J’aime l'âne (Yvon Bourrel/ Francis Jammes)
Pourquoi je suis tant éperdu (Yvon Bourrel/ Joachim Du Bellay)
Le rat de ville et le rat des champs - Op. 131 (Yvon Bourrel/ Jean De La Fontaine)
This is a trilogy intended for women’s choirs or children’s choirs. It is made of a moderate movement, a slow movement, and then a quick movement. The first one is “J’aime l’âne.” It is based on a Francis Jammes’ poem. A resigned and sad animal scampering is represented by the piano. A young woman is evocated twice, which briefly interrupts the ostinato. The ostinato starts again without stopping until the end. The second choir is “Pourquoi je suis tant éperdu.” It is based on a Joachim du Bellay’s poem. The melody represents the poet’s sadness because his cat Belaud has disappeared, but finally, pain becomes joy and melody becomes an anthem for Belaud and the promise is made that “tant qu’il vivra, les chats aux rats feront la guerre!” (As long as he lives, cats and rats would fight). The last one is “Le rat de ville et le rat des champs.” There is a contrast between the energy and the joy of that piece, created by movement’s speed and the ternary measure, and the other pieces.
NB This famous La Fontaine’s Fable was set to music by Yvon Bourrel (three-part voices of children or unaccompanied women). But this sheet of music is completely different.