Les adieux, Fantaisie guerrière (Bochsa, Nicholas Charles)

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Zeyarshwe (2017/11/2)

Publisher. Info. Bordeaux: Bergeret, n.d.(ca.1815). Plate 359.
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General Information

Work Title Les adieux, Fantaisie guerrière
Alternative. Title
Composer Bochsa, Nicholas Charles
I-Catalogue NumberI-Cat. No. INB 122
Composer Time PeriodComp. Period Romantic
Piece Style Romantic
Instrumentation harp
Related Works 'Vous me quittez pour aller à la gloire' (see below, Comments)

Misc. Comments

  • The song "Vous me quittez pour aller à la gloire' " is close to, but not exactly like, the Romance for 1 or 2 voices with words by Louis Philippe de Segur "avec la Réponse par Mr. Le Chr. de Messence", and music by Joseph Marie Felix Blangini, published "ca.1810" in the Journal des Troubadours (2eme année, 13), p.2.
  • According to The Napoleon Anecdotes (not sure how scholarly this work is considered to be), the words were said to Napoleon just before he left for his Russian campaign. Since this was in 1812, the Journal des Troubadours must have been published later than 1810 (it is undated, and the ca.1810 date is an estimate), or the anecdote is from a different campaign. But, as can be seen below, at least one other composer also took the text and set it to music, although since they are quite similar, one might be a semi-plagiarised version of the other or, indeed, of yet another as yet unidentified popular song.
  • Another possibility, slightly closer in notes, although still not exact, is Diabelli's romanze on "Vous me quittez" in Orpheus, Op.12. The collection is undated (but also published ca.1820 in a collection called Drey Romanzen). Bochsa was roughly the same age as both Blangini and Diabelli, so he could have been familiar with either composer's romance.
  • Another use of the melody was apparently in a set of variations for clarinet, bassoon, viola, and guitar by Erzherzog Rudolph (Archduke Rudolph, 1788-1831), a manuscript held in the Gesellschaft für Musikfreunde.
  • It was obviously popular enough for fantasias to be written on it, but its most long-lasting fame came from the quote of its incipit in the 1862 Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, later immortalised in the contemporary musical. In Hugo's book, the tune is just hummed. Blangini died in 1840, Diabelli in 1858, so neither of them used the text because of the popularity acquired from Hugo's book.