This paper mainly deals with the relations between text and music in the first song – « Les ingénus » – of Debussy’s Fêtes galantes (second collection composed in 1904). In this song, musical prosody is strange, even disturbing: many stresses are displaced in order to create a “lyrical prose” characterized by the emergence of secondary layers of meaning beneath the obvious sense of the words. Also, prosodic and syntactic irregularities show the importance of what Debussy (in his famous 1913 text “Du précurseur”) called “mise en place” in poetic and musical compositions: even structural details concerning pitch registers or modulations are directly connected with what can be considered, in Debussy’s writings, as his “art poétique”, so well adapted to Verlaine’s particular expressiveness.
Les mélodies de Debussy
Université François-Rabelais de Tours
Une mise en place particulière