Two Cabaret Songs for mezzo-soprano and alto melodica by Joseph Davies.

Programme Notes

These songs set two light-hearted satirical texts by the great French writer Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) from a group of poems he called 'Bouffonneries' ('Buffooneries'), first published in 'Les Épaves' ('Scraps'), 1866. In the first, Baudelaire is at the ballet in Brussels and complains about a boorish Belgian who crudely dismisses a ballerina’s debut efforts. In the second he addresses his friend the famous Parisian food critic and journalist Charles Monselet with an ironic aside about a provincial tavern he has spotted on his travels. They were written for the British singer, composer and artistic director Laura Bowler and first performed by her accompanied by myself on melodica as part of the Tête à Tête Opera Festival at the Riverside Studios, Hammersmith on 19th August 2010.

- Joseph Davies

Performance Notes

This piece was conceived for and first performed using a 'button style' melodica like those originally manufactured by Hohner in Germany, with a range of F3-F5 and two discrete rows of black and white key buttons played by the fingers of both hands, rather than the currently more common 'piano style' models. If one of these latter are used, the mouthpiece will have to be long enough that the keyboard can be laid flat, as both hands will be required. At the time of writing, vintage Hohner models are readily and cheaply available to buy second-hand online.

Duration: 3 minutes