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Debussy 2eme Chanson de Charles d'Orléans

Dear all,
I am preparing all three of these incredible songs right now and found a curious thing.
The choir's (A) and my (B) edition differ in the second chanson in some places.
Both editions are from the original Publisher Durand & Fils.
Edition A is marked „Édition orginale“ on the very top of the front page,
Edition B has not.
On the front page, the address of the publisher is given as follows:
Edition A: „21 Rue Vernet“
Edition B: „4 Place de la Madeleine“ shows that Durand resided from 1869 to 1980 at „4 Place de la Madeleine“, from 1980 to 1987 at „21 rue Vernet“ (they moved then to their present location at 215 rue du Faubourg St-Honoré)
So it seems that Edition B is the older one.
I have prepared two images on the differences, they follow below.
Has anybody noticed that? It would explain the funny notion "bouché fermée" together with the text "a" on the last chord which does not really make sense. They might have forgotten to take the "a" away when adding "bouche fermée".
Are these changes of Debussy's hand? Of whose if not the maestro himself?
Grateful for any input.
Personally, Edition B makes more sense to me especially in the ending. The complementary rhythm keeps the little coda alive, and on the very last corona, the difference between the altos' and tenors' bocca chiusa against the quite open "a" in the bass voices creates a tilted balance in the sound. That could be deliberate of course - but the it somehow disturbs me on the final chord of the piece.
All the best,
Replies (5): Threaded | Chronological
on September 16, 2011 5:54pm
Oxford Univ. Press publishes a critical edition (by John Rutter).  Your "Edition A" is correct, but I would still recommend the Oxford for its far easier legibility and authority.
Best regards,
Jerome Hoberman
Music Director/Conductor, The Hong Kong Bach Choir & Orchestra
on September 19, 2011 3:51am
You might also consider the crossed out "Tenor Solo" being replaced by the Female solo part on the original manuscript...
on September 19, 2011 7:02am
I have ordered the OUP score and hope to find some critical comment - the interesting question is - was it Debussy who made the change?
(a)Michael: What crossed out "Tenor Solo"? Are you talking about the OUP score? in both edition the solo is a contralto.
on January 25, 2015 2:26pm
Oh dear - didn't answer this... well for the record for the future - many years ago I saw a facsimile of this manuscript and it is for tenor crossed out :-) I'm sure its around online somewhere. Everything is.
on September 26, 2011 2:50am
I have now received the score and understand the crossed out "Tenor solo". But while John Rutter clearly states that this change is in the manuscript and made by Debussy himself, he does not say anything about the bocca chiusa.
On the contrary, he notes that the (rhythmical) version of the second bass at the end is found in the manuscript and the early edition, but not in the later edition.
The really interesting question remains unanswered who made these changes? Debussy? Or (just a thought) was the bocca chiusa added because the soloist had trouble singing over a (presumably at this time) large choir?
As to the tenor/contralto soloist question, I disagree with the editor. For me, the text is (though written by an imprisoned man) very femine - and though I can picture it with a tenor soloist, I prefer a contralto - personally. It fits more the leisurely "stay in bed" mood of the poem - that is also why I am wondering about the bocca chiusa. The open "a" seems be more sensuous than a closed humming.
Just my personal choice, though.
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