Please read this article on Ravel’s ballet Daphnis et Chloe. This page just discusses Part III, as that is the portion of the ballet that our listening example comes from. If you’d like to read about the entire scenario of the ballet—which I hope you will—you can read the rest of the Wikipedia article here.
Morning at the grotto of the Nymphs. There is no sound but the murmur of rivulets produced by the dew that trickles from the rocks. Daphnis lies, still unconscious, at the entrance of the grotto. Gradually the day breaks. The songs of birds are heard. Far off, a shepherd passes with his flock. Another shepherd crosses in the background. A group of herdsmen enters looking for Daphnis and Chloe. They discover Daphnis and wake him. Anxiously he looks around for Chloe. She appears at last, surrounded by shepherdesses. They throw themselves into each other’s arms. Daphnis notices Chloe’s wreath. His dream was a prophetic vision. The intervention of Pan is manifest. The old shepherd Lammon explains that, if Pan has saved Chloe, it is in memory of the nymph Syrinx, whom the god once loved. Daphnis and Chloe mime the tale of Pan and Syrinx. Chloe plays the young nymph wandering in the meadow. Daphnis as Pan appears and declares his love. The nymph rebuffs him. The god becomes more insistent. She disappears into the reeds. In despair, he picks several stalks to form a flute and plays a melancholy air. Chloe reappears and interprets in her dance the accents of the flute. The dance becomes more and more animated and, in a mad whirling, Chloe falls into Daphnis’s arms. Before the altar of the Nymphs, he pledges his love, offering a sacrifice of two sheep. A group of girls enters dressed as bacchantes, shaking tambourines. Daphnis and Chloe embrace tenderly. A group of youths rushes on stage and the ballet ends with a bacchanale.
- Lever du jour
- Pantomime (Les amours de Pan et Syrinx)
- Danse générale (Bacchanale)