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EMMANUEL: Songs of Burgundy

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Maurice Emmanuel (1862 - 1937)

Trente chansons bourguignonnes du pays de Beaune

(Thirty BurgundianSongs for the Beaune Country)



A Musical Awakening


In 1926 in LaRevue de Bourgogne Robert Jardillier, musicologist, deputy mayor of Dijon and minister under Leon Blum, raised the question asto whether there was such a thing as Burgundian music. His own answer was veryinteresting. He analysed the regional element in musical composition, stressingin particular the Trente chansons bourguignonnes (Thirty BurgundianSongs) from Beaune, harmonized by Maurice Emmanuel, as Vincent d'Indy hadpublished his Chansons populaires du Vivarais (Popular Songs fromVivarais). At the same period, one strongly marked by the dawning of a newBurgundian awareness, Maurice Emmanuel wrote about the Burgundian school ofmusic and showed the extent to which Franco-Burgundian choral writing exerciseda profound influence (Le miroir dijonnais et de Bourgogne, 1924 and1925).


Like the morecontemporary achievement of Henri Berthat in bringing to life again the Vingtschansons du vin de Bourgogne (Twenty Songs of the Wine of Burgundy), thework of Maurice Emmanuel is not a merely archaeological investigation ofpopular and musical traditions. It is expressive of a re-awakening, the rediscoveryof regional feeling.


In the 1920s,indeed, there were attempts to find the unknown present in the past. In 1910 inBerlin Edgar Varese had had his symphony Bourgogne performed,the first of his works to be played in public. Tournus was the inspiration forhis Rapsodie romane. In 1902 and 1903 Claude Debussy wrote the firstsketches of his La mer at Bichain, a village in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne.

These two composers evoke Burgundy very clearly in the commentaries arisingfrom these works. It must not be forgotten that under the pseudonym of ClaudeBonvin, the music critic Emile VuilIermoz sang passionately in praise of wineand music, particularly those of Burgundy.


"TheBurgundian school", w rote Maurice Emmanuel, "in European choralwriting, is the one that has most tenaciously maintained the modal pluralitythat popular musicians have practised everywhere\, and he goes on to show therelationship between music at the court of Burgundy and the work of ReneMoissenet, continued today in the musical establishments of Dijon, Autun andMorvan and through the enthusiasm of Marcel Comeloup.


The connectionwith wine was rediscovered by Francis Poulenc, and Colette expressed heradmiration of it: "By the side of a lime-stone hill, Poulenc, surroundedby vines, lives in a great, airy mansion, where he makes and drinks hiswine", she w rote: "through his sparkling instrumentation, we canhear and see shining the golden bubbles drawn from a rich land. Look atPoulenc: are these the features of a water-drinker? He has a strong andsensitive nose, an eye quick to change expression". And if he wrote atAnost, in the middle of Morvan, far from the vines, his Mass in G major,the wine of the country was certainly on his table. Many composers,Hoffmann, Kreisler, have admitted that Burgundy offered music in its wine.


Here it is anothermatter, one of wine turning into music through daily happiness and songstransmitted from father to son, from generation to generation. This preciousinheritance must be preserved. That a great musicologist is interested in itshows that often love of the past is joined to faith in the future. This, inshort, is the idea of Burgundy.


Jean-Fran?ºois Bazin

President ofthe Regional Council of Burgundy




Born at Bar-sur-Aubeon 2nd May 1862, to die in Parison 14th December 1938, Maurice Emmanuel followed a doublecareer, as a music historian and as a composer. He entered the Conservatoire in1880, but was eliminated from the Prix de Rome competition because one of histeachers refused to allow the bold modal and rhythmic writing of his Sonatafor Cello and Piano, composed in 1887. Maurice Ravellater suffered the samereverse and took it no worse. As far as Maurice Emmanuel is concerned,acknowledged by musicians such as Charles Koechlin and Olivier Messiaen, and bycritics as expert as Fred Goldbeck and Marc Pincherle, as one of the greatFrench musicians of the twentieth century, it was rather his fame as ahistorian and as a teacher that harmed his reputation as a composer. It wasdifficult, in fact, to recognise that the man who had submitted a thesis as theSorbonne on ancient Greek dance, published a history of the language of musicand taught the history of music at the Conservatoire from 1907 to 1937, could equallybe a composer whose personal style and powerful inspiration might disconcertsuperficial hearers. What is striking, in fact, in Maurice Emmanuel, is thefreshness of each work. His six Piano sonatines (1893-1925), his twosymphonies (1919 and 1931), his stage works, Promethee enchafne (PrometheusBound) (1918), salamine (1929), and Amphitryon (1936), his Odelettesanacreontiques for voice, f1ute and harp (1911), show an astonishingrichness of inspiration in various ways. At a time when musical impressionismwas triumphant, Maurice Emmanuel gave importance to precision of musical line.

No-one could have been more independent than this humanist, brought up on aculture apart from that of his own time, but in advance of it. Fred Goldbeckspoke of him as a great classical composer of the day, admiring in the tragedy salamine"the rhythm freed from the bar-line and polyphony that breaks thetyranny of the dominant major", as much as the freedom found in all hisworks, including, of course, the Trente chansons bourguignonnes, whichremind us that Maurice Emmanuel lived at Beaune, on the Cote d'Or, from 1869 to1880, the shining years of his childhood and adolescence. Completing theharmonization of these Burgundian songs in 1913, he rediscovered his early impressions,the light, the happiness. His perfect understanding of modal music and hisability to provide varied accompaniments did the rest. The result is amasterpiece.


Jean Roy



Trente chansons bourguignonnes


The collection ofpopular songs from Beaune begins with a remarkable and stimulating examination,studded with words in local dialect, of the particular literary and musicalfeatures of each song. After that come the songs themselves, for voice andp
Item number 8223891
Barcode 730099389129
Release date 02/01/2000
Category Romantic
Label Marco Polo
Media type CD
Number of units 1
Artists Katz, Florence
Quenaudon, Jean-Pierre
Rivierre, Laure
Katz, Florence
Quenaudon, Jean-Pierre
Rivierre, Laure
Composers Emmanuel, Maurice
Emmanuel, Maurice
Conductors Toulet, Roger
Toulet, Roger
Orchestras Choer Regional de Bourgogne
Choer Regional de Bourgogne
Disc: 1
Songs of Burgundy
1 Chez Jean Nicot
2 Le Veigneron
3 Quand j'eto chez mon peire
4 Complainte de Notre-Dame
5 Eine Mechante aifare
6 Il etait une fille
7 C'ast les gens de Bouze
8 J'ai vu le loup
9 Les Feill's de Claivoillon
10 Noel
11 Lorsque j'aivions des noisettes
12 Le Pommier d'Aout
13 Lai maoh mariee
14 I t'airai, mai brunette
15 Guillenle, bia Guillenle
16 Quand j'ai soti di mon villaige
17 Mai grand meire, qui n'evoit qu'eun'dent
18 Lai treue guereille
19 L'etat de feilles
20 Aideu, bargeire
21 Guignolot d'Saint Lazot
22 La hiaut sur lai montagne
23 Meire, botez le chien queure
24 V'la que l'aloueutte chante
25 Le R'venant vivant
26 Belle, i m'en vas en l'Aillemaigne
27 M'y allant promener
28 Les mois de l'annee
29 Ai lai feite d'Echairnant
30 La Mer' Godichon
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