Yann Tiersen: Comptine d’un autre été, l’après midi

Context

Composed as part of the soundtrack for the 2001 film Amélie, Comptine d’un autre été, l’après midi is one of the most iconic tracks. Composed for solo piano, the title loosely translates into ‘Nursery Rhyme from Another Summer’. Yann Tiersen composed most of the music on the soundtrack for Amélie, including this work. The soundtrack features music from Tiersen’s first three piano albums, plus some new works for the film. 

 

The Music

With only a duration of around 2.5 minutes, Comptine d’un autre été, l’après midi begins with fluctuating lower line. The main melody then enters in groups of three. The three against the twos in the bass gives a feeling of uneasiness. The right hand begins to play a descending cascade of notes which creates a sense of hope and excitement. The left hand stays in its original two formation, which adds to the simplicity of the piece. 

The opening melody is heard once more, this time with the melody up and octave. The sweetness from the high notes sits on top of the fluctuating left hand that has not changed yet. The range keeps pushing upwards as the theme is slowly developed by the right hand. There is a tinge of sadness seeping out at this point which may relate to the feelings of nostalgia when listening to this work. The piece ends quietly on a single chord as the two hands finally come together.

 

Final Thoughts

A simple but effective work for piano that evokes feelings of nostalgia and hope, which also comes across on screen. The non-intrusive style of Tiersen makes this an ideal work to accompany a film. A delight to listen to in any situation.

 

Happy Reading!

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