Michel Chion – Les Mots (from La Tentation de Saint Antoine 1991) La tentation de Saint-Antoine: a concrete melodrama in one prologue and nine tableaux adapted from Flaubert’s novel and composed in 1984
I will return to Wikipedia for some extra information on Saint Anthony (ca 251-356) was from Egypt and one of the priests who lived in the desert, with great austerity and later on inspired others to live their life as monks. While in the desert he was tempted by demons to lure him away from true faith, and these temptations have led to works of art, paintings, books and an opera. And here a work by French composer Michel Chion, whom I called a believer, but was boo’d away for it (see, I told you I don’t read French). This work was already composed in 1984, using the voices of Pierre Schaeffer (as Anthony), Michele Bokanowski (as Ennoia), Chion as the narrator and others. Now of course this is all spoken/narrated in French, although Anthony bumps into an English speaking guy (must be a demon), but it all quite interesting to hear. Just as a radiophonic work, with objects falling to the floor, the rustling of papers and other obscured sounds to tell this story, with this fine variety of voices, sounds all very nice. I just sat back and listened and actually enjoyed it a lot. Its like listening to a radio station from a country which language you don’t grasp – or perhaps its my temptation, not to understand this. Fascinating, though.
— Franz de Waard