Born in Geneva of a jeweller father (and excellent flautist) and singer mother, Marguerite Roesgen-Champion (1894-1976) was one of those rare women who reconciled family life (in 1926, she settled in Paris with her husband, a philately merchant) with a professional activity devoted to music. Her abundant output graced all genres, with a predilection for sacred pieces, the art song, the piano and chamber music.
Published respectively in 1950 and 1953, the two Nocturnes for oboe and piano (or organ) have their place in the glorious tradition of French music from the between-the-wars period. The first Nocturne, subtitled 'Noël', is dedicated to Pierre Bajeux (1899-1961), who taught the oboe class at the Paris Conservatoire as of 1941. Of classic ABA construction, this piece, as simple as it is expressive, is in the form of a pastorale: here, the gentle opening recitative unfolds its dreamy, melancholic volutes, of which the modal character would have appealed to Charles Koechlin.
The second Nocturne presents subtle modulations that give it a refined elegance. In both cases, this tastefully polished music invites us to stroll in an Arcadian landscape, bathed in azure: 'There, all is order and beauty, / Luxury, calm and voluptuousness'.