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Vivier, Claude: Lonely Child (1980) 19'
for soprano and chamber orchestra

Music Text


Claude Vivier (F-imaginary language)


S; 1.picc.2.2.2- gong/Chinese gong/tam-t/BD/brake drs/vib/t.bells-strings( players)

Abbreviations (PDF)


This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere

Vancouver, BC
Marie-Danielle Parent, soprano / CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra / Serge Garant

Composer's Notes


Lonely Child is a long song of solitude. For the musical construction I wanted to have total power for expression, for musical development on the piece I was composing without using chords, harmony or counterpoint. I wanted to work up to very homophonic music that would be transformed into one single melody, which would be “intervalized.” I had already composed a first melody heard at the beginning of the piece for dancers. I subsequently developed this melody in five “intervalized” melodic fragments that is by adding one note below each note, which creates intervals—thirds, fifths, minor seconds, major seconds etc. If the frequencies of each interval are added, a timbre is created. Thus, there are no longer any chords, and the entire orchestra is then transformed into a timbre. The roughness and the intensity of this timbre depends on the base interval. Musically speaking, there was only one thing I needed to control, which automatically, somehow, would create the rest of the music, that is great beams of color!

— Claude Vivier

Reproduction Rights:
This program note may be reproduced free of charge in concert programs with a credit to the composer.

Recommended Recording

Schönberg Ensemble / ASKO Ensemble / Reinbert de Leeuw / Susan Narucki
Philips 454 231-2
Click here to purchase this album from Amazon.


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