Ensemble TM+

Friday 29 March ı 8:00 PM
Théâtre National de Nice, salle des Franciscains
6:00 PM – ENCOUNTER - Théâtre National de Nice, salle des Franciscains
6:00 PM – ENCOUNTER - Théâtre National de Nice, salle des Franciscains
The “Befores” and “Afters” are solely accessible to holders of tickets for the night concert.

with Laurent Cuniot, conductor, composer and musical director of TM+, moderated by Tristan Labouret, musicologist

8:00 PM – CONCERT - Théâtre National de Nice, salle des Franciscains
<p>Pauline Sikirdji, mezzo-soprano<br />
Benjamin Alunni, tenor<br />
Ensemble TM+<br />
Laurent Cuniot, conductor</p>
1 hr without intermission
© Éditions Billaudot

Pauline Sikirdji, mezzo-soprano
Benjamin Alunni, tenor
Ensemble TM+
Laurent Cuniot, conductor

Laurent Cuniot (1957-)
Le Chant de la terre (The Song of the Earth) for mezzo-soprano, tenor and sixteen instruments


1. Chanson à boire de la douleur de la terre
2. Un tel souffle
Passage I
3. Un solitaire en automne
4. De la jeunesse
Passage II
5. Respire l’obscur de la terre
6. De la beauté
7. L’Adieu


World premiere, commissioned by Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo

Composer and musical director of Ensemble TM+ Laurent Cuniot was inspired by Gustav Mahler’s masterpiece into writing his own Song of the Earth for chamber orchestra, upon lyrics by Mahler and poems by Rainer Maria Rilke. This is the world premiere of a work closely connected to nature and open at every moment to as yet unheard soundscape.

Concert fees
Pack of 4 concerts and more -25 %:
Under 25:
*free admission upon reservation

Online booking

You can book your tickets on Monte-Carlo Ticket website !
I book the after from 1st March
• Phone : +377 93 25 54 10
• Mail : contact@printempsdesarts.mc

In general, the night rate is applicable from 7 p.m.: €0.70 per hour*

Except for the events for which the "Festival Printemps des Arts" show package applies

* Subject to change

More information
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When Bruno Mantovani offered to me the opportunity of writing a modern-day Song of the Earth – in reference to Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde composed in 1909 –, I immediately accepted although I knew how challenging it would be. First, the challenge is to find one’s own way in the wake of such a powerful work; then, there is challenge of the format, of developing a long-drawn musical dramatisation of poetry.


Mahler subtitled his work “symphony for tenor, viola and full orchestra”, underlying the prominence of the instrumental part over the voices, which are nevertheless crucial to the expressiveness. I felt compelled to keep this same balance because of the relative shortness of the lyrics adapted from Chinese poetry. But in order to make them my own, I chose to contrast them with two sublime poems by Rainer Maria Rilke taken from Poems to Night, which are particularly dear to me. These ample hymns to love and heaven resonate with the intimate connection between man and nature and the existential questions expressed in the original lyrics.


My “Song of the Earth” comprises an instrumental prologue, seven movements and two “passages”, and is written for tenor, mezzo-soprano and a sixteen-piece chamber orchestra. In it, I explore all registers of expression: gravity, the deepest interiority (Un solitaire en automne, Respire l’obscur de la terre, L’Adieu), gentleness (Un tel souffle), the intoxication of despair (Chanson à boire de la douleur de la terre), gushing, luminous energy (De la beauté), and this almost cinematographic vision of a gathering of friends (De la jeunesse) treated in perpetual motion.


Retreading these expressive fields today also means reinventing melodic and harmonic dimensions in the light of the successive musical revolutions of the 20th century. It means playing with the colours of timbre and rhythmic diversity to build a world that seems strangely familiar yet surprising, opening at every moment onto the unheard before. This Chant de la terre is dedicated to Bruno Mantovani, in memoriam Gustav Mahler.



Laurent Cuniot

Instead of crying in pillows,
lift your tearful eyes.
It is right here, from your tearful face,
from your finite face,
that the mighty universe starts,
and expands.
Who, if you are turned in this direction,
will ever break that flow?
No-one. Except you,
if you started
the powerful gush
of those stars towards you.
Breathe in the darkness of the earth and,
again, lift your eyes

Rainer Maria Rilke, Poems to Night

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