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Surrealism in Francis Poulenc’s Bal masqué Hébert, Ginette Marie-Roxanne 2004

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SURREALISM IN FRANCIS POULENC'S BAL MASQUE by GINETTE M A R I E - R O X A N N E HEBERT B.Mus The University of Windsor, 2001 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF M A S T E R OF ARTS in THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (School of Music; Musicology) We accent this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A May 2004 © Ginette Marie-Roxanne Hebert, 2004 Library Authorization In presenting this thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Name of Author (please print) Date (dd/mm/yyyy) Title of Thesis: ^ * r r<xx\ifin )rt P T O ^ C M S fcU-lfM ~S> D e 9 r e e : M.A Hu^ieJ^j Y e a r : 2&Q*f Department of Huufiic^ The University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC Canada A B S T R A C T 11 In the fall of 1931, the Vicomte and Vicomtesse de Noailles commissioned Francis Poulenc to contribute to a "spectacle-concert" to be held in Hyere, the site of their country home. Although there is no written account of the soiree held at the Theatre d'Hyeres on April 20, 1932, there is a photograph showing ten of the people in attendance that evening. Of particular interest is the presence of two prominent members of a group known as the surrealists, Alberto Giacometti and Luis Bunuel. The presence of surrealists was not unusual, as the Noailles were known patrons of the movement. Poulenc was never a member of the surrealist group, but his music has often been described as surrealistic, and this aspect of his work has been the subject of some study. Among his compositions often referred to in this regard is Bal masque, the work composed for the 1932 "spectacle-concert." The surrealist label, however, is a difficult one to attach to music. Although the surrealists worked in a variety of mediums, including the visual arts, literature and film, they never included a musician in their group, and, as a rule, they distanced themselves from music. Moreover, the absence of an official surrealist composer or musical style adds to the difficulties of determining how a composition can be viewed as surrealist. This paper explores the surrealist elements in Poulenc's Bal masque. It first looks at the most common characteristics of surrealism found in literature and painting, and then considers how they apply to Poulenc's work. It then focuses on Max Jacob, the poet of Bal masque, and Poulenc, and the relationship of each with surrealism in general. Finally, an analysis of Bal masque is used as a case study for the interrogation of surrealist aspects in Poulenc's music. iii TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ii Table of Contents iii Introduction 1 Background: Surrealism, Max Jacob, and Francis Poulenc 4 Surrealism. 4 Max Jacob. 14 Francis Poulenc 18 Jacob's Laboratoire central 22 Analysis: Bal Masque 24 Conclusion 49 Bibliography 51 Appendix I Musical Examples 54 Appendix II Eloge de la banalite by Francis Poulenc. 79 1 Introduction In the fall of 1931, the Vicomte and Vicomtesse de Noailles commissioned Francis Poulenc to contribute to a "spectacle-concert" to be held in Hyere, the site of their country home.1 These influential and wealthy Parisian patrons, Marie-Laure and Charles de Noailles, often held such soirees, which included artists and writers. From the 1920s to the end of the 1940s, they acted as patrons of music, art, literature, and cinema.2 Although there is no written account of the soiree held at the Theatre d'Hyeres on April 20, 1932, there is a photograph showing ten of the people in attendance that evening. Of particular interest is the presence of two prominent members of a group known as the surrealists, Alberto Giacometti and Luis Bufluel.3 Giacometti was a very influential figure in early surrealism. His three-dimensional sculptures were constructed of mixed media, and challenged the conceptual and stylistic parameters of the genre.4 Film maker Luis Bunuel was famous for his two collaborations with Salvador Dali, the scandalous films Un Chien andalou (1928) and L 'age d'or (1930). The presence of surrealists was not unusual, as the Noailles were known patrons of the movement. In fact, Marie-Laure was one of the first supporters of surrealism in 'Carl B. Schmidt, Entrancing Muse: A Documented Biography of Francis Poulenc, Lives in Music No. 3, (Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2001), 154 and 172 ; and Poulenc, in a letter to Marie-Laure de Noailles, 10 October 1930, Correspondance, 154 2Myriam Chimenes, "Poulenc and his Patrons: Social Convergences," trans. Sidney Buckland, in Francis Poulenc: Music, Art and Literature, eds. Sidney Buckland and Myriam Chimenes, 210-251, (Aldershot; Brookfield USA; Singapore; Sydney: Ashgate, 1999), 220-21. 3 Schmidt, Entrancing Muse, 193. 4Valerie J. Fletcher, "Giacometti," in The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, (Oxford University Press, Accessed January 30, 2004) <http://www.groveart.com>. 2 Paris, and produced surrealist paintings herself.5 Poulenc was never a member of the surrealist group, but his music has often been described as surrealistic, and this aspect of his work has been the subject of some study.6 Among his compositions often referred to in this regard is Bal masque, the work composed for the 1932 "spectacle-concert." The surrealist label, however, is a difficult one to attach to music. Although the surrealists worked in a variety of mediums, including the visual arts, literature and film, they never included a musician in their group, and, as a rule, they distanced themselves from music. They "rebelled in principle against all 'great music', belonging as they did to a 'generation of the image which rejected the fifty-year flirtation between poetry and music - Wagner, Debussy, Symbolism - and also because concerts brought together the social elite of a bourgeoisie which they detested.'"7 Moreover, the absence of an official surrealist composer or musical style adds to the difficulties of determining how a composition can be viewed as surrealist. In Untwisting the Serpent: Modernism in Music, Literature, and Other Arts, Daniel Albright describes in detail how Poulenc's music overlaps with the surrealist movement.8 He ascribes two definitions to surrealism, based on the usage of the term by two poets: Guillaume 5Rene Passeron, Phaidon Encyclopedia of Surrealism, Translated by John Griffiths, (Oxford: Phaidon, 1978), 9 ; and Fiona Bradley, Surrealism, (London: Tate Gallery Publishing, 1997), 193. 6See: Daniel Albright, Untwisting the Serpent: Modernism in Music, Literature, and Other Arts, (Chicago ; London : The University of Chicago Press, Ltd., 2000), 291 and 289 ; Sidney Buckland, '"The Coherence of opposites': Eluard, Poulenc and the poems of Tel jour telle nuit," in Francis Poulenc: Music, Art and Literature, eds. Sidney Buckland and Myriam Chimenes, (Aldershot; Brookfield USA; Singapore; Sydney: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 1999), 151; Guy Arnold Hargrove, "Francis Poulenc's settings of poems of Guillaume Apollinaire and Paul Eluard," (PhD diss., Music: U. of Iowa, 1971) ; and Marion S. Weide, "Poulenc's Banalites: a surrealist song cycle," NATS bulletin, USA 35 (January-February 1979): 12-16. 7Buckland, '"The Coherence of opposites,'" 151. 8Daniel Albright, Untwisting the Serpent, 291 and 289. 3 Apollinaire, who coined the word, and Andre Breton who was inspired by the term and became the leader of the surrealist/movement. Albright understands Apollinaire's surrealism (in which he places Poulenc) to be an art of intensified reality, and conceives of Breton's to be one of subverted reality.9 The claim for two types of surrealism, however is largely unfounded, as Apollinaire only coined the term that was then appropriated and re-defined by the surrealists, and therefore has very little to do with Apollinairian aesthetics.10 For the purpose of this study, then, the use of the word "surrealism" will refer to the movement spawned by Breton. This paper explores the surrealist elements in Poulenc's Bal masque in this light. It first looks at the most common characteristics of surrealism found in literature and painting, and then considers how they apply to Poulenc's work. It then focuses on Max Jacob, the poet of Bal masque, and Poulenc, and the relationship of each with surrealism in general. Finally, an analysis of Bal masque is used as a case study for the interrogation of surrealist aspects in Poulenc's music. 9Ibid., 267. 10Andre Breton, Manifestoes of Surrealism, trans. Richard Seaver, (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1969), 13. 4 Background: Surrealism, Max Jacob and Francis Poulenc Surrealism The surrealist movement has a long and varied history, beginning in Paris around 1919, spreading worldwide in the mid 1930s, and remaining active to the end of the 1960s. This paper will not cover the entire history of surrealism; rather, it will explore the movement as Poulenc would have been familiar with it around 1932, when he was composing Bal masque . In the 1920s and early 1930s, surrealism was still in its early stages. This was a period of revolution and experimentation, during which the basic principles of the movement were conceived and developed. Surrealism has its roots in Dada, an anti-art movement founded in Zurich during WWI." Initiated by Tristan Tzara, Dada was a reaction to the horrors of the war and attacked all forms of convention, including politics, societal manners and academic art.12 Andre Breton and other members of the nascent surrealist group were greatly impressed by the activities of the Dadaists. They dedicated an issue of their magazine Literature to Tzara, and participated in the Dada "manifestations" held in Paris in 1920.13 The surrealists, however, soon grew dissatisfied with Dada, which they felt had grown aimless and nihilistic. They sought a more positive and constructive means of breaking with uPasseron, Encyclopedia of Surrealism, 12. 12Ibid., 8. 13Bradley, 8. 5 convention.14 The split with Dada came in 1921, when Breton launched a new issue of Literature dedicated to the "saison des sommeils," a series of experiments on the unconscious: The group explored the possibilities of trance, of dream-like states of mind, in which they could produce imagery directly from their unconscious. The emphasis was on experimentation, on a systematic exploration of creativity which might offer an alternative to the exciting but ultimately destructive anarchism of Dada.15 The exploration into dreams and unconsciousness, and the unexpected results arising from them, became the focus of the surrealists. The movement was made official in 1924, with the establishment of the "bureau des recherches surrealistes" which provided the surrealists with a centre of operations, and with the publication of Breton's Manifesto of Surrealism.16 In the Manifesto, Breton stresses the importance of art as a tool for probing the unconscious, and of exploration which leads to self-discovery and unearths inner desires.17 Creative work was to be motivated by a desire for revelation, and the success of the work of art depended not on its aesthetic qualities, but on the quality of the discoveries revealed.18 The work could never be willed or forced; any conscious effort comitted to its production would render the work pointless and artificial.19 The artist could not labour to create, because successful art had to 14Passeron, Encyclopedia of Surrealism, 10. ,5Bradley, Surrealism, 19. 16Ibid., 9. 17Annette Shandler Levitt, "An Introduction to Surrealism/Modernism, and All That Jazz," in The Genres and Genders of Surrealism. (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999), 2. 1 8J.H. Matthews, An Introduction to Surrealism, (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University, 1965), 107. 19Passeron, Encyclopedia of Surrealism, 30. be spontaneously born out of the imagination, the unconscious.20 Due to this emphasis placed on the unconscious, surrealist art did not have to conform to predetermined or accepted ideals of beauty. The artistic quality of what was created was of little importance. What mattered was the surrealist quality of the work.21 Surrealists valued art that did not rely on predetermined formulas and that ignored aesthetic conventions because in it they saw the freedom that they wished to obtain. The one thing they felt would liberate man was the "marvellous," "dream," or the "fantastic". The surrealists regarded the marvellous as the ultimate form of reality, and they believed that their ultimate goal, surreality, would result from the convergence of the real and the marvellous.22 As Breton stated, "I believe in the future resolution of those two states, dream and reality, which are seemingly so contradictory, into a kind of absolute reality, surreality"23 The marvellous was also the supreme form of beauty. "The marvellous is always beautiful, anything marvellous is beautiful, in fact only the marvellous is beautiful."24 This ultimate beauty could only be found where rational logic was absent, such as in the thoughts resulting from sleep-deprivation, hallucinations, and dreams, in the humourous, and in so-called primitive cultures, which the surrealists believed were driven by instinct rather than rational, "civilized" thought.25 The surrealists saw in the marvellous a new form of reality in which everything is 20Daniel Cottom, Abyss of Reason: Cultural Movements, Revelations, and Betrayals, (New York ; Oxford: Oxford University, 1991), 185-86. 2,Matthews, Introduction to Surrealism, 57. 22Ibid., 32. 23Breton, Manifestoes of Surrealism, 14. 24Ibid.. 25Matthews, Introduction to Surrealism, 114; and Bradley, Surrealism, 9. 7 possible, and a new more enlightened kind of logic based on the unreal and the irrational.26 The marvellous was the antithesis of reason, so the surrealists immersed themselves in a world of nonsense by "deliberately disorientating and reorientating the conscious by means of the unconscious."27 They believed that the unconscious, which reveals itself in an inconsistent manner through dreams and hallucinations, would provide man with a deeper understanding of himself, and that any attempt to restrain these revelations with reason was to deny man access to the knowledge that could free him. 2 8 In other words, the surrealists saw in the rational the fixed forms and patterns of thought with which society had shackled itself, and from which they sought freedom.29 They employed every means they could think of to explore the potential offered in the irrational and to avoid the repression of the rational.30 The surrealists did not see the irrational as hollow or meaningless; rather, they believed that in the irrational, they would find a new, true form of reason.31 So the irrational did not ultimately negate all forms of reason; in it, lay a new, more lucid form of reason which allowed man total fulfilment of his desires, in other words, a total and limitless reason.32 In the 1920s and early 1930s, the search for surreality centred around two major themes: 26Matthews, Introduction to Surrealism, 145. "Bradley, Surrealism, 9. 28Matthews, The Surrealist Mind, (London; Toronto: Asociated University Presses: 1991), 90. 29Matthews, Introduction to Surrealism, 134 ; and Passeron, Encyclopedia of Surrealism, 83-84. 30Matthews, The Surrealist Mind, 119. 3 lCottom, Abyss of Reason, 16. 32Matthews, Introduction to Surrealism, 150-51. 8 automatism and dreams. Automatism, developed first by poets, involved practises such as writing down what automatically came to mind without giving any thought to the final product and without filtering or censoring what the mind commanded the pen to write. Because the words were suggested by the unconscious, automatism was for the early surrealists the surest route to the marvellous.33 Since the choice of words was not limited to rational thought, automatic writing freed words from ordinary usage and gave them new life.34 The value of verbal automatism lay in the unpredictable and the manner in which it could guide the artist beyond expectation into the unpredictable.35 The first experiments in automatism were performed in 1919 by Breton and Philippe Soupault, and resulted in a book of collected poems, Les Champs magnetiques. The exercises consisted of setting down what automatically came to mind without giving thought to what was being written. Each chapter was arbitrarily assigned a speed at which the writing would be performed. Some of the chapters were authored independently, while others were constructed as a series of dialogues between Breton and Soupault. The writing sessions are said to have been very intense, and the authors report having entered trance-like states of mind.36 The following excerpt, drawn from the first chapter of Champs magnetiques, "La Glace sans tain," is exemplary of automatic writing. The window imbedded in our flesh opens on our heart. In it, we see a enormous lake where at noon coppered dragon flies perfumed like peonies come to lie. What is this great tree where animals come to observe each other? For centuries 33Ibid., 20-21. 34Ibid., 25. 35Matthews, The Surrealist Mind, 36. 36Marguerite Bonnet, ed. Andre Breton: Oeuvres completes, vol.1, (Paris: Gallimard, 1988), 1121-22. 9 now we have poured it/him drink. Its/his throat is dryer as well, but we must not look for a long time without spyglasses. Everyone can go by it in this bloody hallway, along which our sins are hung, delicious tableaux, where grey however dominates.37 Automatic writing is supposed to represent the natural stream of unconscious thought, so the imagery and concepts are always familiar, but they are assembled in an illogical and unfamiliar manner. For example, the window, the flesh, and the heart of the first sentence are all familiar, and the grammatical construction is perfectly normal, but the manner in which they are assembled here creates new and bizarre images. Another example of automatic writing is the collaborative game known as the "cadavre exquis," in which every participant wrote a word on a sheet of paper, folded it, and passed it to his neighbour.38 Sentences were then randomly formed from these words. The first sentence ever obtained in this manner was: 'The exquisite corpse drank the new wine.' The results of these cadavres exquis were published in La Revolution surrealiste: "The winged mist seduces the locked bird." "The headless stars, furious of no longer existing, revolve in a circle whose centre is the folded and unfolded cinema program."39 The sentences produced all follow a standard grammatical formula (subject - verb - object) and 37Breton and Philippe Soupault, "La Glace sans tain" from Les Champs magnetiques, in Oeuvres Completes, ed. Marguerite Bonnet, (Paris: Gallimard, 1988), vol. 1, 57. "La fenetre creusee dans notre chair s'ouvre sur notre coeur. On y voit un immense lac ou viennent se poser a midi des libellules mordorees et odorantes comme des pivoines. Quel est ce grand arbre oil les animaux vont se regarder? II y a des siecles que nous lui versons a boir. Son gosier est plus sec aussi, mais il ne faut pas regarder longtemps sans longue-vue. Tout le monde peut y passer dans ce couloir sanglant ou sont accroches nos peches, tableaux delicieux, ou le gris domine cependant." **Unless otherwise stated, all translations are my own.** 38Passeron, Encyclopedia of Surrealism, 259. 39"Le Cadavre exquis," in La Revolution surrealiste 9-10 (October 1927):11 and 24. "La vapeur ailee seduit l'oiseau ferme a cle." And "Les etoiles sans tete, furieuses de ne plus etre, tournent dans un cercle qui a pour centre le programme de cinema plie et deplie." 10 they are replete with familiar images and subject matter, but they are conceptually illogical, creating new and unfamiliar objects and images from the familiar such as the locked bird and the headless stars. Due to the emphasis placed on the immediate revelations of the unconscious, which in the beginning relied on automatic practices not regarded as applicable to the visual arts, the surrealist group was at first made up primarily of writers, and there was no program outlined for visual artists.40 In 1925, however, Breton published his article "Le Surrealisme et la peinture" which praises painting and describes the surrealist qualities in the work of Picasso, Braque, Chirico, Ernst, Man Ray and Andre Masson. The article opened the doors of surrealism to visual artists, and by 1929, works by Max Ernst, Masson, Miro, Dali and Magritte had all appeared in surrealist publications.41 Little distinction was made between painter and poet, so long as surrealist aims motivated the artwork, and eventually, surrealism was practised by artists in a variety of media, including prose, sculpture, photography, and film.42 Two of the methods developed to capture the unconscious in the visual arts are collage and frottage.43 Collage was a technique which had already been used by the Dadaists, Futurists and Cubists before Max Ernst introduced it to surrealism in 1921 for his first Paris exhibition.44 In collage, unrelated materials as diverse as newspaper clippings, bits of paper and pieces fabrics 'Bradley, Surrealism, 7. Ibid., 10. Ibid., 6. 'Ibid., 21-22. 'Ibid., 26-27. 11 are assembled in a frame to create a new image.45 Ernst also invented "collage paintings," oil paintings which resemble collage surfaces, that bring together unrelated imagery in bizarre and inexplicable contexts and appear to be constructed from cut-out materials.46 For example, Ernst's Celebes (1921) features an elephantine figure with a horned head gazing at a headless nude female mannequin. Behind the figure is a set of tusks suggesting a second head, and although the figure is standing on the ground, fish swim in the sky.4 7 Ernst also introduced frottage to surrealism in 1925. A practise already familiar with children, the process involves placing paper or cloth over a textured surface and then rubbing a pencil, charcoal or paint over the paper so that the texture or pattern of the object underneath is transferred onto it. 4 8 In Forest and dove (1927), Ernst placed his canvas over wood planks and fish bones and passed his brush over it to obtain a background texture, which then guided his imagination to paint a forest.49 Collage and frottage are only examples of means undertaken by surrealist painters in their pursuit of images not suggested by conscious thought. They are exemplary of the various tactics employed by surrealist visual artists to arrive at an image that was not predetermined. So in the visual arts, automatic practices sought to avoid individual creative thought and to trigger the unconscious of both artist and viewer.50 Automatism served as a method to explore the unconscious, but according to the 4 5Lewis Kachur, "Collage," The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, (Oxford University Press, Accessed 10 February, 2003) <http://www.groveart.com>. 46Bradley, Surrealism, 28. 4 7Ibid.. 48Passeron, Encyclopedia of Surrealism, 260. 49Bradley, Surrealism, 22-23. 5 0Ibid., 23-24. 12 surrealists, the unconscious revealed itself most fully in dreams.51 The challenge was to find ways to tap into the dream world. Surrealist dream exploration began in the early 1920s, but oneirism (dream work) really gained importance in the late 1920s when pictorial automatism was beginning to produce predictable results. Surrealists began working on "dream paintings," or "oneiric paintings," which depict or refer to dreams.52 Unlike automatic painting, dream painting was produced with a consciously predetermined image in mind. Here, the idea was to produce realistic, yet irrational, images suggestive of the dream state. "Surrealist paintings tend to be object based. In order to discredit and destabilise perceived normality, Surrealist artists manipulated recognisable objects, blurring the boundary between the real and the imaginary."53 For example, Salvador Dali used paranoiac misinformation as the basis for his paintings: Paranoiacs are often convinced that they see the same thing over and over again in different places, as they project their own mental images onto the world around them. Dali's simulated paranoia, his paranoiac-critical method, allowed him, like a paranoiac, to reorder the world according to his interior obsessions. The boundary between the real and the imagined became ambiguous, and his pictures came to represent the space of the dream or the marvellous, a space where everything you see is potentially something else.54 Dali did this by using double-images which, like visual illusions, illustrate more than one object at the same time. In Mountain Lake (1938), for example, a telephone receiver hangs from two poles in front of an oblong lake. Large rocks in the background are reflected in the lake's surface, the smallest one as a red gash. This gash shows the lake to be also a fish as it becomes the gills of the fish, and a splash of water on the left becomes its tail. "The multiple image relies 51Breton, Manifestoes of Surrealism, 13. 52Passeron, Encyclopedia of Surrealism, 262 ; and Bradley, Surrealism, 32. 53Bradley, Surrealism, 41. 5 4Ibid., 39-41. 13 on Dali's minutely detailed and 'realistic' technique, whereby an element overlooked in one reading of the painting - the reflection of the rock in the surface of the 'lake' - is the pivotal point of its paranoid transformation."55 Another method of blurring the boundary between the real and the imagined was to reveal the illusionary nature of everyday objects by depicting them as realistically as possible, but throwing in a disarming twist. The classic example of this illusionary play is Magritte's The Treachery of Images (1928-29), a painting of a pipe under which a captions reads: "This is not a pipe." The caption confuses but does not lie, as indeed "this" is not a pipe, but rather the image of a pipe. The painting "[acts] out the warning implied by its title: the image is so illusionistic that it is treacherous, making us 'see' something (a real pipe) that is not really there. [...] The painting makes us doubt that we can rely on our perception of things."56 The techniques devised in early surrealism resulted in a wide variety of artistic styles, and similarities between the individual styles are often difficult to perceive. The goals that motivated the artistic process, however, did render fairly consistent general results, and common elements do appear between the different works. Texts and paintings are typically filled with familiar imagery, such as everyday objects. These images, however, are de-contextualized and re-contextualized in the world of the marvellous sought by the surrealists in their escape from convention. In this dreamworld, the rational does not exist. Objects are no longer what they appear to be, time and place are no longer stable, and anything is possible. These are the very qualities with which the poetry of Jacob is endowed. 'Ibid, 38. Ibid.. 14 Max Jacob Max Jacob was born in 1876, in the village of Quimper in Brittany, where a strange mixture of devout Catholicism and folkloric superstition was active. The son of a Jewish tailor, he thus grew up in a multi-devotional and actively spiritual environment which played an influential role in his attitudes toward religion and spirituality. At the turn of the century, he left Quimper for Paris where he befriended Picasso and Apollinaire and led a bohemian life in Montmartre. From about 1900 to 1910, Jacob published some children's stories, painted, and wrote his first "poemes en prose." In 1909 he claimed to have seen an apparition of Christ in a watercolour hung in his bedroom, and five years later he experienced a similar vision. These "apparitions" inspired his conversion to Catholicism in 1915. From about 1910 to 1921 Jacob's most famous works were published: Oeuvres burlesques et mystiques de frere Matorel (1912), Cornet a des (1917), and Laboratoire central (1921), from which the Bal masque poems are drawn. After the publication of Laboratoire central, Jacob retreated to a monastic community near Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire to devote himself to religious meditation, writing, and painting. In 1944, he was arrested by the Gestapo and died of bronchial pneumonia in a camp at Drancy.57 Ardent Catholic faith and surrealist aesthetics might at first appear to be incompatible, i f not antagonistic. The surrealists led a very public crusade against Catholicism, which included public demonstrations and anti-Catholic topics and images in their works. Moreover, both the 5 7Andre Clavel, "Max Jacob," in Dictionnaire des litteratures de langue frangaise, Jean-Pierre de Beaumarchais, Daniel Couty, and Alain Rey, eds., (Paris: Larousse, 2001): vol. 1, 884-885. 15 surrealist group and Max Jacob openly denounced any affiliations with each other.58 Early on, though, there were connections between the two. In 1918, some of Jacob's poems were published in Les trois roses, a magazine for which Breton wrote a regular column on art and literature. The surrealists' own publication, Litterature, printed some of Jacob's poems in 1919. Granted the poems appeared before the publication of the Manifesto of Surrealism, but Jacob's appearance in these journals demonstrates a likeness to, and acceptance by the surrealists before 1920. The division occurred later, probably after Jacob had turned to monastic life.59 Undoubtedly his devotion to the Church, symbol of a reactionary order, separated him from future movements, particularly surrealism. It is otherwise difficult to explain that Breton and his friends recognized as masters Apollinaire, Reverdy [who were strongly influenced by Jacob] but not him, who had just published Le Cornet a des in 1917, and whose character numerous studies [...] have shown to be a precursor of the movement.60 Jacob is generally accepted as an influential pre-surrealist.61 His reasons for writing, his approach to poetry, and his aesthetic principles have strong affinities with those of the surrealists. For Jacob, the value of poetry was determined by the virtue of the goals motivating its creation, and method was of secondary concern, and like the surrealists, he believed that poetry would lead 58Christine Van Rogger-Andreucci, Poesie et religion dans I 'oeuvre de Max Jacob, (Paris: Honore Champion Editeur, 1994), 101 and 106 ; and Marcel Bealu, Dernier Visage de Max Jacob, Edition tres augmentee, (Quimper, France: Calligrames, 1994), 18. 59Van Rogger-Andreucci, Poesie et religion, 106n. 60Ibid., 104-05. "[II] est certain que son ralliement a l'Eglise, symbole d'un ordre reactionnaire, l'a separe des mouvements qui vont suivre, tout particulierement du surrealisme. II est difiicilement explicable sinon que Breton et ses amis aient reconnu comme maitres Apollinaire, Reverdy et non lui, qui venait de publier Le Cornet a des en 1917, et don't de nombreuses etudes [...] ont montre le caractere precurseur a l'egard du mouvement." 61Marcel Bealu, Dernier Visage, 130 ; Andre Billy, Max Jacob: line etude, (Paris: Seghers, 1956), 29 ; and Lina Lachgar, Max Jacob, (Bordeaux: H. Veyrier, 1981), 19. 16 to liberation.62 Where the surrealists maintained liberation would be achieved in surreality, Jacob, long before his official conversion, held that it would come with holy redemption. To him, poetry and salvation were one and the same.63 Jacob also employed his poetry to fight bourgeois conceptions of art by contesting the idea of the "serious" poet, and by mocking cultural norms and societal manners.54 The liberation he sought could only be achieved through poetic invention and linguistic imagination.65 Language had to shock, confuse, and disorder the established. Most importantly, language could create worlds of fantasy not known to men.66 Like the surrealists, Jacob believed that words born of the imagination held ultimate authority.67 "It can come out in poetry or in prose; I find out when it's done, but I correct nothing, it is from the unconscious and it is sacred."68 So like the surrealists, Jacob believed that the unconscious provided a form of absolute truth or knowledge. Jacob also viewed poetry as a means of escaping reality, which he saw as oppressive and inhibiting.69 As with the surrealists, he demonstrates in his poetry an abiding desire to escape 62Lachgar, Max Jacob, 110. 63Rene Plantier, Max Jacob, (Paris: De Brouwer, 1972), 35 and 49. 64Van Rogger-Andreucci, Poesie et religion, 92 ; and Plantier, Max Jacob, 28 and 50. 65Plantier, L 'univers poetique de Max Jacob, Bibliotheque francaise et romane. Etudes litteraires. (Paris: Klincksieck, 1976), 46-47. 66Clavel, "Max Jacob," 886. 67Plantier, Univers poetique, 23. 68Max Jacob, "Max Jacob" in Comment Us ecrivent, ed. Georges Charensol, 107-12, (Paris: Editions Montaigne, 1932), 111. "Ca peut sortir en vers ou en prose; je le constate quand c'est fini, mais je ne corrige rien, c'est de l'inconscient et c'est sacre." 'Plantier, Univers poetique, 25. 17 reality.70 His work is full of fantastic imagery analogous to the surrealist marvellous.71 It is replete with contrasts and juxtapositions, it ignores reason, and it turns the familiar into the unfamiliar.72 "Everywhere the strange unites with the familiar, the strange becomes familiar, the familiar becomes strange."73 To arrive at unusual and fantastical images, Jacob probed his imagination using techniques not unlike those of the surrealists. He was drawn by anything that could trigger his imagination.74 He even practised some mental exercises to do so: [...] On my way, I would take, for example, a boutique sign, a poster, a postcard, and I would tell myself: "Before you get to that given lamppost you will have to have found a completely new idea on what you have just seen." I would go all the way to the lamppost and if I hadn't found the idea, I would remain immobile until the thought had come.75 Jacob also used his dreams as a source for poetic imagery, as well as the hallucinations resulting from intense concentration.76 For Jacob, like the surrealists, importance was placed not on the method employed to obtain new poetic images, but on the quality of the images that these 7 0Bealu, Dernier Visage, 130. 7 'Van Rogger-Andreucci, Poesie et religion, 109-10 ; and Yvon Belaval, Preface to Laboratoire central by Max Jacob, (Paris: Gallimard, 1960), 39-40. 72Plantier, Univers poetique, 21 and 41 ; Van Rogger-Andreucci, Poesie et religion, 13 ; and Lachgar, Max Jacob, 22. 7 3Belaval, Preface to Laboratoire central, 28. "Partout l'etrange s'y unit au familier, l'etrange devient familier, le familier devient etrange." 74Plantier, Max Jacob, 23. 75Jacob, "Max Jacob," 107-109. "[...] je prenais par exemple sur mon chemin un enseigne de boutique, une affiche, une carte postale, et je me disais: "Avant que tu atteignes tel reverbere i l faudra que tu aies trouve une idee absolument neuve sur ce que tu viens de voir." J'allais jusqu'au reverbere et si je n'avais pas trouve l'idee, je restais immobile jusqu'a ce que la pensee soit venue." 76Jacob, "Max Jacob," 112; and Van Rogger-Andreucci, Poesie et religion, 22. 18 methods granted. In the work of Jacob, this means the transformation of the familiar into the new and imaginary, mockery and derision of societal norms, and juxtaposition and contrast; in other words, the fantastical or the marvellous.77 Francis Poulenc Andre Breton's firm stance against music may have prevented Poulenc, or any musician for that matter, from ever becoming an official member of the surrealist group. Nonetheless, Poulenc was very well acquainted with the movement and with the surrealists themselves. Poulenc first met the surrealists at "La Maison des amis des livres," to which he was introduced by a friend some time during WWI.78 The bookstore was an unofficial meeting place for young Parisian artists, where readings of avant-garde poetry were often held. Poulenc met Breton, Soupault, Aragon, and Eluard there.79 By 1920, he had already participated in literary events with the surrealists: On Sunday, 8 June 1919, Leonce Rosenberg held in her gallery, the "Effort moderne," a show dedicated "to the memory of Guillaume Apollinaire" [...]. The poet's works were read by Suzanne Methivier, Pierre Bertin, Marcel Harrand, Andre Breton and Philippe Soupault. "Tributes to Apollinaire" were "read by authors Georges Auric, Andre Breton, Blaise Cendrars, Jean Cocteau, Max Jacob, Pierre Reverdy, Philippe Soupault." It is during this show that Le Bestiaire d'Orphee, 12 songs on quatrains of Guillaume Apollinaire, were first performed 77Billy, Max Jacob, 39 ; Lachgar, Max Jacob, 22 ; Belaval, Preface to Laboratoire central, 27 ; and Clavel, "Max Jacob," 884. 78Myriam Chimenes, "Francis Poulenc," in Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (Accessed 4 March 2004), <http://www.grovemusic.com>. 79Ibid.. 19 by Francis Poulenc and Jeanne Borel of the Opera Comique.80 In addition to these early "rencontres," Poulenc maintained a regular acquaintance with the surrealists, many of whom were often in attendance at the soirees held by the count Charles of Noailles and his wife Marie-Laure, in whose home Poulenc was a frequent guest.81 There are also many passing references to members of the surrealist group and their supporters throughout Poulenc's correspondence. In addition to his personal acquaintance with individual members of the surrealist group, Poulenc was very familiar with their official activities. He had observed some of the public confrontations between the Dadaists and the surrealists in the early 1920s, and he was clearly interested in the films of Bunuel and the works of various surrealist painters.82 Poulenc was an avid enthusiast of painting, and demonstrated a profound interest in twentieth century art.83 Among his favourite contemporary artists were Picasso, Braque and Klee, all of whom were, at some point, either members of the surrealist group or held in high esteem by them.84 Further, in Le travail du peintre, he sets seven poems by Eluard, each of which is dedicated to a different 80Francis Poulenc, Correspondance: 1910-1963. Compiled and annotated by Myriam Chimenes, (Paris: Fayard, 1994), 90-9In. "Le dimanche 8 juin 1919, Leonce Rosenberg organisa dans sa galerie l'Effort moderne une matinee dediee "a la memoire de Guillaume Apollinaire" [...]. Les oeuvres du poete etaient lues par Suzanne Methivier, Pierre Bertin, Marcel Harrand, Andre Breton et Philippe Soupault. Des "Hommages a Apollinaire" furent "his pas les auteurs Georges Auric, Andre Breton, Blaise Cendrars, Jean Cocteau, Max Jacob, Pierre Reverdy, Philippe Soupault." C'est au cours de cette matinee que fut cree Le Bestiaire d'Orphee, 12 melodies sur les quatrains de Guillaume Apollinaire par Francis Poulenc et Jeanne Borel de l'Opera Comique." 81Poulenc and Claude Rostand, Entretiens avec Claude Rostand, (Paris: Rene Juillard, 1954), 141. 82Schmidt, Entrancing Muse, 330. 83Poulenc, Entretiens, 173. 8 4Ibid., 175. 20 painter with surrealist qualities: Picasso, Chagall, Braque, Gris, Klee, Miro and Villon. As he remarked: "I thought it would stimulate my work to paint musically."*5 Poulenc demonstrated a keen admiration for and understanding of the work of Salvador Dali. After a trip to Spain, he wrote: "I adored at the Escorial a sublime painting of El Bosco (The Creation of the World) from which all, absolutely all Dali is derived." 8 6 Later that year, he commented on some of Dali's paintings: "Saw the other day the very very lovely paintings of Dali (tell him especially) I am crazy about the gray horse and of the woman on 'chromo Lefebvre-Utile' background."87 Years later, he also mentioned having used Dali as a guide while composing Secheresses, a collection of choral settings of poems by Edward James: "I also drafted the first of the James choruses, music in the style of giraffes on fire. I think of Dali to guide myself."88 There is no doubt that surrealist aesthetics appealed to Poulenc, as is evident in the sheer number of his settings of surrealist poems. In addition to the opera Les Mamelles de Tiresias, based on a play by Apollinaire, and three choral works employing surrealist texts, over half of Poulenc's song settings are of surrealist poems. He considered Apollinaire, Eluard and other surrealists as his most important and significant poets: "One thing that is for certain is that if you 85Poulenc, Diary of My Songs [Journal de mes melodies], with a translation by Winifred Radford, (London: Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1985), 101. 86Poulenc, in a letter to Marie-Laure de Noailles, 11 April 1930, Correspondance, 323. "J'ai adore a l'Escorial un Tableau sublime d'El Bosco (La Creation du monde) d'ou descend tout, absolument tout Dali." 87Poulenc, in a letter to Marie-Laure de Noailles, 11 October 1930, Ibid., 331. "Vu l'autre jour les tableaux de Dali bien bien jolis (surtout dites-le lui) je raffole du cheval gris et de la femme sur fond 'chromo Lefebvre-Utile'." 88Poulenc, in a letter to Nora Auric, 17 August 1937, Ibid., 447. "J'ai egalement esquisse le premier des choeurs de James, musique style girafes en feu. Je pense a Dali pour me guider." 21 like Apollinaire, Eluard, Aragon, Loulou etc... you will inevitably find me."8 9 In a 1935 article entitled "Eloge de la banalite," Poulenc describes his aesthetic principles and preferences (See Appendix). The essay is of particular interest because it closes with a brief description of Bal masque.90 In it, Poulenc challenges traditional ideas of beauty, and expresses his dislike for synthetic constructions:91 "I also hate synthetic cuisine, synthetic perfume, synthetic art -1 want some garlic in my leg of lamb, the real perfume of roses, a music that says what it wants, even i f it must speak obscenely."92 To Poulenc, good art does not rely on predetermined and established formulas, but is immediate and instinctive.93 His interest lay in the banal, in the everyday, which he saw as rich and full of meaning and which could serve as an alternative to "academic" music. He called for music that could parallel the visceral nature of the work of the surrealists: I wonder i f in parallel to these dogmatic musics there isn't room for a kind of music that would preoccupy itself more with the spirit than with the mind. Already, in painting, Christian Berard, Salvador Dali, fleeing from cubism, proper only in the genius Picasso, return to the true image of the object, transposed by their individual sensibility.94 8 9In a letter to Pierre Bernac, 6 August 1944. Ibid., 571. "II y a un fait certain c'est que si Ton aime Apollinaire, Eluard, Aragon, Loulou etc... i l faudra bien toujours en passer par moi." 90Poulenc, "Eloge de la banalite," in Presence 3 (Oct 1935): 24-25. 9 ,Ibid., 25. 9 2Ibid.. "Je hais egalement la cuisine synthetique, le parfum synthetique, Fart synthetique - je veux de Fail dans mon gigot, un vrai parfum de rose, une musique qui dise bien ce qu'elle veut, meme si elle doit parler gras." 9 3Ibid, 24. 9 4Ibid.. "Je me demande cependant si parallelement a ces musiques dogmatiques i l n'y a pas place pour une musique qui se preoccuperait plus de 1'esprit que de la lettre. Deja, en peinture, Christian Berard, Salvador Dali, fuyant le cubisme propre au seul genie de Picasso, reviennent a la vision reelle de l'objet, transposed par leur seule sensibilite." 22 Poulenc thus sought music that, like the paintings of Dali and other surrealists, used familiar objects, constructs and techniques, but that reordered them and presented them in new, unusual and imaginative contexts. These are the qualities with which he has endowed Bal masque. Jacob's Laboratoire central The poetry of Jacob that qualifies as surrealistic dates primarily from before his conversion, or more specifically from before his move to Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire.95 According to van Rogger-Andreucci, there was definitely a change in Jacob's poetry after the conversion, and Laboratoire central demonstrates the transition between the old and new styles. The collection consists of one hundred and five poems written between 1903 and 1921, many of which had previously appeared in various magazines.96 It is divided into four parts that demonstrate the transition in Jacob's poetic style and, as has been suggested by Belaval, parallel biographical stages, ending with a final section devoted solely to religious themes.97 The first part corresponds to Jacob's childhood in Quimper, with folksy poems on simple themes, and the second part, in which the vocabulary becomes more elaborate and the themes less innocent, correlates to his first years in Paris. The third part of Laboratoire central presents various aspects of Parisian suburbia - its people, landscapes, sounds, and so on. "Musique Acidulee," the fifth poem of the third part, serves as an extreme example of Jacob's style in Laboratoire central: 9 5 Van Rogger-Andreucci, Poesie et religion, 119. 9 6Ibid., 117-118. 9 7Belaval, 19. 23 Boum! Dame! Amsterdam. Barege n'est pas Baume-les-Dames! Papa n'est pas la! L'ipeca du rat n'est pas du chocolat. Gros lot du Congo? Oh! le beau Limpopo! Port du mort, il sort de l'or (bis). Clair de mer de verre de terre Rage, mage, demenage Du fromage ou tu nage Papa n'est pas la. L'ipeca du Maradjah de Nepala. Pipi, j'ai en vie Hi! Fauty l'dire ici. Vrai? Vrai? Boom! Lady! Amsterdam. Barege* is not Baume-les-Dames!* Papa is not there!* The rat's ipecac is not chocolate. Jackpot of the Congo? Oh! the beautiful Limpopo! Port* of the dead, he pulls out* some gold (twice). Light of sea of green of earth Rage, magus, move away Some cheese where you swim The Maradjah of Nepal's ipecac Papa is not there.* Pipi, 1 have to go Hee! Gotta say here. Really? Really?98 The poem resembles a children's ditty, which is casually made up as it is recited. The energy of the poem relies on the sounds of the words and their similarities rather than on any logical train of thought. For example, the "ah" sound dominates the fourth line, while the "oh" sound dominates the fifth. The poem is also full of plays on the double meanings of words. For example, the towns of Barege and Baume-les-Dames both have double meanings, as "barege" is also a woven textile and "baume" is a balm. Therefore, the statement is both an obvious one as well as a pun, which states that "the barege fabric is no balm, ladies." Finally, the poem is replete with familiar or common language, especially that of children. These elements are found throughout Jacob's poetry and it is precisely their playful nature that appealed to Poulenc. 98Unless otherwise stated, all poems appear as in Max Jacob, Laboratoire central, (Paris: Gallimard, 1960). * Indicates a double-meaning. Analysis: Bal Masque 24 The "Bal masque" group of poems, comprised of nine poems, is found at the end of the third part of Laboratoire central and presents a series of exaggerated characters that reside in the suburban world evoked in this section. For his six-movement "Cantate profane," Bal Masque, Poulenc chose four poems from the third part of Jacob's Laboratoire central and set them in the first, third, fifth and sixth movements of what he described as "a gallery of strange portraits which are framed by instrumental interludes:"99 I - Preambule et air de bravoure II - Intermede (mstrumental) III -"Malvina IV - Bagatelle (Instrumental) V - La dame aveugle VI - Finale The choice of the title "Cantate profane" is an interesting one for this work, as it relates first to the genre of the secular cantata, and also acts as a joke surrounding the word "profane." As in the secular cantata, various vocal movements are set alongside instrumental movements. The word "profane" not only points to how the cantata has been ripped from the church into the secular but also says somthing about the types of characters we are about to meet in the work. In French, the word is also an adjective meaning "ignorant." Thus, from the outset, Poulenc cleverly warns us of the nature of the subject matter of the work. The third and fifth movements present a pair of grotesquely caricaturized bourgeois women, "Malvina" and "La dame aveugle." In Poulenc's words, "a lover, pretentious and unsatisfied, Mile Malvina, takes the hand of a monstrous blind lady who, clad in a velvet gown, "Ibid., 25. "galerie d'etranges portraits auxquels des interludes instrumentaux servent de cadre." 25 gets drunk with her brother in law."100 In addition to presenting two scathing portraits of unpleasant women, the third and fifth movements are both relatively short and self-contained, both are declamatory in style, neither has extensive instrumental passages, introductions or conclusions, and the poetic structure of each is upheld in the music. In the third movement, Poulenc sets the fifth poem of the "Bal masque" group of poems, "Personnages du bal masque: Malvina:" Voila qui j'espere vous effraie Mademoiselle Malvina ne quite plus son eventail Depuis qu'elle est morte. Son gant gris perle est etoile d'or. Elle se tirebouchonne come une valse tzigane Elle vient mourir d'amour a ta porte Pres du gres ou Ton met les Cannes. Disons qu'elle est morte du diabete Morte du gros parfum qui lui penchait le cou. Oh! 1'honnete animal! si chaste et si peu fou! Moins gourmet que gourmande elle etait de sang-lourd Agrege es lettres et chargee de cours C'etait en chapeau haut qu'on lui faisait la cour Or, on ne l'aurait eue qu'a la methode hussarde Malvina, 6 fantome, que Dieu te garde! Now here's something to scare you Mademoiselle Malvina no longer lets go of her fan Since she died. Her pearl grey glove is sparkling of gold. She twirls around like a gypsy waltz She comes to die of love at your door By the clay pot where we keep the walking sticks. Let's say she died of diabetes Died of the thick perfume that weighed her neck down. Oh! the honest creature! so chaste and so sensible! Not so much gourmet as glutton she was heavy-blooded A graduate of literature and charged with courses She was courted in a highbrow manner Actually, she only could have been won brusquely Malvina, O Phantom, may God keep you! The poem can be divided into two parts of seven lines each, with a fifteenth concluding line. The two seven-line portions are similarly, though not equally, structured. Each can be divided into three separate statements, as demarcated by the punctuation. The first statement (lines 1-3) begins in an off-handed manner and introduces the rather banal statement of the second line. The word "morte" at the end of the first statement, however, creates a shock since the opening lines present Malvina as a living character. Absurdity is produced by this ordering of ideas, which places Malvina's fan, a mere object, in a position of prominence and adds the fact of her 100Ibid.. "une amoureuse, pretentieuse et inassouvie, Mile Malvina, donne la main a une monstrueuse dame aveugle qui, vetue d'une robe de peluche, se grise avec son beau-frere." 26 death almost as an afterthought. This statement is also inane since Malvina, obviously, cannot let go of her fan i f she is dead. The second line-statement (line 4) adds to the absurdity of the previous statement, as it focuses on the gloved hand that is holding the fan. Malvina's death is thus minimized by the importance placed on her clothes and possessions. Finally, lines 5-7 form a distinctly separate and nonsensical statement. The use of present tense again creates confusion, for how can Malvina waltz around i f she is already dead? Everyday objects are prominent throughout the first half of the poem: the fan, the gloves, the stoneware where walking sticks are kept. As in typical surrealist poetry and painting, recognizable objects are presented in bizarre contexts. A l l of these things trivialize Malvina's death and her grand romantic gesture of dying of love. The passage has an overall symmetrical form (3 + 1+3 verses) and is grammatically sound, but the series of images and ideas are far from logical. For example, how can Malvina come to die at your door i f she is already dead? And who is the "toi" at whose door she comes to die? The passage is thus one of contrasts and strange associations in which the overall image is farcical. The second half of the poem is also divided into three statements. The first (lines 8-9), is again a gossipy remark (line 8-9). This time, however, it does not lead to a shocking declaration like the "morte" of the third line. Rather, this comment is far more scathing than its opening counterpart, and the characterization that follows is far less good-natured than that presented in the first part. The second statement (line 10) refers to her as a "creature," and the third statement (lines 11-14) points out her flawed character. Where the first part presents Malvina in a somewhat romantic, i f nonsensical, context (pearl gray gloves, waltzes, love acts, etc.), the second places her in an exaggerated reality. The absence of the familiar objects that elevated Malvina to a world of fantasy in the first part, unveils her to be unexceptional, pretentious, and 27 discontented. In the first part of the poem Malvina is portrayed as a romantic, though somewhat ridiculous, character, but the second part depicts her as grossly mundane. She is referred to as a "creature" rather than as a woman, and the portrait that Jacob paints is of a gluttonous woman who wears too much cologne. Malvina is the caricature of the respectable woman: chaste, sensible, and distanced, but inwardly desirous and unsatisfied. The final line of the poem functions as a sort of epitaph. Its tone is more formal and impassioned that the rest of the poem, but the overtly emotional character of the line is purposely exaggerated to the point of mockery. It draws attention to the double-meaning that can be read into "que Dieu te garde." On one hand, it is meant as a noble public utterance, on the other, it reveals that her loss is not felt very deeply. In other words, God may keep Malvina because nobody really wants her anyway. Poulenc's music enhances many of the surreal elements found in the poem. The overall form and construction of the music reflects that of the poetry, as each poetic statement, as outlined above, is accorded its own musical character. The music for the first statement (mm. 5-16) begins in a provocative manner with fast sixteenth notes on the words "Voila qui j'espere vous effraie," followed by the declamatory, rhythmic recitation as we learn that Malvina no longer lets go of her fan. The commonplace comment of the first statement is reflected in the dryness of the music, and the surprise on the word "morte" is emphasized by a sudden fortissimo cadence (m. 16). The second poetic statement (mm. 15-16) is set in spoken language "tres librement et declame," without orchestra. The sudden halt in the orchestra implies that the statement is of utmost importance when in fact, it sets the banal line about the gloved hand. It also creates a clear separation from the preceding and following statements, thus emphasizing the gloved hand by setting apart musically the statement which was set apart in the text by 28 punctuation. The third statement (mm. 17-28) is introduced by two instrumental measures announcing more melodious and lyrical music. The lyricism of the third statement reflects the romantic nature of Malvina's waltz and of her dying of love. These contrasting passages are presented in fewer than 30 measures, and the quick succession between them adds to the resulting sense of disjunction. In this third passage, Poulenc works against the images in Jacob's poetry, creating another unexpected twist. For example, Malvina's waltz is not represented in the music. There is no change from duple to triple metre until after the waltz passage in the text (m. 24), and even then, the music is not waltz-like. Also, the most elaborate vocal passage is found at mm. 26-27 on the words "pres du gres ou Ton met les Cannes" (Ex. 1). So the most mundane line of text is accorded the most chromatic and lyrical line of music, highlighting everydayness and creating a very marked contrast between music and text. The surrealist elements of contrast, disjunction, unusual associations, surprise and absurdity found in the poetry are therefore also found in Poulenc's music. In the second half of the movement, each poetic statement, as described above, has its musical equivalent from the first half. The second half begins very similarly to the first, with a declamatory statement. Once again, the commonplace comment of the first statement, "Disons qu'elle est morte...," is reflected in the dryness of the music (mm. 29-30). A cadence similar to that of m. 16 (closing the first statement of the first part) closes the first statement of the second part at m. 33 in the same brisk manner, but this time the sudden fortissimo that emphasized the surprise of the word "morte" is not present, as there is no surprise ending to this poetic line. Unlike the second statement of the first part, the second statement of the second part (mm. 34-37) is not spoken (9). Instead, it begins with material from the third statement in the first part. In contrast to the first part, this second statement creates a smooth transition between the first and third statements, rather than separating them. This returning music also links the second statement, which refers to her as a creature, to the third statement of the first part where it was first heard, and in which she dances around. So the waltz which was not a waltz, becomes even more ridiculous as we discover that Malvina is not so romantic a character as she imagines herself to be. The third statement of the second half of the movement (mm. 38-53) also derives its material from the first half of the movement. For example, the motive played by the muted trumpet at mm. 40-41 is reminiscent of the woodwind introduction to the third statement of the first part (m. 19) (Ex. 2). The first one introduces Malvina's waltz in a sultry manner, and the second one mockingly refers back to the dance to further caricaturize Malvina as she is described as "heavy-blooded." Similarly, the eighth-note staccato accompaniment in the piano and strings (mm. 38-44) is here reminiscent of the accompaniment figure in mm. 13-16, once again creating a link between her gluttony and the fact that she is dead (Ex. 3). The concluding line of the poem is accorded musical material not previously heard. We now hear grand romantic gestures: chromatic sweeps in the woodwinds, tremolos in the strings, a Tchaikovskian piano part comprising of large chords and sweeping arpeggios, and a vocal part, marked "tres expressif," worthy of an operatic tenor (Ex. 4). The exaggeration of this music clearly sets this line of poetry apart from the rest of the poem, emphasizing the disjunction that already exists in the poem as well as the overtly emotional character of the line. Although most of the musical material of the second half of the movement is derived from the first half, exact parallels are difficult to draw. The similarities, however, are sufficient to be familiar to the listener, and thus enable unusual associations to be formed between the first and second halves of the poem. The variety in musical character upholds the poetic structure and 30 amplifies its surrealist qualities, and the amalgam of musical materials in this movement can be compared to the various materials brought together in collage. Although separately unrelated or disassociated, together they form a unique whole. The way in which they are manipulated can also be compared to the surrealists' metamorphic painting. Just as the individual images in Dali's Mountain Lake are manipulated to reveal different facets of the painting, the various musical motives, such as the woodwind motive that introduces Malvina's waltz which mockingly returns as the muted trumpet motive, are transformed throughout the movement to reveal different facets of the poetry. The music highlights the structural outlines of the poem, draws attention between the two main parts of the texts, and highlights its nonsensical nature. \A/ sL* \j/ nJ^  7|v The character for the fifth movement of Bal masque, "La dame aveugle," is presented in an equally candid manner: La dame aveugle dont les yeux saignent choisit ses mots Elle ne parle a personne de ses maux Elle a des cheveux pareils a la mousse Elle porte des bijoux et des pierreries rousses. Elle a des cheveux pareils a la mousse Elle porte des bijoux et des pierreries rousses. La dame grasse et aveugle dont les yeux saignent Ecrit des lettres polies avec marges et interlignes Elle prend garde aux plis de sa robe de peluche Et s'efforce de faire quelque chose de plus Et si je ne mentionne pas son beau-frere C'est qu'ici ce jeune homme n'est pas en honneur Car il s'enivre et fait s'enivrer l'aveugle Qui rit, qui rit alors et beugle. The blind lady whose eyes bleed chooses her words She speaks to no-one of her ills She has hair just like moss She wears jewels and russet gems. She has hair just like moss She wears jewels and russet gems. The fat blind lady whose eyes bleed Writes polite lettres with margins and line spacing She takes care of the pleats in her velvet dress And makes an effort to do something more And if I do not mention her brother-in-law It is because this young man is not respected here For he gets drunk and gets the blind lady drunk Who laughs, who laughs and then bellows. 31 The first noticeable feature of this poem is its format, particularly the spaces between each of the two-line stanzas. The individual stanzas present thoughts or ideas about the blind lady which come across as a series of gossipy remarks, each more shocking than the last. A central element of the poem is the play on words resulting from the rhyming couplets which serve to create connections between unrelated words. In the first stanza, "mots" and "maux" become representative of the blind lady's state of being, that she gives no words to her ills. "Mousse" and "rousses" of the second stanza are connected to her physical appearance, emphasizing a sort of synthetic image of hair "like moss" and "russet stones." The imperfect rhyme of "saignent" and "interlignes" serves to form the paradoxical image of a blind woman with bleeding eyes sitting down to write polite letters that she cannot see or read. In the fourth stanza, "de peluche" sounds like an exaggerated pronunciation of "de plus," emphasizing how little the blind woman really has to do. The rhyme in the following stanza is very loose; for "beau frere" and "honneur" to rhyme, the pronunciation of one of the words must be altered, either to "beau freur" or "honnere," giving a sense of mockery to the lines and representing a total lack of respect for the "beau frere." In the final stanza, the rhyming of "l'aveugle" and "beugle" places the blind woman in the vulgar act of bellowing. In addition, the word "beugle" is drawn from the vernacular, and its vulgarity, both in definition and origin, further emphasizes the blind lady's bawdiness. As in surrealist writing, the play on words brings in elements of the absurd by allowing rhyme to create connections between normally unrelated words. Jacob thus relies on more than just the usual definitions of words, employing their phonetic characteristics to find new connections and meanings between words. Typical of surrealism, this poem has no pretensions 32 to high art. The imagery is shocking, the subject matter low, and the language common and coarse. Unlike the setting of "Malvina," the sense of musical disjunction is not felt as strongly in the setting of "La Dame aveugle." With the exception of the final stanza, the poem is presented more or less uniformly in a melodically restricted and largely declamatory style. Each poetic stanza is, however, clearly set apart from the others, creating an interruption of flow that is felt mostly due to the manner in which each stanza is presented. Much like in the poem's printed format, space is created between each of the stanzas with a full stop at the end of each pair of lines. The respect of the poetic stanzas is brought into evidence even more after the third stanza, where a longer instrumental interlude, aside from marking the centre of the poem, corresponds to the verbal meaning of "interlignes" in the text. Poulenc draws attention to the rhymes, according similar treatment to rhyming pairs. The "ses mots" and "ses maux" of the first stanza share the same rhythm and rising semitone (mm. 9-10 and 11-12) (Ex. 5). In the second stanza, "mousse" and "rousse" (mm. 17 and 20) are both accented and given greater rhythmic values than the rest of the poetic line in order to emphasize the "ou" sound of each word, as is the "ee" sound of "polies" and "interlignes" (mm. 26 and 28) (Ex. 6). The "u" sound of "peluche" is also emphasized in this manner (m. 39), and although "plus" is not accorded the same treatment, the "u" sound is still made prominent, as the bar in which it is sung (m. 42) is without accompaniment (Ex. 7). This allows the vowel sound to reverberate, despite the short rhythmic value it is accorded. The only rhyme that Poulenc does not highlight is that in the fifth stanza, "beau frere" and "honneur," which is, at any rate, tenuous. Here, the phonetic farce of the poem is overlooked, and both lines are strung together as one (mm. 46-49). The rhyme of the final stanza is also slightly overlooked, as the emphasis is given to the word "beugle," which is set in the most descriptive way possible: triple forte in a bawling outburst (m. 53), at which point, a loud, raucous trumpet tune bursts in, lampooning the blind lady's crude behaviour (Ex. 8). In addition to the attention given to the poem's rhyme scheme, Poulenc's setting is composed of many consistent and recurring elements. Much of the musical material for this movement finds its origins in the first four measures, which consist of a widely voiced minor ninth (G in woodwinds, A-flat in trumpet) held over a sixteenth-note ostinato pattern (Ex. 9). Moreover, the harsh tone established by the dissonant winds in the opening measures prevails throughout the movement. Dissonance is prominent in the passage of mm. 15-20, which is constructed from two diminished seventh chords set a semitone apart (on E and F), and the dissonance of the opening two-note chord is made explicit in m. 45, where the cello and oboe play an ascending scale a minor ninth apart (Ex. 10 & 11). The piercing quality of the music is also attributed to the orchestration, which favours sparse voicing and loud woodwinds in high registers. These gestures give even octaves a harsh quality in mm. 36-39, where oboes, bassoon and piano play and ascending chromatic scale. This harshness parallels the subject of the text, which is boorish and unrefined. The sixteenth-note pattern of the opening measures is also constant. It does assume slightly different forms, but still provides a recurring textural background to the vocal part. For example, the opening vocal line emulates the sixteenth-note pattern, copying it note for note at a slower rhythmic pace in the first thirteen measures. In the second stanza, the pattern (m. 15) becomes a descending motive played by clarinet and cello a minor seventh apart. The bassoon and violin pick it up in ascending form (m. 18), and the whole is repeated (mm. 19-20). At the halfway point of the poem (m. 28), the sixteenth-note ostinato is still constant, and continues into 34 the fourth stanza. In the setting of the final stanza, it appears in the melody once again, this time in altered form, and from m. 52, it is present in the piano, and in various forms in the entire ensemble in the concluding passage. The repetitiveness of the sixteenth-note motif, the unrelenting dissonance and the general harshness of the movement form an equivalent to the violent and aggressive imagery of surrealist painting and writing as well as to the crass nature of the poem's subject. The manner in which the sixteenth-note pattern transforms itself is also comparable to automatic practices. In the manner in which is works with the poem, it is allusive to automatic writing, where unusual connections between words are discovered, and where the mind is made to wander, perpetually forming new ideas out of the last. The pattern also brings to mind the visual technique of rubbing described earlier in the paper. Like the background patterns obtained from rubbing pencil or brush on a textured surface, the sixteenth-note pattern provides a consistent background to the musical tableaux. \ _ / \ _ / \ ^ \|y yjv / | \ yj\^ ^ The first and the final movements of Bal masque, though no less farcical, are far more lighthearted than the two inner movements. Rather than parading grotesque caricatures, they present more comical and fantastical tableaux. Both feature long instrumental introductions, and both make use of a wide variety of disassociated musical materials. The poem selected by Poulenc for the first movement, "Preambule et Air de bravoure," is not from the "Bal Masque" group of poems. Rather, "Madame la Dauphine" is the first poem of Part 3 of Jacob's Laboratoire central. The poem is composed of three stanzas, each presenting a 35 portrait of a different character and a snapshot of his or her surroundings: Madame la Dauphine Fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, fine Fine, fine, fine, fine. Ne verra pas, ne verra pas le beau film Qu'on y a fait tirer - Les vers du nez -Car on 1'a mene en terre avec son premier-ne En terre et a Nanterre Ou elle est enterree. Madame the Dauphine Fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, fine Fine, fine, fine, fine. Will not see, will not see the lovely film That we made her pull - Worms from the nose -For they have led her home with her first-born In earth and at Nanterre Where she is buried. Quand un paysan de la Chine When a peasant from China Shin, Shin, Shin, Shin, Shin, Shin Shin, Shin, Shin, Shin, Shin, Shin Veut avoir des primeurs Wants fresh produce - Fruits murs - - Ripe fruit -11 va chez l'imprimeur He goes to the printers Ou bien chez sa voisine Or to his neighbour's Shin, Shin, Shin, Shin. Shin, Shin, Shin, Shin Tous les paysans de la Chine All the peasants of China Les avaient epies Had watched them closely Pour leur mettre des bottines To fit them with boots Tine! Tinellls leur coupent les pieds. Tine! Tine! They cut their feet. M. le comte d'Artois Monsieur the count of Artois Est monte sur le toit Climbed up on the roof Faire un compte d'ardoises To tally the slate Toi, toi, toi, toi, Toi, Toi, Toi, Toi Et voir par la lunette And to look through the telescope Nette! Nette! To see Nette! Nette! Pour voir si la tune est if the moon is Plus grosse que le doigt. Larger than the finger Un vapeur et sa cargaison A steamer and its cargo Son, son, son, son, son, son, Son, son, son, son, son, son, Ont echoue contre la maison. Crashed into the house. Son, son, son, son, Son, son, son, son, Chipons de la graisse d'oie Let's swipe some goose grease Doye, doye, doye, Doye, doye, doye, Pour en faire des canons. To make canons from it. The unifying element of this poem is clearly the repetition of simple words found at the end of stanzas. This childlike repetition adds to the nonsense of the poem created by the plays on words, unusual associations and absurd imagery. The first stanza, for example, is driven by a play on words difficult to capture in translation. The idiom "Tirer les vers du nez" means to coax secrets out of someone, but the manner in which "Les vers du nez" is here presented, between dashes on a separate line, it could also be construed as the title of the film which she has been forced to make, as "tirer un film" means "to shoot a movie." Jacob creates a chain of unrelated ideas by working with the multiple meanings of these words and expressions. The lack of punctuation in the stanza enhances the chaining together of apparently unconnected ideas and images. Jacob also uses the phonetic similarities of "en terre" (in earth, or home), "Nanterre," and "enterree" (buried), to combine the words in a web of sound in which the concept of returning to one's birthplace is related with death and being buried. The second stanza also makes use of the linking of unrelated ideas. For example, the dashes on either side of "fruits murs" may serve to separate the three first lines of the stanza from the line that follows ("II va chez rimprimeur"), but the lack of any definite punctuation allows these ideas (want for ripe fruit and going to the printers) to run together. So, the peasant from China may go to the printers to buy his fruit, or the trip is separate from his want for fresh produce. Likewise, the period at the end of the seventh line clearly marks a separation between the individual Chinese peasant and the collective group of all Chinese peasants. Yet here too there is ambiguity. For example, who is the "Les" watched so closely by the peasants? It could be the peasant and the printer, the peasant and his neighbour, or it could be the fruit. In addition, "Les" could be some other unidentified group of people or things. The final line also creates confusion, as a shift in verb tense from past to present also grants the tenth line ("Pour leur mettre des bottines") with a double function: completing the idea of the preceding line ("the peasants watched them closely to put them in boots), and beginning the image of the final line ("To put them in boots, they cut off their feet). Thus, the tenth line joins the ideas and images of the ninth line with those of the final line by acting as the connector that runs them together. The third stanza presents a collection of even more disparate ideas and imagery, this time more clearly separated by punctuation. The first image is of the Count of Artois who climbs up 37 on the roof to tally the slate and study the moon through his telescope. This passage is rich with puns, playing on the homonym of "Comte" and "compte" (Count and count), drawing on the phonetic similarities of Artois and ardoises, and "lunette" and "lune est," as well as mingling the two definitions of "ardoises," slate (as in roof tiles) and debt. The resulting picture is the rather fanciful one of a nobleman sitting up on his roof with a collection of ledgers surrounding him as he counts the tiles, and settling down with his telescope to compare the size of the moon and his finger. The second image presented in the third stanza is of a cargo train that has crashed into "the" house. It is unclear whether this house is the one on to whose roof the Count has climbed, or i f it is another house altogether. The poem does not clarify, allowing the reader to form his or her own image, which is in any case an unlikely one as the train would have to have been travelling off the tracks in order to crash into a house. The two final lines of the poem carry the absurdity of the poem even further, with a shift in verbal mode to the imperative and the introduction of a new image: canons made with goose grease. Perhaps the grease and the canons come from the train's wreckage, or perhaps the idea is completely unrelated to the rest of the images presented in the poem. In any case, this very unusual statement makes for a highly inconclusive and completely ridiculous way to end the poem. Interestingly, Poulenc chose to omit most of the playful lines of sound repetition in his setting. In fact, contrary to his usual practise, Poulenc made many alterations to the poem by omitting lines and breaking up the second and third stanzas to create a total of six stanzas: Madame la Dauphine fine, fine, fine, fine, ne verra pas ne vera pas le beau film qu'on y a fait tirer les vers du nez, car on l'a menee en terre avec son premier ne en terre et a Nanterre ou elle est enterree. (First stanza repeated) Quand un paysan de Chine, Chine, Chine, Chine, Chine, veut avoir des primeurs il va chez Pimprimeur ou bien chez sa voisine 38 Shin, Shin, Shin, Shin, Tous les paysans de la Chine les avaient epies pour leur mettre des bottines, tines, ils leurs coupent les pieds. Monsieur le Comte d'Artois est monte sur le toit faire un compte d'ardoises toi, toi, toi, toi et voir par la lunette, nette nette, pour voir si la lune est plus grosse que le doigt. Un vapeur et sa cargaison son, son, son, son, son, son ont echoue contre la maison, ont echoue contre la maison, Un vapeur et sa cargaison ont echoue contre la maison. Chipons de la graisse d'oie doye, doye, doye, doye, doye, doye pour en faire des canons, pour en faire des canons, chipons de la graisse d'oie pour en faire des canons. A different layout of the individual lines in the stanzas also emerges. The clear-cut departure, then, is the altered sequence of stanzas. This new pattern comes to the fore as Poulenc gives each stanza its own distinctive character or identifying element. In particular, he is quick to capitalize on the word painting opportunities unique to the images in individual stanzas. In his own words, the "Air de bravoure that follows the Preambule takes along in a chimeric stampede those who are willing to sit astride, without control, these words chained together by pure fantasy."101 The music of the first stanza is hectic and brisk. The music of the second stanza, in an exaggerated example of word painting, has a very obvious oriental feel, with parallel fourths in the cello and violin, and a running eighth-note motif in the oboe and clarinet, which are also in parallel fourths in mm. 123 and 125 (Ex. 12). Poulenc abandons the oriental feel in the third stanza for a heavier and dryer setting, with "staccato possible" in the piano and pizzicato in the l 0 lIbid.. "Unv4zV de bravoure qui decoule du Preambule entraine dans une chimerique galopade ceux qui veulent bien chevaucher sans controle ces mots enchaines par la simple fantaisie." 39 strings (mm. 134-135), and accented notes through to the end of the passage at m. 141. The Compte of Artois, in the fourth stanza, is presented in a lyrical manner, and the chugging of the freight train of the fifth stanza is heard in the percussion. Finally, the last stanza is presented with material from the introductory instrumental theme, concluding the movement in a recapitulatory manner (Ex. 13). Despite the distinct character accorded to each stanza, the movement does have traditional formal organization with recurring motivic material. The movement begins with a long instrumental preamble (mm. 1-78), with an eight-measure introduction followed by the main motive, an eighth-note scale ascending and descending from G to D in m. 9. The table below demonstrates the general organization of the preamble, which is based on alternating motives (Ex. 14): A(9-12) (27-30) (47-50) (62-65) B (13-18) (31-36) (51-54) (66-71) C (19-24) D (37-46) (55-61) Throughout the vocal part, Poulenc creates stability and maintains formal integrity by using motivic points of reference drawn from the instrumental preamble. For example, the A motive is present in the woodwinds in mm. 103-107 (Ex. 15). In m. 138, the accompaniment, with its articulated D octaves, resembles the D motive. The A motive is also present in mm. 141-142, and in mm. 154-155, the broken octaves of the D motive return on G. The fourth stanza begins in m. 158 with a motive similar to that of the opening vocal line, and the melody of mm. 162-165 is based on the B motive (Ex. 16). The B motive is heard in the oboe and piano at mm. 166-167, and the entire final stanza is based on part of the A motive, with the rising major scale heard first in the piano, then joined by the winds, and mirrored in the G major triad of the vocal melody (Ex. 17). 40 Unlike the "Malvina" and "La Dame aveugle," the "Preambule et Air de bravoure" demonstrates a more traditional construction. The recurring motivic material of the instrumental preamble is easily recognized, and only when the text appears does a greater sense of disjunction set in. Despite this, however, and despite the individual musical treatment and clear definition accorded to each stanza, the sense of chaos and dissonance is not as evident as in the third and fifth movements, where these elements are emphasized. This is due largely to the recognizable thematic material which unifies the different musical passages, thus providing a greater sense of coherence to the movement. si/ sis si/ \ i / \ i / \1/ f^v yjv The poem of the final movement is the shortest of the Bal Masque poems. It is also the most concise and least disjunct, presenting a character sketch in a consistent, logical manner: Reparateur perclus de vieux automobiles L'anachorete helas a regagne son nid Par ma barbe je suis trop vieillard pour Paris L'angle de tes maisons m'entre dans les chevilles Mon gilet quadrille a, dit-on, Fair etrusque Et mon chapeau marron va mal avec mes frusques Avis! c'est un placard qu'on a mis sur ma porte Dans ce logis tout sent la peau de chevre morte. Powerless repairman of old automobiles The anchorite has alas returned to his nest By my beard, I am too old for Paris The angle of your houses pokes into my ankles My checkered vest has, they say, an Etruscan look And my brown hat goes poorly with my attire Warning! it is a sign they have posted on my door In this dwelling all smells of the skin of dead goat. Like "La Dame aveugle," this poem is a character study composed of rhyming couplets, each describing a different facet of the character.102 The first couplet presents the character, "a violent and dull-witted old man," and his current situation.103 The second describes his state of mind and 1 0 2The first two couplets are not exact rhymes, but the vowel rhymes are still strong enough to warrant attention. 'Ibid.. "Un vieillard violent et obtu," 41 provides the reason for his return to the nest. The third illustrates the man's physical appearance, and the final couplet depicts the lodgings he is vacating. Unlike the other Bal masque poems, however, the portrait of the man is observed through the use of recondite and ostentatious words, such as "perclus," "anachorete," and "etrusque." The highbrow nature of these words defamiliarizes the familiar imagery, such as the repairman, the vest, the house, and so on, by creating a marked contrast between vocabulary and image. As in the first movement, the finale has a very long instrumental introduction (151 measures) followed by a setting of the text, which is again presented in a new layout: Reparateur perclus de vieux automobiles, 1'anachorete, helas, a regagne son nid, Par ma barbe, par ma barbe je suis trop vieillard pour Paris, l'angle de tes maisons m'entre dans les chevilles, Tangle de tes maisons m'entre dans les chevilles. Mon gilet quadrille a, dit-on, fair etrusque et mon chapeau marron va mal avec mes frusques et mon chapeau marron va mal avec mes frusques, mon gilet quadrille a, dit-on, fair etrusque et mon chapeau marron va mal avec mes frusques, et mon chapeau marron va mal avec mes frusques. Avis, c'est un placard qu'on a mis sur ma porte, c'est un placard qu'on a mis sur ma porte. Dans ce logis tout sent la peau, la peau, la peau de chevre morte, tout sent la peau la peau... Reparateur perclus de vieux automobiles l'anachorete, helas, a regagne son nid, reparateur perclus de vieux automobiles, l'anachorete, helas, a regagne son nid, son nid, son nid, son nid, son nid, son nid, son nid, son nid, son nid, son nid, son nid. Poulenc completely tears apart Jacob's organization and conciseness, keeping only the outline provided by the original couplets for the division of stanzas. He does leave the first and fourth couplets intact, but lengthens the others by repeating individual words and lines. The music 42 supports this new layout. As in the two inner settings ("Malvina" and "La dame aveugle"), each poetic unit is accorded a very distinct character, providing a break between them and creating an overall sense of disjunction. The "Tempo di marcia" of the first stanza (mm. 151-169) is dark and intense, with a loud, broad melody set in a high register in the manner of an announcement (Ex. 18). The intensity of the passage is reinforced by a driving bass ostinato and unbroken sixteenth-note piano chords. In the second stanza (mm. 170-181), the ostinato and piano chords remain, but the melody becomes short and brisk, with sudden leaps imitative of the house angles jabbing the man's ankles. A descending solo cello line (m. 181) completely breaks off the momentum of the march and sets up the third stanza (mm. 185-200) which begins with entirely new music in a different tempo and character. The music for the third stanza is light and jaunty as it suggests the description of the man's humorous appearance (Ex. 19). The "gilet quadrille" serves as the catalyst for a clever bit of word painting, as the light, dance-like nature of the passage alludes to the quadrille, a French ballroom dance popular in the nineteenth century. The fourth stanza (201-205) begins in a recitative-like fashion, with only piano and percussion accompanying the voice, and builds momentum for the return of the march in m. 206. In m. 211, there begins a descent into absurdity, with the repetitions of "la peau" in quick succession, followed by three more repetitions in mm. 214-217. After a sforzando C major chord in m. 218, the voice is left to reiterate the opening stanza essentially unaccompanied. Folly reigns in this final stanza, as the poetry is enunciated very quickly, under Poulenc's instruction to "articulate exaggeratedly." The first two lines are repeated in an increasingly absurd manner, with the frantic repetition of the first line occurring, without pause or breath, immediately after the end of the second line (m. 223), followed by the many repetitions of "son nid," the penultimate three in a ridiculous falsetto (Ex. 20). 43 In this movement, the repetition of words and phrases helps the listener to focus on specific ideas and imagery. In the second stanza, for example, the repetition of the second line emphasizes the violent image of the angular house piercing the old man's ankles. Similarly, the repetition of the second line in the third stanza draws attention to the man's hat, but the repetition of the entire unit (first line + second line x2) also emphasizes the man's general comical appearance. The repetition of "la peau" in the fifth stanza focuses on the idea of skin rather than the odour of dead goat's skin, and the same tactic concludes the setting, with the tenfold repetition of "son nid." In both instances, the repetition dwells on words that have little meaning in the poem when taken out of context. In the fifth stanza, "la peau" is simply part of a larger descriptor (dead goat's skin), and in the final stanza, "the nest" is figurative. The repetitions allow the words' meanings to emerge and their physical images to gain prominence. A l l recurring words and lines, in fact, enable the visual to dominate Poulenc's arrangement, which favours these individual and unrelated images over the cohesive overall idea of a character sketch. Like the first movement, the finale begins with a long instrumental introduction, but in this case, the vocal setting is completely different from the introduction, and there is no returning material. The movement opens at a fast tempo, with a lighthearted tune marked "frenetique," a key word for this instrumental section which is composed of many short, diverse motives often set between brief transitional passages, with no apparent sense of organisation. Although some of the motives recur, others are only heard once, and there is no conventional formal plan (Ex. 21): Motive Measure nos. a 5-8, 13-16,29-32,35-37, 110-113, 115-117 44 b 9-10,33-34, 114 c 17-18 d 19-20 e 21-24 f 25-26, 66-69,106- 107 g 44-47, 58-61, 100- 103 h 48-51,62-65, 104- 105 i 54-55 J 70-73 k 74-81 1 74-81,86-93 m 82-85 n 94-97 In m. 118, a dissonant fanfare announces a transition that leads to a sudden change to a sultry tango (m. 128) which does not return (Ex. 22). There is no rhyme or reason to the tango's appearance in the movement, making this change one of the most blatant examples of disjunction in the work. The tango passage is short, and in m. 147, another transition begins the lead-in to the Tempo di Marcia of the poem setting (m. 152). The movement is marked by these constant changes between different types of music that do not necessarily go together. The several contrasting motives of the first part of the introduction, followed by the very short tango have no relation whatsoever to either the rest of the introduction or the vocal setting that follows. After the voice enters, none of this music returns, resulting in a great deal of discontinuity. In the vocal setting, the variety in character of each individual stanza results in disjunction, but the return of the first stanza march lends a sense of formal closure to the movement. Similarly, the sheer multitude of motives and genres presented randomly in the instrumental section give it a frenzied 45 character, but the recurrence of some motives prevents it from sounding completely aimless or confused. With the two instrumental movements (II - "Intermede" and IV - "Bagatelle"), the identification of surrealist elements or characteristics becomes more of a challenge. In the vocal movements, the relationship between poetry and music is an important factor in the study of surrealist tendencies. There are, however, some prevalent trends throughout the vocal settings which carry over into the two instrumental movements. The most notable of these trends is the presence of several distinct, highly contrasting sections within a single movement similar to those that indicate individual stanzas in the vocal movements. For example, the "Intermede" is composed of four well-defined sections. The first, a light and quirky march (mm. 1-58), consists of four motives, which first appear in succession, and are then removed one by one with each repetition of the a and b themes (Ex. 23): Theme Measure nos. \ 1 / ^Ji^ \ ^ 7j\ a 1-9 b 12-19 c 20-23 d 24-27 a 32-37 b' 38-40 d 41-44 a 45-48 46 b 55-58 The a theme sounds like an Amercian march, and although there is no evidence that Poulenc based it on any specific tunes, parallels can be found with the opening measures of the American march tune The British Grenadiers as well as with a few measures of the fiddle tune Arkansas Traveller (Ex. 24). The second section (mm. 59-73), which consists of two alternating four-measure motives, is more lyrical, and the change of character to "tres chante" and "tres doux" occurs immediately in m. 59 without transition (Ex. 25): Motive Measure nos. f 59-62 g 63-66 f 67-70 The following passage (mm. 74-89) is based on a march tune, but here the clear allusions to American music are traded in for a heavier and cruder style. This passage begins as abruptly and unexpectedly as the second, and after a transitional ascending scale, the final passage (mm. 90-135), entering without warning, turns again to the lyrical with two new alternating motives (Ex. 26): Motive Measure nos. h 74-83 i 90-97 j (with i in the 98-105 cello) i 106-135 47 The closing passage (mm. 106-135) is of particular interest, as here, once gain, an allusion is made to foreign music. In exact contrast to the regimented American march that opens the movement, the allusion here is to Indonesian gamelan (Ex. 27). Poulenc used gamelan-inspire elements in his Concerto for Two Pianos, written in the same year, and although the reference here is far form exact, it is still quite clear in the repeated left hand piano notes and triangle strike imitative of the equal gong strokes in a colotomic structure, as well as in the repeated five-note scale.104 The opening and closing passages thus represent the ultimate contrast between eastern and western cultures, between the exotic and the mannerly, and by bringing these contrasting elements together, Poulenc achieves the surrealist ideal of the convergence of opposites. In addition, the four separate passages in this movement are strung together without any real transition. Even the few transitional passages emphasize division rather than linking the different sections. The "Intermede," then, is characterized by the same sense of musical disjunction that is already evident in the vocal movements. Another common element found throughout Bal Masque is the manner in which the music works both with and against expectation. In the fourth movement, the subject of this tug-of-war is a "Bagatelle." In musical terms, "bagatelle" generally refers to a short piece of music of light or whimsical character. Though the piece is indeed capricious, the loud, heavy-handed piano left hand opening and the determined gusto of the entire movement can hardly be described as light (Ex. 28). In this case, the term "bagatelle" refers more to its general literal definition: "nonsense," or "of little importance." In this movement, the virtuosity demanded of the violinist is taken to an absurd extreme, 104The five-note scale employed by Poulenc is not an authentic Balinese scale, but its use is here nonetheless significant. 48 and thereby turns the traditional concept of the lauded virtuoso into a mere triviality. Difficult techniques are exploited relentlessly, in an apparent ignorance of artfulness that crosses into the nonsensical. Set in presto tempo, fast runs and arpeggios abound, and many short, successive phrases, sharp switches between various bowing techniques, double and triple stops, as well as a variety of tremolos predominate the movement, with virtually no rest for the player (Ex. 29). The full range of the instrument is also employed, with its lowest possible note sounded in mm. 47, 48, and 50, and reaching nearly to the top of its natural range (mm. 24, 25, 59). This use of virtuosic techniques is exaggerated to the point that they become nonsensical, trivialized, and the virtuoso, traditionally a figure of reverence, becomes a figure of ridicule. "Bagatelle," proves to be both a false and perfectly apt title for the movement, thus carrying the surrealist play on words into the realm of music. Conclusion 49 In Bal masque, the quiet, bourgeois world of Parisian suburbia is turned into a farcical parade in which comedy, chaos and the unbelievable are sufficiently abundant to satisfy even the most zealous of surrealists. The general anti-conventional attitude of the surrealists, who fought against institutions and accepted norms, is especially evident in the texts of "Malvina" and "La dame aveugle." In both of these poems, the bourgeois women are characterized as being ridiculous and grotesque beneath their respectable exteriors. In addition, the manner in which Poulenc presents them emphasizes the absurdity and perversion of each character. The "Bagatelle" and the manner in which it treats the virtuoso also comes to play in this mockery of established ideals. The element of the marvellous is also present in Bal masque in the manner in which Poulenc handles text painting. In "Malvina," the absence of waltz music when it is expected brings out the fact that Malvina's waltz is an imaginary one. In the "Air de bravoure," the obvious text painting with oriental music and the chugging of the train helps to conjure imaginary scenes; and in the "Finale," a clever joke is played out with the dance-like music that puns "quadrille" and "quadrille." The marvellous is also brought about throughout the cantata in the profusion of everday objects treated in not so quotidian ways and re-contextualized in the poetry and emphasized in the music. The most important surrealist element of Bal masque, however, is the element of unusual associations. Disjunction and disassociation are prevalent throughout the work. In "Malvina," recurring musical material creates associations between various passages of text. Similarly, the music for "La dame aveugle" highlights the poem's rhyme scheme in order to emphasize the 50 association of generally unrelated words. In the first and final movements, there is a great deal of musical disjunction between individual stanzas, and in the "Intermede," the contrast between individual sections as well as between the opening and closing sections is brought to an extreme. Bal masque, then, in addition to an overall spirit of playfulness and nonsense, demonstrates a definite affinity to surrealist aesthetics. 51 BIBLIOGRAPHY Albright, Daniel. Untwisting the Serpent: Modernism in Music, Literature, and Other Arts. Chicago and London : University of Chicago, 2000. Bealu, Marcel. Dernier Visage de Max Jacob. Edition tres augmentee. Quimper: Calligrames, 1994. Beaumarchais, Jean-Pierre de, Daniel Couty, and Alain Rey. Dictionnaire des litteratures de langue franqaise. Paris: Larousse, 2001. Belaval, Yvon. Preface to Laboratoire central by Max Jacob. Paris: Gallimard, 1960. Billy, Andre. Max Jacob: Une etude. Paris: Seghers, 1956. Bonnet, Marguerite, ed.. Andre Breton: Oeuvres completes, vol.1. Paris: Gallimard, 1988. Bradley, Fiona. Surrealism. London: Tate Gallery, 1997. Breton, Andre. Manifestoes of Surrealism, trans. Richard Seaver. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1969. Breton, Andre and Philippe Soupault. "La Glace sans tain" from Les Champs magnetiques. In Oeuvres Completes, ed. Marguerite Bonnet. Paris: Gallimard, 1988. vol. 1. Buckland, Sidney. '"The Coherence of Opposites': Eluard, Poulenc and the Poems of Tel jour telle nuit." In Francis Poulenc: Music, Art and Literature, eds. Sidney Buckland and Myriam Chimenes, 145-177. Alderhot; Brookfield USA; Singapore; Sydney: Ashgate, 1999. "Cadavre exquis." In La Revolution surrealiste 9-10 (October 1927). Chimenes, Myriam. "Francis Poulenc." In Grove Music Online Oxford University Press: Accessed 4 March 2004. <http://www.grovemusic.com>. . "Poulenc and his Patrons: Social Convergences." trans. Sidney Buckland. In Francis Poulenc: Music, Art and Literature, eds. Sidney Buckland and Myriam Chimenes, 210-251. Aldershot; Brookfield USA; Singapore; Sydney: Ashgate, 1999. Clavel, Andre. "Max Jacob," in Dictionnaire des litteratures de langue franqaise. Jean-Pierre de Beaumarchais, Daniel Couty, and Alain Rey, eds.. vol. 1, 884. Paris: Larousse, 2001. Cottom, Daniel. Abyss of Reason: Cultural Movements, Revelations, and Betrayals. New York ; Oxford: Oxford University, 1991. Cox, Jeremy N . . Dadaist, Cubist and Surrealist influences in setting by Francis Poulenc of 52 contemporary French poets. PhD diss. Oxford: University of Oxford, 1986. Fletcher, Valerie J.. "Giacometti." In The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, Oxford University Press: Accessed January 30, 2004. <http://www.groveart.com>. Hargrove, Guy Arnold. "Francis Poulenc's Settings of Poems of Guillaume Apollinaire and Paul Eluard." Ph.D. diss., Music: University of Iowa, 1971. Hell, Henri. Francis Poulenc: Musicien Frangais. Paris: Librairie Artheme Fayard, 1978. Henderson, Clayton W.. The Charles Ives Tunebook. Warren, Mich.: Harmonie Park Press, 1990, Jacob, Max. Laboratoire central. Paris: Gallimard, 1960. 1 . "Max Jacob." In Comment Us ecrivent, ed. Georges Charensol, 107-12. Paris: Editions Montaigne, 1932. Kachur, Lewis. "Collage.", In The Grove Dictionary of Art Online. Oxford University Press: Accessed 10 February, 2004. <http://www.groveart.com>. Lachgar, Lina. Max Jacob. Bordeaux: H . Veyrier, 1981. Matthews, J.H.. An Introduction to Surrealism. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University, 1965. . The Surrealist Mind. London ; Toronto: Associated University Presses, 1991. Mellers, Wilfrid. Francis Poulenc. Oxford; New York: Oxford University, 1993. Passeron, Rene. Phaidon Encyclopedia of Surrealism, trans. John Griffiths. Oxford: Phaidon, 1978. Plantier, Rene. Max Jacob. Paris: De Brouwer, 1972. . L 'univers poetique de Max Jacob. Bibliotheque francaise et romane. Etudes litteraires. Paris: Klincksieck, 1976. Poulenc, Francis. Bal Masque. Cantate profane pour Baryton et orchestre de chambre sur des poemes de Max Jacob. Paris: Editions Salabert, 1932. . Correspondance: 1910-1963. Compiled and annotated by Myriam Chimenes. Paris: Fayard, 1994. . Diary of My Songs [Journal de mes melodies], trans. Winifred Radford. London: Victor Gollancz, 1985. . "Eloge de la banalite" in Presence 3 (Oct 1935): 24-25. . My Friends and Myself. Conversations assembled by Stephane Audel. trans. James Harding. London: Dennis Dobson, 1978. Poulenc, Francis and Claude Rostand. Entretiens avec Claude Rostand. Paris: Rene Juillard, 1954. Schmidt, Carl B.. Entrancing Muse: A Documented Biography of Francis Poulenc. Lives in Music No. 3. Hillsdale, N Y : Pendragon, 2001. Shandler Levitt, Annette. "An Introduction to Surrealism/Modernism, and A l l That Jazz." In The Genres and Genders of Surrealism. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999. Van Rogger-Andreucci, Christine. Poesie et religion dans I 'oeuvre de Max Jacob. Paris: Honore Champion Editeur, 1994. Weide, Marion S.. "Poulenc's Banalites: A Surrealist Song Cycle." NATS bulletin, USA 35 (January-February 1979): 12-16. APPENDIX I MUSICAL EXAMPLES r 1. Ill - Malvina, mm. 26-27 2. Ill - Malvina, a) m. 40-41, trumpet b) m. 19, oboe and clarinet - |j . J f r f flji j ., . .i« -.—j —J a p do lee lege to ' j i - - ^ * - - ^ 55 ;3. Ill - Malvina, a) m. 38-41 b) mm. 13-16 B l l _ — C « # pi us son c . v e i l tail AVCO - • J- A f 56 7. V - La dame aveugle, mm. 41-42 60 12. Preambule et Air de bravoure, mml22-125 13. Preambule et Air de bravoure, mm. 173-176 / 61 14. Preambule et Air de bravoure, a) mm. 9-10 b) mm. 13-14 16. Preambule et Air de bravoure, mm. 38-39, strings 64 18. Finale, mm. 152-156 JL Re - _ pa . _ ra 7i\ Tempo di Marc ia ( J . <I16) teur 19. Finale^mm. 185-188 M o n gi. l e t qua . dri I . le n J* n tres sec, sanj tietfi/e A, cjit - on, fair e trus rus . que b) mm. 9-10 c) mm. 17-18 67 FLt L I n1 r f 1 H 1 P '' = 68 j) mm. 70-73 k) mm. 74-77, piano and basson 69 i) mm. 74-77, cello and clarinet m) mm. 82-85 70 71 b) mm. 12-15 c) mm. 20-23 24. American Tunes a) The British Grenadiers, mm. 1-4 J ' i r i i ii r, n r , \ u Some talk of A lex an der and some of Her cu les of That Seat of Sci ence Ath ens, and Earth's great Mis tress Rome, Where b) Arkansas Traveller, mm. 11-14 1 0 5From The Charles Ives Tunebook by Clayton W. Henderson, (Warren, Mich. Harmonie Park, 1990), 155 and 70. 74 75 26. Intermede, a) mm. 80-83 b) mm. 90-92 29. Bagatelle, violin a) mm. 7-8 77 b) m. 17 • > > > > c) m. 22 d) mm. 25-27 e) mm. 29-31 78 f) mm. 56-59 79 APPENDIX II ELOGE DE LA BANALITE by Francis Poulenc From Presence 3 (October 1935), pp. 24-25 D'aucuns recherchent l'accord rare, rharmonie precieuse, le systeme nouveau. Je ne suis pas de ceux-la - je n'en tire ni honte, ni gloire - je constate simplement un fait: i l y a des musiciens qui ont cree leur syntaxe, d'autres ont assemble dans un ordre nouveau des elements deja connus, voila tout. Si je na craignais d'avancer des exemples illustres dans un article ou je vais parler de moi-meme, je citerais: Wagner, Debussy, Ravel, Strawinsky, Schoenberg, dans la premiere categorie; pour les autres: Haydn, Schubert, Liszt, Mozart, surtout Mozart. Comme on le voit, la singularity du langage est une conquete moderne. Je sais bien qu'on m'objectera que le temps evente les plus neuves audaces et nivelle pour nos oreilles insatiables les decouvertes des classiques. Qu'i l me soit permis de repondre que ce n'est pas une regie generate; qu'en depit de deux siecles, les hardiesses de Buxtehude sont toujours strictement personnelles a ce maitre, alors que nombre des harmonies de Mozart sont deja eparses chez Haydn, Jean-Chretien Bach, et Dieu sait pourtant que Mozart demeure le plus grand. A notre epoque, ou Ton veut du neuf a tout prix, le gout du systeme s'est introduit aussi bien en peinture qu'en musique avec un rigueur qui menace de devenir promptement caduque. On a rendu nos oreilles tonales out atonales, rythmiques ou eurythmiques, a tel point qu'on entend une musique a l'exclusion d'une autre. Schoenberg est le grand responsable de cette maniere de schisme - je l'admire mais redoute ses sorcelleries. Alban Berg est un poete et se glisse partout. C'est pourquoi i l touche plus aisement les oreilles latines. Je me demande cependant si parallelement a ces musiques dogmatiques i l n'y a pas place pour une musique qui se preoccuperait plus de l'esprit que de la lettre. Deja, en peinture, Christian Berard, Salvador Dali, fuyant le cubisme propre au seul genie de Picasso, reviennent a la vision reelle de l'objet, transposee par leur seule sensibilite. En musique, Igor Strawinsky, comme toujours le plus grand, laissant a d'autres le culte du bizarre, issu inopinement d'une partie de son oeuvre, atteint a la perfection toute blanche, toute pure, celle d'un Racine, dans sa derniere oeuvre: Persephone. Je rends grace a Markevitch de creer un univers sonore tout neuf avec la composition d'orchestre d'un classique. Voila a mon sens la voie la plus large, la plus vivante pour la musique, a Pheure actuelle. Certains diront que je preche pour mon saint, mais peut-on etre impartial quand on cree soi-meme? J'admire sans reserve cette phrase de Picasso: "L'artiste veritablement original c'est celui qu n'arrive jamais a copier exactement." Pourquoi chez Schubert une simple inflexion de la ligne melodique annexe-t-elle d'un coup un Landler anonyme, pourquoi une disposition d'orchestre identique a celle de Jean-Chretien Bach devient-elle tout a coup du Mozart? Avoir peur du deja entendu est bien souvent la preuve le l'impuissance. J'ai pris depuis longtemps mon parti de mettre dans le meme sac l'harmonie rare et la cadence vulgaire. On ne peut pas se nourrir eternellement d'ailerons de requins, de nids d'hirondelles, de laitances de carpes et de confiture de roses. Je hais egalement la cuisine synthetique, le parfum synthetique, l'art synthetique - je veux de Tail dans mon gigot, un vrai parfum de rose, une musique qui dise bien ce qu'elle veut, 80 meme si elle doit parler gras. Je loue la banalite, eh "oui pourquoi pas," si elle est voulue, sentie, truculente, et non pas une preuve de deficience. Espana n'est pas pejorativement banal car Chabrier y allait franc jeu. Combien par contre de ces fugatos contemporains (je ne parle pas, bien entendu, de ceux d'Hindemith que j'admire profondement) sont d'une banalite pedante, la pire, en depit d'une dissociation inevitable de tons, d'un grand effort d'instruments a vent, d'un modernisme deja perime. Dans son Artpoetique, Max Jacob a ecrit: "Les auteurs qui se font obscurs pour forcer l'estime obtiennent ce qu'ils veulent et pas autre chose," plus loin: "II y a une purete du ventre qui est rare et excellente." C'est en me referant a ces deux maximes qu j ' a i compose le Bal masque, cantate profane sur des poemes du meme Max Jacob. C'est mon tribut le plus spontane a la banalite et c'est a cause de son execution ce mois-ci a Geneve que j ' a i pris ce theme de digression, non pour me disculper mais pour mieux m'expliquer. Dans une atmosphere familiere et qui fleure la banlieue parisienne, nous avons, Max Jacob et moi, promene une maniere de carnaval au cours duquel une amoureuse, pretentieuse et inassouvie, Mile Malvina, donne la main a une monstrueuse dame aveugle qui, vetue d'une robe de peluche, se grise avec son beau-frere. Tous ces personnages, apercus par quelque fenetre d'un "chalet coquet" sur les bords de la Marne, nous avons essaye de les ramener a une optique plus universelle en les grossissant exagerement. Un Air de bravoure qui decoule du Preambule entraine dans une chimerique galopade ceux qui veulent bien chevaucher sans controle ces mots enchaines par la simple fantaisie. Un vieillard violent et obtu, "reparateur de vieux automobiles," clot cette galerie d'etranges portraits auxquels des interludes instrumentaux servent de cadre. Max Jacob et moi avons recherche, avant tout, le rire franc, le rire issu de la surprise, voire meme de la stupeur, et non ce sourire ironique, pince, logique, dit "superieur," cher aux amateurs d'esthetique rare. L'avenir se chargera de dire si la banalite nous a trahi. Nous esperons en tout cas dans cette offrande a une deesse meconnue ne pas avoir manque a l'idee que nous nous faisions d'elle. 


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