« Trois Chants pour un Noël »
« Three Christmas Carols »

Dedicated to Denis Dupays and the school chorus of Radio-France
1994 - 1995
Duration : 7 minutes 30

According to Denis Dupays’s wish, then head of the school chorus of Radio-France, the textures in these pieces are conceived in three-part settings (Soprani 1, Soprani 2, Alti) of harmonic and contrapuntal character.
The music here is generally supported by modal scales.
Each individual melodic line was carefully composed in order to be as vocal as possible, with expressive melodic contours.
René David is the author of the three poems.
These poems play on the words, specially in term of tones, and suggest rhythms which the music will seize.

The carols are listened in the following order :
« At that time », which is a narrative song. The interval of perfect fourth is prevailing, along with compound meters. In this piece the music has a very flexible aspect, and in a homorhythmic moment of meditation it gives notice of a child’s birth.
« The Magi » : it is a royal march, essentially rhythmical. Here the basic unit of pulse recurs in groups of two and the prevailing interval is the third.
A « Lullaby » is the last song of the cycle. Its character is more dreamy and poetical, in contrast to the previous one.

An instrumental accompaniment which needs the participation of four musicians was belatedly added, at Denis Dupays’s request, with the purpose of making the attacks neater, sustaining the voices and creating appropriate surroundings.
It brings together a oboe, a clarinet in B b, a bassoon and one stand of percussion comprising three tom-toms, a snare drum, 2 chinese cymbals, crotales, celesta.

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