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Chansons Madecasses

 ComposerMaurice Ravel
 MusicChansons Madecasses (1926) (3 songs)
 DancersPatricia McBride, Helgi Tomasson, Debra Austin, Hermes Conde
 LightingRonald bates
 PremiereMay 29, 1975, New York State Theater, New York City Ballet

 Casting Reqs4 Dancers: 2 women, 2 men
 Requirementsmezzo soprano, piano, flute, cello
 Running Time15′
 NotesThe three poems of this song cycle were written by Evariste-Desire de Parny in 1787. The first describes the night tryst of two lovers. The second, a warning cry, relates the disastrous events of colonization. The third sings of the release of evening′s quiet languorousness. Ravel set them to music in 1926. One of the most striking aspects of the Chansons is the earthy immediacy of the words and how, in contrast, Ravel used such cool, elegant and minimum musical means to transform them into the art song form.

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