Today, in the usual Thursday-noon recital, a fellow-piano-major and I played Debussy's beautiful Petite Suite for piano, four hands. For the first two movements I played the upper part and he the lower, and for the other two, we switched places. We received a good deal of very flattering praise; it was, by all accounts, a pronounced success.
The suite, and some of the things Mr. Schene has said about it, were still turning over in my head after the recital; and when I got home I wrote down this little "suite" of verses. The music can be found on youtube (I'll put links in the titles). My readers may listen to them, and tell me how accurate my little images are.
(Hommage á Claude Debussy)
I. En Bateau
The paddles slice the waters silently,
And in the peaceful golden light of noon
We glide along the river easily,
Far from the faintest thought of dark or ruin;
No ripples on the glassy water lie
To mar its softly pointillistic gleam,
And even the breeze sings, as it whispers by,
A tune I half-remember from a dream...
The fairy-flutes are piping, far and high,
Sweet as the laughter of the elfin crowd,
And as their small procession marches by,
We cannot help but smile at them - so proud,
Tossing their braids, or curly-tops held tall,
Waving the spoil of a successful raid,
Flowers and nuts from some King Squirrel's hall,
Borne in a gay victorious child-parade.
Cast off that melancholy from your face!
Upheld by an enchanting violin,
The pairs advance with charming ancient grace;
The minuet is going to begin.
The pipe and viol their harmonies unfurl;
Across the sward they sweep unerringly -
Balance together, step and step and twirl,
And we dream on, lulled by the melody.
One rich-voiced cello guides the airy tune,
And trippingly the children whirl away,
Carefree small fairy folk, beneath the moon,
Light-footed, lighter-hearted, bright and gay -
Until the waltz, with passionate romance
(That music is inebriety divine!)
Lifts us, who love, aloft into the dance,
Soaring on wings of song, of love and wine.