Cinq poèmes de René Char Op. 12a

by Jouni Kaipainen

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Jouni Kaipainen

Cinq poèmes de René Char Op. 12a

Edition Wilhelm Hansen


The great influence of the French poet René Char (1907–1988) has for long been very obvious in my production. To characterize him very briefly, he deals with general social phenomena through the viewpoint of an individual, he is intellectual almost to the point of being difficult to understand, he is a master of utmostly concentrated language, and, before all, he is very Provencal. The literary images he uses are most often derived from the nature of Provence, Southern France; this, I believe is something that everybody must certainly feel first when making acquaintance with Char’s poems.

For my song cycle, I have chosen five poems from different ages and thus from different phases in the poet’s life-work. The oldest one (number 1) dates from the 30s, the newest (number 5) from the late 60s. But the order of the other three is not chronological. The texts deal with different phenomena of human existence, e.g. with some utmostly tender inner feelings, and, then again, with brutal war. May the text speak for itself!

Cinq poèmes was first written in the summer 1978, then rewritten (or: reinstrumentated) in the spring 1980.

© Jouni Kaipainen


1210 0100 12 1, pno, str, sopr solo [ob, ehn, fl+pic, cl+bcl, timp+tubular bells]


Works for Soloist(s) and Orchestra



Opus no.



Char Rene (san.)


Eija Orpana-Martin, soprano, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, cond. Leif Segerstam, UNM Festival, Helsinki, May 23, 1980.

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