Digital resources for French Romantic music

Stefanovič, Ana – Aube. Du poème de Rimbaud à la Sonate d’été




The Sonate d’été for piano by Lucien Durosoir (1878-1955), composed in 1926 and inspired by Aube, one of Rimbaud’s prose poems in Les Illuminations (1872-1875), was conceived as a vast musical poem: it is underpinned by an elaborate structure (spanning six hundred and twenty-two bars) that closely follows the mood and content of the literary text. Because of this, the Sonate d’été also presents the appearance of a stylistically complex platform consisting of equivocal impulses. These different trends can nevertheless be condensed into two main themes that determine two key aspects of the work: on the one hand, the narrative structure, in conjunction with the poem’s homological layer and, on the other, the organisation of the acoustic space. This article examines these two aspects of the Sonate, which reveal one of the main tendencies of Durosoir’s creative temperament and aesthetic predilections: his highly idiosyncratic style of writing hinges on an integration of classical structure and narrativity within an expressly modern sound world. By retaining strong links to the tradition of German Romanticism and French Impressionism, the style of the Sonate d’été blends into the contemporary landscape inhabited by the works of Hindemith, Shostakovich or Stravinsky. From a historical point of view, Durosoir’s early, moderate and classical modernism fills an important space—the space between Impressionism and the avant-garde—in the history of French music.

    Persons - 2
  • DUROSOIR, Lucien (1878-1955)
  • RIMBAUD, Arthur (1854-1891)
  • Work - 1
  • Aube, sonate d’été (Lucien Durosoir)