Willem Boogman




4 minutes


flute, clarinet, vibraphone, piano, violin, viola, violoncello

commissioned by

SPECTRA Ensemble with the support of the city of Ghent for the celebration of Maeterlinck100

dedicated to


November 8, 2011
Madrid, Fundación Carlos de Amberes

Spectra Ensemble
Filip Rathé - conductor

buy the score


Quand l'amant sortit

for small ensemble (2011)


mp3 | Spectra Ensemble, Sara De Bosschere - reciter & Filip Rathé - conductor
Gent, February 3, 2012

program note |

›Quand L’Amant sortit‹ is a poem from the collection ›Douze Chansons‹ [Twelve Songs] by Maurice Maeterlinck (1896). ›Douze Chansons‹ is also the title of a project set up by the SPECTRA Ensemble in 2011 to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Maeterlinck's being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Twelve composers were asked each to compose music to a poem from the collection, without the text. The text is spoken by an actress.

The music I composed is in three sections, reflecting the three stanzas of the poem: the opening in major triads, a bridge to the middle section in which major, minor, diminished and dominant seventh chords alternate in a fixed sequence, followed by another bridge to the final series of minor triads.

This series of chords is played mainly by the strings. In another layer, rhythmically shifted relative to the strings, the other instruments play the same chords, like a stimulating caress.
The chords and texture are based on another composition, ›Genieting V‹ for accordion, which I wrote around the same time.

The bridges described earlier consist of three chords of the tonal cadence with which Robert Schumann opens his song cycle ›Frauenliebe und Leben‹. This quote brings us to the theme of both ›Genieting V‹ and ›Quand l'amant sortit‹, which is love.

Quand l'amant sortit can be performed with or without reciting voice.


Quand l'amant sortit
(J'entendis la porte)
Quand l'amant sortit
Elle avait souri...
Mais quand il rentra
(J'entendis la lampe)
Mais quand il rentra
Une autre était là...
Et j'ai vu la mort
(J'entendis son âme)
Et j'ai vu la mort
Qui l'attend encore...

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