Rimbaud’s desire to live the Bohemian life is portrayed in the first song as a joyous celebration of a soul discovering what it wants in life. I tried to keep the harmonic language light and the pacing quick in order to introduce the set as a whole. The music is garish and over-the-top as the poet (who wrote nearly all of his life’s work between the ages of 16 and 19) seems to disappear into the night with his newly discovered purpose. Baquet de vin is informed by the harmonic language of Francis Poulenc as the angular leaps and harmonic jolts represent the staggering, back-and-forth walk of a person who may have had a bit too much to drink. That being said, it’s a happy drunken state and the setting ends on a warm and positive sonority. Given the first line of poetry it seemed absurd to set the third poem without a soloist. Since self-pity is something that builds on and sustains itself to its own negative conclusions, I wrote a choral ostinato that turns over and over again while the soloist slowly sings the bulk of the text. In order to give the choir some variety, I decided to use a piano for the final two movements. The first two and a half pages of La table et les deux verres bridge the gap between the chord-oriented, a cappella writing from the previous movements and the melodically driven remainder of the set. The text itself speaks to the first meeting of two people who eventually become lifelong friends and the eventual marriage of one of them. For the second half of the poem I wanted to write a running piano part to represent the inevitability of someone marrying their true love.