Cydalise et le Chèvre-pied

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Cydalise et le chèvre-pied ("Cydalise and the goat-foot", "Cydalise and the satyr") is a two act ballet, originally choreographed by Léo Staats with a score by Gabriel Pierné. The libretto was written by Gaston Arman de Caillavet and Robert de Flers, based on Remy de Gourmont's Lettre d'un satyre. Though it was composed between 1914 and its completion February 14, 1915, its Paris Opera premiere was delayed due to the conditions of World War I until January 15, 1923.[1] The use of the French term "chèvre-pied" (goat foot) to refer to the satyr is distinct to this composition.

Cydalise et le Chèvre-pied remains one of the Pierné's most popular compositions. The music is of the impressionist era, though it contains elements of Romanticism, Neoclassicism, and Neo-Baroque music.[2] Three years after its premiere, Pierné extracted two suites from the ballet, the first of which includes sections from the first two Tableau while the second comprises the entire third Tableau. One of the most recognizable pieces in the ballet "L'École des Ægipans", also known as "The Entry of the Little Fauns" or "The March of the Fauns", is also occasionally excerpted and performed by itself.[2]

The music[edit]


Style and influences[edit]

Cydalise et le Chèvre-pied employs the use of modes and lush harmonies characteristic of impressionist music. The opening moonrise scene, highlighted by a wordless chorus, uses techniques similar to that of Maurice Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé (1912). Cydalise, however, differs in its adherence to shorter musical numbers and closed form composition. The ballet also references styles customary to the Classical and Baroque musical eras, employing a magnified woodwind section emphasizing flutes and piccolos, and even a contemporaneously uncommon use of the harpsichord in Act II.[1]


In popular culture[edit]

Cydalise et le Chèvre-pied was among Toccata and Fugue in D minor, Nutcracker Suite, Night on Bald Mountain, Ave Maria, Dance of the Hours, Clair de Lune, The Rite of Spring, and The Sorcerer's Apprentice as the original planned line-up for Walt Disney Pictures' Fantasia. However, both it and Clair de Lune were removed from the program late in the writing process and Cydalise et le Chèvre-pied was ultimately replaced with sections from Ludwig van Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony.[3]


  1. ^ a b Grimstad, Christie (10 August 2012). "Gabriel Pierné: Cydalise et le chèvre-pied". Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Hurwitz, David. "Gabriel Pierné - Cydalise et le chèvre-pied Review". Classics Today. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Gabler, p. 308