Joseph Bonnet (17 March 1884 – 2 August 1944) was born in Bordeaux, and first studied with his father, an organist at St. Eulalie. At the age of 14, he became official organist, first at St. Nicholas and almost immediately at St. Michael. Bonnet also attended classes with Alexandre Guilmant at the Conservatoire de Paris. A few years later he finished with a first prize and, in 1906 was selected to become the organist at St. Eustache, Paris. In 1911 he had the privilege of succeeding Guilmant as concert organist at the conservatoire. On 28 January 1917 he moved to the United States, where he gave more than 100 concerts around the country until 1919. Bonnet founded the organ department of the Eastman School of Music in 1921. He composed a large number of organ pieces and compiled the six-volume Historical Organ Recitals. A few years later, Bonnet returned to Paris, and in 1937 took Louis Vierne's position as organ teacher and specialist at L’École César-Franck. In 1940, due to the outbreak of World War II, he was forced to leave France and returned to North America. He was organist at the Worcester Art Museum 1942-1943 and was appointed professor at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal in 1943. Bonnet died on 2 August 1944, while vacationing in St. Luce-sur-Mer, near Rimouski, Quebec. He is buried at the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Benoît-du-Lac, near Magog (Québec).
"Chant Triste" (Sad Song) was published by Alphonse Leduc in 1925. It is dedicated "à la mémoire de Joachim Gasquet".
Joachim Gasquet (31 March 1873 – 6 May 1921) was a French author, poet, and art critic.
This piece is indeed "sad," but there is a strong intensity about it. It's far from something such as a "pretty melody," but the sting of biting into a bitter lemon may come more easily to mind.
The score is attached below, as well as several photos of Joseph Bonnet, one of Joachim Gasquet, and several of the grand Church of St. Eustache in Paris.