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Songs

Spleen Op.51 no.3

Spleen

Il pleure dans mon cœur
Comme il pleut sur la ville.
Quelle est cette langueur
Qui pénètre mon cœur?
Ô bruit doux de la pluie,
Par terre et sur les toits!
Pour un cœur qui s’ennuie,
Ô le chant de la pluie!
Il pleure sans raison
Dans mon cœur qui s’écœure.
Quoi! nulle trahison?
Mon deuil est sans raison.
C’est bien la pire peine,
De ne savoir pourquoi,
Sans amour et sans haine,
Mon cœur a tant de peine.

Spleen

Tears fall in my heart
As rain falls on the town;
What is this torpor
Pervading my heart?
Ah, the soft sound of rain
On the ground and roofs!
For a listless heart,
Ah, the song of the rain!
Tears fall without reason
In this disheartened heart.
What! Was there no treason? …
This grief’s without reason.
And the worst pain of all
Must be not to know why
Without love and without hate
My heart has so much pain.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

Composer

 

​"Gabriel Urbain Fauré (12 May 1845 – 4 November 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist and teacher. He was one of the foremost French composers of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th-century composers. Among his best-known works are his Pavane, Requiem, nocturnes for piano and the songs "Après un rêve" and "Clair de lune". Although his best-known and most accessible compositions are generally his earlier ones, Fauré composed many of his most highly regarded works in his later years, in a more harmonically and melodically complex style." (Wikipedia)

For more information about the life and work of Gabriel Fauré please see the Wikipedia article here.


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Poet

Paul-Marie Verlaine was a French poet associated with the Symbolist movement. He is considered one of the greatest representatives of the fin de siècle in international and French poetry.
Born in Metz, Verlaine was educated at the Lycée Impérial Bonaparte (now the Lycée Condorcet) in Paris and then took up a post in the civil service. He began writing poetry at an early age, and was initially influenced by the Parnassien movement and its leader, Leconte de Lisle. Verlaine's first published poem was published in 1863 in La Revue du progrès, a publication founded by poet Louis-Xavier de Ricard. Verlaine was a frequenter of the salon of the Marquise de Ricard (Louis-Xavier de Ricard's mother) at 10 Boulevard des Batignolles and other social venues, where he rubbed shoulders with prominent artistic figures of the day: Anatole France, Emmanuel Chabrier, inventor-poet and humorist Charles Cros, the cynical anti-bourgeois idealist Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, Théodore de Banville, François Coppée, Jose-Maria de Heredia, Leconte de Lisle, Catulle Mendes and others. Verlaine's first published collection, Poèmes saturniens (1866), though adversely commented upon by Sainte-Beuve, established him as a poet of promise and originality.

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