L'Enfant et les Sortilèges (the child and the enchantments) is a lyric fantasy in one Act, composed by Maurice Ravel between 1919 and 1925. Composing was done in close collaboration with Colette that the script of this fantasy wrote. Above the script Colette: Divertissement pour ma fille wrote.

L'Enfant et les Sortilèges -a composition of Ravel, in which all kinds of musical styles are present-is sometimes only for Orchestra performed, since the translation of the relatively complicated French text to other languages is difficult. Often such a translation also does violence to the original intention of the author.


[hide]*1 summary


In an old house in the countryside of Normandy, about mid-afternoon, a naughty boy grumpy for his school assignments. The mother comes in and sees the laziness of her son, and there is punishment. The punished are looking for a way out for his anger: he throws with a teacup, he teases the squirrel in his cage, and attracts the cat to its tail. It stirs the stove he wild on, the kettle to, tears apart his textbook, pulls his drawing paper broken, destroying the old clock and does a series of nasty things.

«I am free, free, naughty and free! ...» Exhausted he eventually fall in an old armchair, but then he scares back because then it starts the spell.

All of them are now coming to life objects and animals and speak, and threaten the huddled and tired little boy. In the first room and then in the garden, express the creatures one by one their grievances and their desire for revenge. As the little boy calls his mother despairingly, deposit him on all creatures want to punish him. Just before this happens, gets into the tumult a squirrel injured. Great consternation! But the little boy takes care of the squirrel, directs his paw and takes care of him lovingly. The animals and see things now, that the child has learned from his experiences. They give him forgiveness and give him back to his mother, comforting him in her arms.

The spell is broken and the objects and take the animals regain their old position.


L'Enfant et les Sortilèges is a sequence of independent Tableaux in a multitude of diverse musical styles ranging from jazz to foxtrot, an occasional ragtime or a polkaWaltz , a duet and a Meow finally sacred choral music. Ravel literally pulls out all the stops. He used for this purpose also unusual ' musical instruments ' as: cheese slicer, ratchet, whip, woodblockcrotaleshéliophone -usually called wind machine and lotus flute.


  • L'Enfant (The boy, mezzo-soprano)
  • Maman (The mother, contra-alt)
  • Le Armchair (The armchair, bass)
  • La Bergère (The Shepherdess, soprano)
  • L'Horloge Comtoise (the old clock, baritone)
  • La Théière (The teapot, tenor)
  • La Tasse chinoise (The Chinese Teacup, alt)
  • Le Feu (The fire, soprano)
  • Un Pâtre (A shepherd, soprano)
  • Une Pastourelle (A Shepherdess, soprano)
  • Pâtres et Pastourelles (Shepherds and shepherdesses, chorus)
  • La Princesse (The Princess, soprano)
  • Le Petit Vieillard (The small grey nature, tenor)
  • Les Chiffres (The figures, children's choir)
  • Le Chat (The hangover, baritone)
  • La Chatte (Darla, mezzo-soprano)
  • Un Arbre (A tree, bass)
  • Les Arbres (The trees, chorus)
  • La Libellule (The dragonfly, alt)
  • Le Rossignol (The Nightingale, soprano)
  • La Chauve-souris (The bat, soprano)
  • L'Écureuil (The squirrel, mezzo-soprano)
  • La Rainette (The tree frog, tenor)
  • Les Anand (The animals, chorus)

Tableaux (summary)[Edit]Edit

  • Introduction
  • "Votre Sadeghi humble, Bergère"
  • "How's your mug?"
  • "Oui, c'est elle, ta Princesse enchantée"
  • Deux robinets coulent dans un réservoir!
  • "Ah! Quelle joie de retrouver, Jardin to! "
  • "Ah! C'est l'enfant au couteau! "

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