Duke Performances is now Duke Arts presents. Learn more.

Duke Arts Presents

Duras Song

Tuesday, October 24, 2023 | 7:30 pm

Nelson Music Room

“I write books in a difficult place, that is to say between music and silence. I think it’s something like that. We always miss something, this is forced, it is an obligation in life, I missed the music.” – Marguerite Duras

A legendary figure of modern French literature and cinema, Marguerite Duras (1943-1995) was a feminist and an early critic of French colonization in Southeast Asia. This performance celebrates the profound musicality of Marguerite Duras’ work in the form of a dialogue between Duras’ texts and various musical pieces, exploring areas of tension and affinity. Created by Duke professor Anne-Gaelle Saliot, this unique experience occupies a space between theater and chamber music; Saliot’s and Duras’ words alternate with the music that populates Duras’ texts and images, like the soundtracks of her films by Carlos d’Alessio, of whom she said: “His music surrounds me, inhabits me like the first minute I heard it.”

This project premiered at the Philarmonie de Paris in June 2023, receiving wide acclaim.


Save 20% when you buy 4 or more events. Book now.

Log in here to access employee and student discounts.


Performers & Program


Gabriel Richard, Violin
Xavier Phillips, Cello
Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, Piano
Amanda Gann, Actress

Anne-Gaëlle Saliot, Creation and Mise en Scène
Texts translated to English by Amanda Gann


Music by Carlos d’Alessio, Johann Sebastian Bach, Frédéric Chopin, Antonio Diabelli, Saint-Granier, Franz Schubert and Alain Souchon.

Excerpts from texts by Marguerite Duras (Moderato Cantabile, India Song, Emily L, The Lover, The Ravishing of Lol V. Stein, The Sea Wall, Summer Rain, The Vice-Consul, Writing, Yann Andréa Steiner)

Texts by A.G. Saliot

Song List:

Carlos d’Alessio: India Song (piano)
Johann Sebastian Bach:
Prelude – excerpt from The Cello Suite Nr in G major BWV 1007
Contrapuntos I – excerpt from The Art of the Fugue BWV 1080
Anton Diabelli: Sonatina op. 168 in F major (First movement)
Franz Schubert: Nocturne in E flat major
Frédéric Chopin:
Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello in G minor op.8
Waltz in A minor op. 34 Nr 2
Johann Sebastian Bach: Chaconne for Solo Violin
Saint-Granier: Ramona (song, transcription for piano trio by J-F Neuburger)
Jean-Frédéric Neuburger: The Neva
Alain Souchon: Allô Maman Bobo (song, transcription for piano trio J-F Neuburger)
Frédéric Chopin: Waltz op. 64 Nr 1: “Dog Waltz

This event is presented in partnership with The Center for French and Francophone Studies at Duke and Duke Department of Music, with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the Franklin Humanities Institute, the Schiff Family Humanities Fund and the Duke Romance Studies Department. This event is presented in partnership with the Duke University Department of Romance Studies and Department of Music.