The union of poetry and music : three Paul Verlaine poems as set by Claude Debussy and Gabriel Faure´

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jo Ann D. Poston (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Eddie Bass

Abstract: The union of poetry and music into a third form, song, has often been referred to in terms of a wedding or marriage because of the necessary process of "give and take," common to both a union of people and a union of two art forms. This study examines how two particular composers of art song, namely Claude Debussy and Gabriel Fauré, transform one poet's text, that of Paul Verlaine, into song. Settings of the three poems, "C'est l'extase," "II pleure dans mon coeur," and "Green," are scrutinized in pairs. Besides making general observations concering the individual composers' traits, the study focuses on patterns of compositional techniques, differences in poetic interpretation, and each composer's concept of the terms regarding the union of poetry and music. The study reveals that the attitude of the composer regarding how the union of the two art forms evolves is as important a factor as his interpretation of the poem. Further, this attitude may be affected by the degree of the poem's affective power, resulting from its structure's strength or weakness.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1976
Verlaine, Paul, $d 1844-1896 $v Musical settings
Debussy, Claude, $d 1862-1918 $x Criticism and interpretation
Faure´, Gabriel, $d 1845-1924 $x Criticism and interpretation
Music and literature

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