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Jean à Jean : song cycle to poems of Jean Cocteau, for baritone and piano

by Gordon Kerry (2015)

Jean à Jean


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Work Overview

French writer, artist and film-maker, Jean Cocteau was a serious insomniac, so penned these billets-doux while his lover, Jean Marais got his eight hours, and slipped them under the door for Marais to find of a morning.

Of the many poems, Robert Mitchell selected a number for me to set in which deep, erotic love is represented by imagery drawn from art - painted portraits, temple architecture and sculpture, out of which we chose seven. Naturally the work owes a great debt to the music of Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc and others.

Work Details

Year: 2015

Instrumentation: Baritone, piano.

Duration: 16 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Contents note: Prélude -- La colonne -- L’or à la feuille -- Le mauvais tapis volant -- Le portrait -- Le pur-sang rétif -- Le soleil noir.

Dedication note: In memoriam Denis Condon

Commission note: Commissioned by Robert Mitchell with funds provided by Australian Cultural Fund.

First performance: by David Harper, Robert Mitchell — 6 Sep 15.


Performances of this work

6 Sep 15: featuring David Harper, Robert Mitchell.

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