Composed by Darius Milhaud, Quatrains Valaisans is a piece for SATB a cappella, based on poems by Rainer Maria Rilke. This piece features five different parts, each one from a poem, whose lyrics are inspired by the Valais area in Switzerland. The composition includes polytonality and polyrhythms that make it highly lyrical, cheerful and nice to sing.
The five poems selected are:
1. Pays, arrêté a mi-chemin / "Country that stops half-way..."
2. Rose de lumiere / "Rose of Light"
3. L'année tourne / "The year revolves"
4. Chemins qui ne menent nulle part / "Paths that take you nowhere"
5. Beau papillon / "Lovely butterfly"
Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) was a composer and a teacher who was also known to be part of Les Six. His composition were known to use polytonality and to include some characteristics drawns from the jazz genre.