Singing Debussy’s setting of ‘Le Jet d’eau’ by Baudelaire – Professor Helen Abbott

Gepubliceerd op 22 aug. 2012
Gepubliceerd op 17 aug. 2012

According to some scholars, Baudelaire’s ‘Le Jet d’eau’ may originally have been written in conjunction with the chansonnier Pierre Dupont as a form of popular song. Whilst no record of any music by Dupont for this poem survives, this lecture sets out to examine what textual features of the poem seem to make it particularly ‘settable’ to music. It explores what happens when Baudelaire’s poetry is sounded out as music through song performance, especially in the 1889 setting by Debussy, but also engaging with the two other nineteenth-century settings of this poem by Maurice Rollinat and Gustave Charpentier.

This is a part of the conference, ‘Debussy: Text and Ideas’, which is available in full on the Gresham College website.
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:…

Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website.

A recital of the songs of Claude Debussy, by Alumni of the Royal College of Music: Sophie Bevan (soprano) and Sebastian Wybrew (piano). Pieces performed, with the poets used for the text by Debussy, include the following:

Stéphane Mallarmé (1842–1898)
Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé
Placet futile

Paul Verlaine (1844–1896)
Fêtes galantes I
En sourdine
Clair de lune

Paul Bourget (1852–1935)
Deux romances
Les Cloches

Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867) from Cinq Poèmes de Ch. Baudelaire
Le Jet d’eau
Harmonie du soir

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