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The French Smuggler: French Inspiration in Henk Badings’ Trois Chansons-Abstract


As part of my first semester in Graduate School, I had to enroll in a Graduate Research class supervised by Dr. Anita Hardeman. The abstract for my paper is the following:

After the end of the Second World War, Henk Badings, a Dutch composer, wrote his Trois Chansons Bretonnes. Seen as the continuation of the nineteenth century German composers equivalent to Brahms and twentieth century Hindemith, Badings, changes his composition style to accommodate Parisian techniques with a Romantic flair. In changing his composition style, Badings allowed his music accommodates textures, chord coloration, and text painting in his choral scores so that his compositions could be presented without interruption. With this style change, Badings’ choral compositions have a distinguishable Debussy, Ravel, and Poulenc influence, specifically. The purpose of this paper is to acquaint the reader to the Dutch composer, Henk Badings. Second, to cross-reference and identify inspirations from French compositions such as Claude Debussy’s Trois Chansons De Charles D’orleans and La Cathédrale Englutie: Profondément calme, Maurice Ravel’s Trois Chansons, and François Poulenc’s Un soir de neige. As a method of analysis, I will reference art vocabulary, specifically en plein air, divisionism, pointillism, and score analysis to enhance this study’s comprehension.

In comparison to the scores mentioned before, Badings’ Trois Chansons has many similarities and differences. For example, the piano accompaniment to one of Badings’ Trois Chansons: La nuit en mer is similar to Debussy’s piano prelude La Cathédrale Englutie: Profondément calme due to the use of arpeggiation and thematic development. Also, Bading’s chansons have a similar vocal exposition and development to Debussy’s chansons. In allusion to Poulenc’s Un soir de neige, Badings’ chansons have similar modulations and phrase structure. Regarding to Ravel, Bading’s structure is somewhat close, but it is not in tune with Ravel’s chord progression and form. By being influenced by these French composers, Badings differentiates himself from his contemporaries, and paved the way for new composers using Neo-Impresionistic art features in combination with his music.

The playlist for the eleven scores I had to analyze and compare is in the link below.

The Silent Sniper: Sleep is a Solstice


Warning: This post may not be 100% coherent. Why? Not much sleep, coffee depravation (one cup of coffee does not suffice), and because Daleks/Cybermen/The Master want to exterminate my Research assignments by throwing it into a fire pit.

This week in  “Chronicles of Graduate School Living”, we can view ze graduate student recognizing that sleep is fleeting or while sleeping he wakes up at 2 am scared he missed a deadline. This week has been…. long. I’ve felt that everyday is a new Tuesday (for some reason I hate Tuesday’s more than Mondays. Weird. I know). Maybe it’s because I did not have as a productive last weekend as I thought I would have. Also, I noticed that the books, articles, and scores I have to read, read and write, and analyze, respectively are adding up. Every time I finish one, two more appears. So, it’s like Pokemon (nerd alert). It’s when you are running through the grass and just when you’re about to get out 100 Weedles appear or if in you’re a cave 1000 Zubats come and attack you with confuse ray (wow. I reached a new low… I shake my head at myself). But, in the midst of this there has to be something good, right? Right.

Some of the good news are that I’m finally “recovering myself as a conductor” which means…? I’m finally loosing up in my conducting course. Which is amazing and awesome. Why? Because… it’s good. Another thing that’s good is that some of my fellow professors have asked me about my research topic (which you can read a slight intro here). The good thing is that I’ve researched a bit more in the subject, and I get more excited about it. The bad thing? The actual information I need to further my investigation is still in Washington, DC. This irks me, scares me, and… downright terrifies me, because if I don’t get Dr. Klemme (aka the only HUMAN in  the United States of America who has done something with Henk Badings, the dutch composer I’m researching) I have to do everything from scratch, and… I really don’t want to do that. I have enough score analyses to do (and so little time).  Another epic, amazing, and awesome thing that may happen in my life (next semester) is that I can enroll in a graduate composition course. Notice the adjectives that evoke the happiness that is resurging from my heart. I am extremely excited because I’ve always wanted to take some composition courses and I now I can! *insert happy dance* *insert solemn dance* *insert breakdown, because that’s next semester and I still need to do so many things until that happens (hurrah! Run-on Sentences!)*

A good thing that I liked about this week (I still have tomorrow, but I hope it continues in the same vibe that I’ve had, so far, today) is that I had the opportunity to conduct University Singers. I conducted Lauridsen’s Ave Maria, which is a beautiful piece and I love it. It was pretty cool because we had students from Illinois District IV, and they saw me conduct (yay me).  Now I have to recollect my belongings which are thrown all over this table, and prepare myself for choir rehearsal. After this I’ll throw myself into the neverending paperwork (and drown dramatically while practicing my conducting, baton and all).

Trying to study at WIU's Library

Trying to study at WIU’s Library

 

 

 

The French Connection


Second week of grad school. This week main title shall be “The French Connection”. Why you may ask, my dear reader? Simple. I have to do a research project, and since somebody very special to me reignited my curiosity for French Music, I want to research French Choral Music in the 19th Century. For the sake of this research project the CSI suspect is Henk Badings a dutch composer from the 20th century. The case: Did Badings have a 19th century inspiration or stylistic approach for his choral music compositions? If so, were they inspired by Debussy or Ravel?

Fairly exciting, isn’t it? The correct answer is YES! Now. I am loving Badings first “movement” or first chanson from his “Trois Chansons”. The Title? La nuit en mer. (The sea at night). Here I leave you the beautiful lyrics written by Théodore Botrel.

 

La brise enfle notre voile :
Voici la première étoile
Qui luit ;
Sur le flot qui nous balance,
Amis voguons en silence,
Dans la nuit.

Tous bruits viennent de se taire,
On dirait que tout, sur Terre,
Est mort :
Les Humains comme les Choses,
Les oiseaux comme les roses
Tout s’endort !

 

Mais la Mer c’est la Vivante,
C’est l’Immensité mouvante
Toujours,
Prenant d’assaut les jetées,
Dédaigneuse des nuitées
Et des jours !…

Hormis Elle, rien n’existe
Que le grand Phare et son triste
Reflet ;
A la place la meilleure,
Mes amis, jetons sur l’heure
Le filet !…

 

Puis, enroulés dans nos voiles
Le front nu sous les étoiles,
Dormons !
Rêvons en paix profonde,
A tous ceux qu’en ce bas-monde
Nous aimons !

Dormons sur nos goëlettes
Comme en nos bercelonnettes
D’enfants…
Et demain à marée haute
Nous rallierons la Côte,
Triomphants !

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