POETRY

Les Six: Concert Program Notes

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1. Trio for oboe, clarinet and bassoon—Georges Auric
The haunting theme, "Fa mi do la do re"
came out of a year of hardship en guerre.
One can also hear echoes of "O sole mio"
which the woodwinds at times prolong
like a peacock's tailfeather.

2. Sonata for harp—Germaine Tailleferre
The opening movement is euphoric
with the harp going puhlink puhlonk
with such energy you want to shout "Hooray!
That's the way to swing it, Mommy-O!"
She must have written that on a dare.

3. Pacific 231, symphonic movement—Artur Honegger
You'd never know this concert was a black-tie affair
when you hear the violins going "Meow"
and the horns subjecting your auric-
ular senses to la peine dure et
forte
, bombarding your ears point-blank.

4. Litanies to the Black Madonna—Francis Poulenc
The women's choir sings forth its hunger
for union with the idole adorée.
Perhaps you remember your Thai lover
or childhood sweetheart and moan, "Oh, Rick..."
or "Wherefore art thou Romeo?"

5. Jeux de printemps—Darius Milhaud
Now it's time to unwind, sip Oolong
tea, think of that almost prehistoric
time when a child could ride on a gare-
fowl. These days you'd have to tie a fair
number of flies to lure one from its hideaway.

6. Song cycle "L'offrande lyrique"—Louis Durey
Picture, if you will, an English milord
and his entourage riding in a telpher
up the side of Mont Blanc;
at the top he sees the honey glare
of sun on ice and cries "Eureka!"

Collaborative encore: Cameo of Max Planck
rowing a dory. An egger moth flits
between Doric columns on a tile of air.

Esther Greenleaf Murer has been writing poetry all her life and got serious about learning the craft when she turned 70. She published her first collection, Unglobed Fruit, in 2011. Links to many of her poems published online may be found on her blog. She lives in Philadelphia.

Pacific 231, symphonic movement—Artur Honneger
You'd never know this concert was a black-tie affair
when you hear the violins going "Meow"
and the horns subjecting your auric-
ular senses to la peine dure et
forte
, bombarding your ears point-blank.