c/o Ru de Courtablon, près la Mare Chaudron

c/o Ru de Courtablon, près la Mare Chaudron


General Infos
  • baryton, counter tenor and ensemble
  • 2010
  • 22′
  • texts: 6 Mirlitonnades, by Samuel Beckett
  • unpublished

The word “Mirlitonnades” is a coinage forged by Beckett on the expression “vers de mirliton” (easy verses, tasteless rhymes). Due to the the obsessive abundance of repetitions, alliterations and assonances, these compositions could actually look like nursery rhymes. It is only upon closer examination that the reader unfolds the quantity of hidden references and thus their true opulence.

Rather than nursery rhymes, Mirlitonnades are enigmatic images, veiled and ever-changing questions; facing them means to transmute our relationship with the language and the world behind it.


In this work I tried to remain faithful to Beckett’s purposes, at the cost of immediate comprehension of his texts. In each movement the two singers declaim two different poems, in some kind of musical mise-en-scene: the characters look oblivious to the meaning of the text and to the reason they are singing it.

Nevertheless they can’t stop reciting, crushing, repeating and shouting their lines.

This curse to repetition is reaffirmed by the musical forms that I have chosen for each movement: a ciaccona where a series of consequent auditory layers, arranged according to an imaginary perspective, gradually shatters and disperses; a rondò where iteration soon becomes a threatening and claustophobic circle, interrupted by an intermezzo. Here, the vectors from the previous movements can finally interact and collide, emerging in the last, weary reprise of rondò.