Bouchara (1981)

Claude Vivier

soprano, wind quintet, string quintet and percussion

To Dino Oliveri

In this piece, Vivier invents a catalogue of words that are especially adapted to his music and favour percussive consonants and syllables constructed with the vowel “Y”. As in an operatic aria, the song unfolds in three steps: a prologue, a sort of five-phrase recitative; a love song, whose constant shifts and free melodic evolution set up an incantatory colour, and finally, a coda.

The instrumental scoring, essentially vertical and lightly blurred in the central section, underlines the psalmodic aspect of the voice. The coda may reveal the work’s key: here, the voice obstinately scans a perfect descending fourth on ka yo né gou di no, hopelessly reaffirming a totally misunderstood message.

(From a text by Sylvie Bouissou)

Performances

Recording