avec des couleurs.
Plus tard, avec des mots. Enfin, par les sons, à partir du jour où je commençai l’étude du
piano. Ayant fréquenté dès l’âge de six ans l’école communale d’Arpagon, j’entrai à
douze ans, comme interne au collège d’Étampes où le latin me fut un plaisir et la
mathématique une punition.
Footnote 22 : Puis, mon père ayant été nommé à Saint-Germain-en-Laye, ce fut la
délivrance. L’externat, cette fois, permettait la bicyclette, la forêt, la musique en
compagnie de ma sœur qui allait grandir et devenir ma première interprète. […]
Footnote 26 : ....1914.15.16 La lugubre symphonie de la guerre ne fait qu’exaspérer les
vertiges de l’adolescence. Maintenant je fréquente un atelier de préparation à l’École des
Beaux-Arts pour l’Architecture, sans enthousiasme. Tandis que je m’apprête à revêtir à
mon tour le costume bleu horizon, la musique en moi se fait lancinante. Tyrannique
même, au retour des vacances de l’été 17 qui ont été un délice. Brusquement, je
commence à écrire mes improvisations. Des petites pièces pittoresques, « la voile bleue »,
« le soir descend sur le port ». Ne doutant de rien, je rêve d’une grrande [sic.] symphonie
inspirée par le contraste un peu académique « du printemps et de la guerre »... ! En avril
17, me voici artilleur. Je fais la connaissance d’un autre « bleuet », Emmanuel Bondeville
qui me révèle la musique impressionniste sur un piano cassé, dans un triste village. Je
passe en costume le concours d’entrée à l’école des Beaux-Arts (12 jours de permission),
mais la musique me hante toujours. En pleine bataille du Mont Kemmel (Avril 1918), au
milieu des éclatements d’obus, je fais le voeu de m’y consacrer si la mort m’épargne.
Footnote 27 : Il ne songeait point d’abord à la musique, et on ne l’y destinait point. Son
père était ingénieur. Marcel Delannoy voulut d’abord être architecte : il fit ses études au
collège d’Étampes, puis à celui de Saint- Germain-en-Laye. Chemin faisant, il apprenait
le piano. Oubliant sa première décision, voilà que maintenant il veut être peintre. La
guerre arrive, et, en 1917, fait de Marcel Delannoy un artilleur. Et tout d’un coup la
musique le prend. – le prend tout entier. Il sera musicien.
Footnote 28 : J’épouse Lisette Claveau, harmoniste remarquable, à qui je devrai les bases
de mon écriture. Mais la musique constitue pour un chef de famille de 23 ans une
aventure bien dangereuse. Tout bientôt se ligue contre ma vocation… En 1923, elle est
victorieuse, mais c’est le divorce.
Footnote 31 : Cependant, tout en dessinant huit jours par jour [sic] dans un bureau
d’Architecte, j’ai pu assimiler « Reber et Dubois». Jean Gallon m’a conseillé, orienté.
Auditeur libre chez Gedalge, j’ai poursuivi.
Footnote 32 : Enfin, ayant soumis mes essais à Honegger, jeune musicien dont on
commence à beaucoup parler, j’ai eu la chance de trouver en lui l’aîné dont l’influence va
décider de ma carrière.
Footnote 33 : Ce ne furent pas des leçons qu’il donna, et à peine des conseils. Il sut
respecter scrupuleusement les manifestations d’une nature si différente de la sienne. Ce
fut plutôt l’exemple qu’un bon et grand ouvrier peut donner à l’apprenti, le goût du
métier solide et la confiance. Et cela, en vérité, est bien l’enseignement le plus précieux
qui puisse se recueillir.
Footnote 34: Enfin, pour la première fois, un vrai musicien m’écoute. Je crois l’avoir
intéressé... J’y retourne lundi soir pour m’entendre avec lui au sujet de leçons de
composition et d’orchestration. J’ai une peur de ce qu’il va me demander !...” Il ne devait
jamais être reparlé du prix des leçons. À la quatrième visite c’était les conseils d’un aîné.
À la cinquième, la libre discussion entre deux camarades.
Footnote 36 : Ainsi Honegger m’ouvrait la porte de ce monde enchanté dont j’avais tant
rêvé, celui de la musique dite d’“avant-garde”, avec non seulement ses personnalités,
mais encore ses amis et ses exégètes.
Footnote 37 : C’est ainsi que, groupés autour d’Honegger qui refusait qu’on lui donnât du
“Maître”, nous eûmes notre premier concert – c’était le goût du jour – dans une sorte de
bistrot désaffecté de Montparnasse : le Caméléon.
Footnote 39 : Comme il arrive dans les associations de cette espèce, nous faisions
semblant d’être d’accord sur tout. Nous ne l’étions en fait que sur la confiance et
l’admiration que nous inspirait notre aîné ; Très vite chacun suivit sa route, qui n’était pas
toujours celle de la musique.
Footnote 43 : Je ne peux oublier que c’est dans le sillage de l’auteur du Roi David dont le
rayonnement était alors incroyable, que mon premier ouvrage, dont il est le dédicataire,
put être créé en 1927 à l’Opéra- Comique. C’est qu’en effet la réussite d’Honegger avait
inspiré confiance pour la jeune musique à tout le monde, et, en particulier, au nouveau
Directeur Louis Masson qui, avec George Ricou allait prendre en mains l’OpéraComique.
Footnote 49 : Je m’assieds au piano. Germaine Tailleferre fait la 3e main. Licette, ma
soeur, partage avec moi la partie vocale. Les deux librettistes, Jean Limozin et André de
la Tourrasse, donnent les explications nécessaires. Dans les pauses un silence effrayant
ou j'entends battre mon cœur. Enfin le dernier accord vibre et s’éteint : « Je prends
bientôt la direction de l’Opéra- Comique avec Georges Ricou, dit Masson. Si votre
troisième acte est à la hauteur des deux autres, je vous monte aussitôt.
Footnote 55 : d’une rare inexpérience et peuplée de trucs faciles, de sonorités agressives,
dont les débutants s’imaginent qu’il suffit de cela pour s’affirmer du dernier bateau. De
lourds placages répétés lui servent de rythme. Les lignes mélodiques, quand il y en a, sont
sans grâce et impitoyablement accompagnées hors de leur tonalité naturelle. L’orchestre
est lourd, avec un abus constant des bois et des cuivres. Rarement il utilise les délicieuses
sonorités des cordes. Il abuse des timbres voyants, célesta, tam-tam, etc., dont l’emploi
réclame plus de discrétion qu’il ne s’en doute. C’est brutal et impétueux. Je louerais cette
impétuosité si elle était la marque d’une nature débordante, mais ce n’est qu’un
mouvement artificiel, destiné à masquer l’absence d’idées vraiment musicales.
Footnote 56 : Sans parti pris agressif, sans souci de snobisme et sans prétention de
détruire toute la musique qui l’avait précédé, un Marcel Delannoy commence à défendre
cette conception d’une technique plus simple, plus nue, plus fruste et plus élémentaire
que les éblouissantes fééries sonores des impressionnistes. Usant de timbres purs et d’une
polyphonie à la fois cassante et naïve qui fait merveille dans ce sujet médiéval, remontant
aux sources mêmes de notre vieille musique en utilisant les altérations modales de nos
vieux chants populaires, employant adroitement des rythmes ingénus d’une gaucherie
savoureuse, ce jeune compositeur suit réellement une voie parallèle à celle que se sont
frayés les peintres et littérateurs qui n’ont pas voulu recommencer Claude Monet ou
Maeterlinck. Nous percevons, enfin, quelques signes avant-coureurs de ce fameux
renouveau que nous avaient annoncé un peu trop tôt des messagers mal informés.
Footnote 59 : J’ai entendu Le Poirier de Misère, œuvre de début d’un compositeur
exceptionnellement doué, de qui la personnalité est éclatante. Comment peut-on trouver
de bonne foi dans une partition qui n’est pas irréprochable, tant s’en faut, mais qu’on voit
toute brillante de verve et de fraîcheur ingénue, malgré ses défauts qui tiennent à la
grande jeunesse de l’auteur, une “pharmacie de substances sonores” et “un petit art
vieillot” (disait P. Lalo)!
Footnote 64 : M. Marcel Delannoy a voulu, dirait-on, se laver du reproche d’ignorance
technique qu’on lui a fait lors de l’apparition de son Poirier de Misère à l’OpéraComique. Il a donné à sa Bourrée une forme traditionnelle, tout en l’imprégnant d’un
vague charme fauréen. Sa page, très contrapuntique, est conduite et poussée avec des
soins de “premier prix.”
Footnote 69 : Continuez à faire de la musique mélodique et sans prétention à l’atonalité –
tout en vous réservant le droit d’être polytonal ou atonal si vous en éprouvez le besoin, ce
qui peut très bien arriver. La musique de l’Europe centrale, en y ajoutant la Russie, est
souvent très inhumaine (ou du moins, elle m’a paru ainsi à ce jour) avec son ambition
démesurée de dynamisme, de puissance, de machinisme. Je suis heureux de voir qu’en
France on conserve le sens de l’humanité et de la mélodie, et vous êtes un de ceux sur qui
je compte le plus pour cela.
Footnote 71 : Sa musique répond alors aux attentes d’Esprit. Accessible, vivante,
spirituelle et anti-intellectuelle, en ce qu’elle illustre avec authenticité et simplicité des
sujets qui touchent les hommes de son temps et redonne à la musique sa dimension
collective, la musique de Delannoy du milieu des années 1930 entre donc en
correspondance avec les objectifs des musiciens de la revue Esprit, mais aussi du Front
Footnote 85 : En ce qui me concerne, le matériau traditionnel me suffit. Je n'en arriverai
jamais à en épuiser les quasi-infinies combinaisons. Seuls les paresseux, les impuissants
ou les primaires peuvent attribuer une importance primordiale à ce que je veux bien
considérer comme un enrichissement de vocabulaire...
Footnote 87 : Il a pris les conseils de Jean Gallon, Gedalge et Honegger, mais, sans qu’il
soit vraiment un autodidacte, sa formation doit beaucoup à lui-même. C’est un
traditionnaliste et un néo-classique doué d’une certaine facilité d’invention et chez qui
l’on retrouve fréquemment les influences de la chanson populaire française et du jazz. Il a
composé dans les genres les plus divers et laisse un catalogue considerable.
Footnote 95 : Ce court exemple est assez représentatif du style de Delannoy, un style
éclectique qui puise autant dans le populaire que dans l’imaginaire de la musique
ancienne, et qui associe les sonorités de jazz aux vocalises aux couleurs modales.
APPENDIX E: Permissions
From Cécile Quesney
From Durand-Salabert-Eschig / Universal Music Publishing Classical
From: Alia, Patricia
Sent: 8/25/2015 10:53 AM
To: Steven Jepson
Subject: Re: Permissions for using musical examples for Doctoral essay - Steven Jepson
Dear Steven,
Editions Durand Salabert grant you free exceptional permission to use musical excerpts of
these 3 works in return of the mention of their copyright under each examples.
This publication can only be used for your doctoral essay and cannot be publish.
Best wishes,
Patricia Alia
Promotion Manager
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From Music Sales Corporation/Alphonese Leduc
From: McGee, Kevin
Sent: Tuesday, August 25, 2015 7:20 PM
To: Steven Jepson
Subject: RE: Permission for use of musical examples in a doctoral essay - Steven Jepson
Hi Steve,
Apologies for the delay in responding. I have heard back from Alphonse Leduc, who have no
objection to your request, and have confirmed that your copyright notices are correct, please
include those in your dissertation where the excerpts appear or on a copyright acknowledgment
Since we are not charging a fee for this permission, we will not issue a formal license. If you
need one, I can do so. Should your essay be published or further distributed, please contact us
for permission.
Thank you,
Kevin McGee
Mechanical / Print Licensing Manager
Music Sales Corporation
1247 6th Street - Santa Monica - CA - 90401
Tel: 310-393-9900 / Fax: 310-393-9925
[email protected]
Berlin * Copenhagen * London * Los Angeles * Madrid * New York * Paris * Sydney * Tokyo
From: Steven Jepson
Sent: Monday, August 24, 2015 6:47 AM
To: McGee, Kevin
Subject: Permission for use of musical examples in a doctoral essay - Steven Jepson
I have requested permission to use musical examples from pieces in your domain for my
doctoral essay on Marcel Delannoy. The pieces are:
Le Fou de la Dame
Cinq Quatrains de Francis Jammes
Chansons de Don Quichotte
Jacques Ibert
I have filled out the form you sent me; I have attached it here.
Thank you for your assistance.
Steven B. Jepson
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