Les Conteurs Lyrics Follow
Les Heures persanes (English: The Persian Hours), Op. 65, is one of the most famous works of the French composer Charles Koechlin.
It is based on the French novelist and traveller Pierre Loti’s Vers Ispahan, detailing his journey across Persia. Koechlin’s hour-long work is a series of pieces - condensed into just two-and-a-half days - that captures and distils the scents and sounds of this faraway land.
The Persian Hours includes 16 pieces for piano composed between 1913 and 1919. Koechlin prepared an orchestral version of the piece as well.
The Persian Hours is a difficult work to record. It is an atmospheric work, mostly very slow and dreamy, and except for three or four movements (Travers les Rues; the mini-tone-poem Le Conteur; and the final Dervishes dans la nuit) is often extremely quiet. The orchestration is delicate and subtle, and it is entirely typical of Koechlin that although the piece is harmonically extremely audacious for its time (1913–19), the music is so subdued that its frequent polytonal or atonal basis might not be immediately apparent.