Suite Musette

by Thibault Perrine

for accordion and string quintet

First performance in September 2017 – La Seine Musicale – by Félicien Brut, the Quatuor Hermès and Édouard Macarez

« There are decisive encounters in life – the kind that help you cross a threshold, change you profoundly, making it impossible to go back…

When Félicien Brut called me to suggest that I write a suite for accordion and string quintet based on famous themes from the musette repertoire, I immediately understood that, far from being a hindrance, this constraint was going to prove to be a powerful driving force, to act as a catalyst, to allow me to finally realise this desire to compose that had been buried for so long under mountains of pretexts…

Because at a time when all kinds of music coexist, when the greatest masterpieces of history are accessible at the click of a button, when contemporary creation is in a perpetual quest for novelty, this simple idea of giving honour to our national musette by drawing from it the material of a new work, thus reviving the tradition by which so-called learned music has so often been nourished by the popular repertoire – what could be more stimulating?

Of course, this project was not without its difficulties. First of all, I had to collect all the authorisations linked to the borrowed themes (which would not have been possible without the kind complicity of the Beuscher-Arpège publishing house); then I had to take a very serious look at this very special instrument, the accordion, and try to unravel its mysteries; finally, the writing itself…

From this encounter was born my Suite Musette.

Like a bet on the future. »

Thibaut Perrine


Suite Musette is a piece for accordion and string quintet lasting about 20 minutes, composed specifically for Le Pari des Bretelles. Built as a suite in five movements (Overture, Interlude, Elegy, Humoresque, Finale), it is a tribute to this popular repertoire born in the last century, by borrowing typical musette dance rhythms (paso doble, waltz, tango, cha-cha-cha, foxtrot, polka…) and using famous melodies, still recognizable though reworked as much in terms of rhythm as in terms of harmony or counterpoint.

It was recorded on the album Le Pari des Bretelles released in January 2019, under the label Mirare.