“What’s important in music that’s based on a poem – on the emotion inspired by a poem – is the music and power of emotion it harbours within itself”. These words, written in 1949 by poet Pierre Reverdy, would make a deep impression on composer Betsy Jolas. She’d just sent the writer her Six mélodies for mezzo-soprano and piano composed on poems from his masterwork Plupart du temps. The songs were accompanied by a letter that betrayed her fear of distorting his ideas. In creative terms, there was no need to worry – Betsy Jolas must have placed this conviction at the heart of her reflection on the relation between text and music.
Nearly sixty years later, the musician decided to take several fragments of these beloved poems of Reverdy and place them, in the form of quotations, into new musical and theatrical perspectives. The exalted memory of the words led to D’Un Journal D’Amour, a mini-cantata for Voice and Viola offered as a wedding gift to soprano Eliette Prévôt and violist Antoine Tamestit, who premiered it together in Montreuil in 2010.