L’Arlésienne : The Lady From Arles


     Last Sunday of April 29 I went to a concert which was organized by a friend of mine, who is a piano teacher. She and her friend flutist had the concert. She is a big fan of Makoto Ozone, a jazz pianist, and met the flutist at his concert and they became friends.

     A student of my friend’s got married recently, and had asked her to play the music at her wedding party. My friend asked the flutist to play together, and a musical unit was born there.

     Since they practiced hard for the party, they seemed to think that it was a pity to finish the unit only once. That’s why they decided to have an opportunity to perform and the concert was put into practice this time.

     The concert was at a studio named Music Bird. It was a compact and cozy place. And about 20 people gathered and we had a wonderful time in the relaxing ambience.

     My friend and her friend flutist played mainly classical music. I got interested in an episode of one of the tunes played by them. It was about L’Arlésienne Suites composed by Georges Bizet, and introduced by my friend at the concert.

     L’Arlésienne was originally a novel and later was transformed into three-act play by Alphonse Daudet, French novelist in 1872. The music, especially Suite No.2, is famous by a lilting tune, but the story was strangely sad.

     The title L’Arlésienne means “the lady of Arles” in English. A young peasant loves the lady at the first site at a bullfight although he has a fiancée. Since he is completely stuck on the lady, he goes almost mad. So his fiancée gives up him and decides to leave him and his family also accepts it. But he notices the real love of his fiancée and decides to get married her. At the wedding night, however, he finds out that the lady and a herdsman are planning to run away together. He is jealous so much and cannot stand it, commits suicide by jumping off a balcony.

     Strange. I wouldn’t say that the melody is fit to the story…Anyway, I got an interesting story and had a really nice time together with my friends at the concert.

     By the way, April 29 is not only a Sunday but also a holiday named Showa Day. It used to be a celebration day of the birthday of Emperor Hirohito, who died in 1989. After his death, the holiday remained by changed the name. By the way, the holiday had been called Green Day until last year.

      It seems that since Mr. Abe became the Prime Minister the government has tried to revert to the old ways, inciting people to have patriotic spirit, emphasizing national consciousness and traditional things with vague and good-sounding words. I’m a little bit terrified by the tendency.


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