🎻♫♪ – Poème de l’amour et de la mer by Ernest Chausson

List Item: Listen to half of the 1001 Classical Works You Must Hear Before You Die
 41/501Title: Poème de l’amour et de la mer
Composer: Ernest Chausson
Nationality: French

In between discovering a new K-Pop group thanks to the show I am currently watching for the 1001 TV shows and listening to one of my favourite U.S. Girls tracks on repeat (it’s called ‘Sed Knife’ and it is fantastic), I managed to find time to try out the classical piece that is the subject of today’s post.

This classical music list has provided many a good piece of working music, so the hope was that Poéme de l’amour et de la mer might be another set of pieces to add to the growing library. I picked this piece pretty much at random, thinking that the name alone sounded intriguing and it would be good to listen to another entry on this list whose composer was completely unknown to me.

The piece itself is split into three parts: the first and final sections are sung poems (originally composed by a friend of the composer) that have been put to music. The middle, and far shorter, part acts an an instrumental interval to separate the two longer parts of this song cycle.

One of the likely reasons for this pieces inclusion on this list will be the premature death of composer Ernest Chausson – who died just as he was starting to get noticed. So, with this piece (and the other of his on the list), there is the whole ‘what if’ hanging over it – that this is a hint of what there could have been to come.

Honestly, these types of song cycles aren’t typically my cup of tea with the first song poem ‘The Flower of the Waters’ dragging on a bit. The second poem (‘The Death of Love’) is far more emotionally effecting and, despite being the longer of the pieces, finds enough nuance to play with that makes it pass at a far quicker pace.

I know that this piece has been arranged by different orchestras so that it can be sung by either gender, which makes me wonder what this would have been like with a soprano instead of the tenor version that I heard.

One of the interesting things about this list though; in essence every recording is like a cover of the original written version. For the older pieces, it is unlikely that I’ll ever hear exactly what the composer intended or something that’s identical to how it was originally rehearsed/performed.

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