(1904) Historiettes au Crepuscule

Instrumentation: for mezzo-soprano (text by Camille Mauclair) and piano


Legendes (2 min.)

Les Fleurs (2 min.)

Ronde (2 min.)

Complainte (3 min.)

Date of Composition: 1903 - 1904

Place of Composition: Paris

Publisher: Max Eschig (originally)

[11/27/13 - Have discovered this is not readily available. Can be found in a number of university collections:

- University of Saskatchewan Library

- Arizona State University Libraries

- University of Denver, University Libraries

- University of Kansas

- University of North Texas Library

- Lawrence University (Seeley G. Mudd Library)]

Duration Minutes: 9

Suzanne Bloch wrote about this piece as follows in her "Creative Spirit."


Song Cycle for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano


These early songs were composed in Paris where Bloch spent many months trying in vain to create some interest in his first Symphony in C Sharp Minor.  He made the rounds of conductor's waiting rooms and from his observations developed a well seasoned and sardonic sense of humor. In spite of his frustrations, he was absorbing with delight the French ambiance, its culture, it music. During his musical studies he had written several songs to French texts that he called "Lieds." From Paris in 1903, he wrote to his sister mentioning that he was composing "just bagatelles" and was sending one in time for her birthday, a song to the text of the French poet Camille Mauclair.

This was the beginning of the Historiettes, four poems by Mauclair having an almost folk-like text with quasi-religious and naive subjects.  They were entitled:

Les Fleurs

These simple short shongs, in their harmony and prosody, strongly reflected the influence of the music of Debussy."

In the "Biographical" section on this website at 1904 & 1905 we find the following from Lewinski:

November 1904:  Trip to Paris, Cortot chooses to play his First Symphony.


January 19 1905:  First hearing of the “Historiettes au Crépuscule” in Geneva in the Reformation auditorium.  This work written on the poems of Camille Mauclair is sung by the soprano Nina Faliero-Dalcroze, Emile Jaques-Dalcroze on piano.  Public icy.  Nevertheless, they didn't boo.

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