Cinq poèmes chrétiens pour voix et orchestre chambre


Orchestral Music


November 17, 1946




Mezzo Soprano, Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra

Orchestral Instrumentation

1111 0000 Pf str



Manuscript Status

Durand for Hire


2, 3 et 5 dédiés à Hélène Bouvier, de l’Opéra; 1 A la mémoire de mon frère, Albert Breilh; 4 A la mémoire de mon père


  1. Jésus tombe pour la seconde fois (Paul Claudel)
  2. Le Crucifix (Lamartine)
  3. La Couronne effeuillée (Desbordes-Valmore)
  4. Epiphanie (José-Maria de Heredia)
  5. Cantique (Jean Racine)

The Colonne Orchestra (l'Orchestre Colonne) premiered Cinq poèmes chrétiens (Five Christian Poems) on February 6, 1944 at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris under the baton of Jean Fournet. In the 1940’s during the Nazi Occupation of France, the Colonne Orchestra was named Concerts Pierné, presumably because Édouard Colonne, the orchestra’s namesake, was of Jewish decent. Cinq poèmes chrétiens was written for the famous French mezzo-soprano, Hélène Bouvier. There are five short movements, each based on a poem. Movements 2, 3 and 5 are dedicated to Bouvier. The first movement is dedicated to Decruck’s brother, Albert Breilh and the the fourth movement is dedicated to her father. One can hear the influence of other French composers like Fauré. Most of the work is slow, plaintive and reflective. This is most likely due to the Christian subject matter, but it could also be an introspective portrait of life in Paris during World War II. The composer’s original version was for full orchestra but in 1946 she created the chamber orchestra version that was performed by the Pasdeloup Orchestra. Decruck created arrangements of each of the individual movements for solo voice and piano.