5 Mélodies françaises/en

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dedicated to Yetty Martens

Opus 15


  • Song cycle on texts by Henri de Régnier, Ryuko Kawaji, Charles Van Lerberghe, René Bizet and André Germain.
  • The cycle was composed in the years 1943-44 in Brussels (see below for details).
  • In April 1945, Legley added the song La Lettre to the cycle and he changed the title to 6 Mélodies françaises, in the first edition of 1962 however, the song is left out.
  • On 29 May 1945, the work was first performed by alto Yetty Martens and pianist Frieda Pey in auditory Akarova in Brussel (without the song La Lettre).[1] On this day, Legley dedicated the work to Yetty Martens.[2]


  • instrumentation: alto and piano
  • duration: ca 10'


  • I. Odelette
    • text incipit: Si j'ai parlé de mon amour (Henri de Régnier)
    • finished on 9 December 1943[3]
    • tempo: Moderato
    • time signature: 2/4
    • duration: ca 1'30"
  • II. La mort
    • text incipit: Si la mort vient ici (Ryuko Kawaji)
    • finished on 2 February 1944
    • tempo: Moderato
    • time signature: 4/4
    • duration: ca 2'
  • III. Barques d'or
    • text incipit: Dans une barque d'Orient (Charles Van Lerberghe)
    • finished on 20 April 1944
    • tempo: Andantino (autograph) or Andante (first edition)
    • time signature: 3/4
    • duration: ca 2'30"
  • IV. Faubourg gitane
    • text incipit: L'indolence des gitanes (René Bizet)
    • finished on 14 May 1944
    • tempo: Andante moderato
    • time signature: 5/8
    • duration: ca 2'30"
  • V. Le voyageur
    • text incipit: Où t'en vas-tu dans le soir (André Germain)
    • finished on 15 May 1944
    • tempo: Lent et triste
    • duration: ca 1'30"


  • autograph: Royal Conservatory Brussels (B-Bc), shelf number P-2-00902. The alto line of this score is annotated in grey and red pencil and was probably used for the first performance. This manuscript contains La Lettre as well.
  • first edition: CeBeDeM, Brussels, 1962


  1. C.M.: Muziekkroniek - Jonge Vlaamsche Muziek in De Nieuwe Standaard of 8 June 1945, p.2. P.T.: Petite Chronique Musicale in Le Soir of 14 June 1945, p.2.
  2. See autograph.
  3. Tessely (p.137) and De Roeck (p.271) give 2 February 1944, which is however contradicted by the autograph.