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Symbolism In André Fleury's Cantilène


Fiffaro
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In the section from bar 44 to 82 of Fleury's Cantilène from his Prélude, Cantilène et Final, Fleury specifies "Pédale solo: Fonds 8' et 4'". There are just two statements in the pedal part, each four notes of equal, full-bar value.

 

My suspicion is that this is one of those cryptic references to the initials of the name of a mentor to whom the composer is paying homage, or even the name of the composer's dearly missed pet iguana, tragically and unwittingly poisoned by students secretly providing it with Australian wine to drink instead of the local drop.

 

Is anyone able to shed some light on this for me?

 

The notes are:

g, a-flat, e, e-flat, then

b, c', a-flat, g. (Yes, a transposition of the first statement.)

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In the section from bar 44 to 82 of Fleury's Cantilène from his Prélude, Cantilène et Final, Fleury specifies "Pédale solo: Fonds 8' et 4'". There are just two statements in the pedal part, each four notes of equal, full-bar value.

 

My suspicion is that this is one of those cryptic references to the initials of the name of a mentor to whom the composer is paying homage, or even the name of the composer's dearly missed pet iguana, tragically and unwittingly poisoned by students secretly providing it with Australian wine to drink instead of the local drop.

 

Is anyone able to shed some light on this for me?

 

The notes are:

g, a-flat, e, e-flat, then

b, c', a-flat, g. (Yes, a transposition of the first statement.)

I've not come across any suggestion that Fleury was into hidden messages (unlike Langlais and Grunenwald) - certainly none of the writings I've seen by his pupils refer to it nor is there any mention in the "Cahiers et memoires" volume dedicated to him (no 55 1996). Do you know something - or was this a guess?

 

As the piece is dedicated to the organ of St Ouen it would be nice if the motif spelt "Ouen" or "Coll" - but I can't make it fit. More likely is that it is a distorted version of the unifying motif of the Prelude, Andante & Toccata - composed exactly 50 years earlier. (opening version G, B, F# E) - it appears as Bb, C, Ab, G at bar 146 of the Toccata.

 

Incidentally the motif appears in all three movements from the first bar of the Prelude onwards (the 'head' of the main melody), then, as you say, in plain notes in the middle section of the Cantilene - also hinted at in the RH figuration at bar 46, and in block chords (a typical Fleury device) at bar 46 of the Final and thereafter in diminution (b 51), sequence (bb 58 and 99) and pp harmonisation at b123 to introduce the coda with the motif in the major (again in sequence from b 125).

 

Hope you enjoy playing it!

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I've not come across any suggestion that Fleury was into hidden messages... Do you know something - or was this a guess?

 

Incidentally the motif appears in all three movements from the first bar of the Prelude onwards (the 'head' of the main melody), then, as you say, in plain notes in the middle section of the Cantilene - also hinted at in the RH figuration at bar 46, and in block chords (a typical Fleury device) at bar 46 of the Final and thereafter in diminution (b 51), sequence (bb 58 and 99) and pp harmonisation at b123 to introduce the coda with the motif in the major (again in sequence from b 125).

 

Hope you enjoy playing it!

Thank you for your reply, mgp. I had a hunch based on seeing a motif that appears so prominently, but does not really become an integral part of the structure. I do quite enjoy playing it (2nd and 3rd movts, still to learn the first. So much wonderful music, so little time.) but struggle a little to make the coda 'telling' if the reeds fall away a little for the long, high notes.

 

Is there a definitive list of corrections available? I think I've found most of the printing mistakes, but would love to be able to check against a complete list of errata.

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