• Brian Elias
  • La Chevelure (1967)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)
  • 1010/2010/perc/hp.pf/str(
  • Soprano; Violin
  • 12 min
  • Charles Baudelaire
  • French

Programme Note

La Chevelure is a setting of the poem from Les Fleurs du Mal of Charles Baudelaire. The work was written in 1967 and is scored for soprano and chamber orchestra. There is also a part for solo violin.

The work was first performed at a Patron’s Fund Concert at the Royal College of Music in March 1969, with Jane Manning as soloist. It was also presented by the SPNM at a Public Orchestral Rehearsal the following year.

Baudelaire’s luxurious poem with its evocation of all the senses was a valuable stimulus, at the same time as being perfectly matched with the music I wanted to write at that time. The overall shape of the work closely follows that of the poem. A brief introduction precedes the soprano’s first entry. Thereafter, the soprano dominates, and gains in prominence over the orchestra until unaccompanied at the very end. However, the orchestra’s role is by no means secondary. The musical material is largely derived from extended permutations of selected intervals (particularly perfect fourth and fifths).

Brian Elias