The fanciful scales of this Lullaby will drive you mad before long ! Sweet dreams


Title Berceuse sur une gamme fantaisiste (Craddle song on a fantasy scale)
Text Jean Vogel
Composer Patrick Loiseleur
Dedication To Jacques-François L'Oiseleur des Longhchamps.
Reference TPR-0056
Opus number L22
Instrumentation Baritone (or Mezzo-Soprano) and Piano
Duration 6 minutes
Difficulty level
First performance May 11, 2009 (L'Oiseleur des Longchamps, baritone, Mary Olivon, piano)
Publication date September 2017

This song was commissioned by the French baritone L'Oiseleur des Longhchamps who gave the world premiere in May 2009.

The text of this craddle song, published in 1945, immediately after World war II, adopts a joyful and childish tone around the musical scale (C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C in English, Do, ré, mi, fa, sol, la si, do in French). So it was natural for the composer, in the musical adaptation, to use a different scale for each strophe: major, minor, "oriental" with augmented second interval, Debussy's full-tone scale, Bartok's acoustic mode, Messiaen's mode II. The large ambitus requires some virtuosity from the singer (from the low G to the high A in falsetto).

One can of course spot allusions to the terrible consequences of World War II and the hope for a better world in this apparently innocent poem (Children without toys, girls without expectations, why would you cry in the curtains ? Tomorrow is gift's day.).

Do, ré, mi, fa, sol, la, si, do,

Enfants sans jeux, filles sans dot,

Pourquoi pleurer dans vos rideaux ?

C’est demain le jour des cadeaux,

Do, ré, mi, fa, sol, la, si, do.


Audio Extract  
Related scores
  • Berceuse for Soprano and Piano
Pages 11 (full score) + 2 (cover)


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