Après un petit déjeuner - (2003)
for medium voice and piano
for Sylvie Valayre
She left her friends,
she left their house,
and left her coat behind.
She raced right back,
and fetched it where she'd dined.
[ 1 page, circa 20" ]
Sylvie Valayre "was born in Paris, only steps away from the Bastille, on October 10 like Verdi," and is a French operatic soprano known for her versatile interpretations of lyric, spinto and dramatic coloratura soprano parts. She graduated from the Paris Conservatoire. Sylvie writes, "People who called themselves 'reasonable' kept telling me that my repertoire had 'too much breadth and too little homogeneity.' It made it difficult for people in the profession to label me into a recognized vocal category. So, who needs to be labeled?" An excellent question with an excellent answer for any artist -- no one needs to be labeled.
After a little brunch at our residence on a day off in Berlin during her performances of Verdi's Macbeth, Sylvie forgot to take her coat with her. She rushed back, and
collected it, which explains this silly short lyric which I jotted down and set in a minute. The tessitura of the piece is extremely short, as is the song itself as was the few minutes it took for Sylvie to realize she had forgotten her coat as we too had forgotten to remind her.
Everything about this little song is comically compressed, from the back and forth motion of both the vocal line and the accompaniment's right hand, to the repetitive bass line.
The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work by anyone other than Sylvie is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.
Après un petit déjeuner