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Songs

Songs

C'est l'extase (1891) Op.58 no.5


Part of a series or song cycle:

Cinq Mélodies «de Venise» (Op.58)


C'est l'extase

C’est l’extase langoureuse,
C’est la fatigue amoureuse,
C’est tous les frissons des bois
Parmi l’étreinte des brises,
C’est, vers les ramures grises,
Le chœur des petites voix.
Ô le frêle et frais murmure!
Cela gazouille et susurre,
Cela ressemble au bruit doux
Que l’herbe agitée expire …
Tu dirais, sous l’eau qui vire,
Le roulis sourd des cailloux.
Cette âme qui se lamente
En cette plainte dormante
C’est la nôtre, n’est-ce pas?
La mienne, dis, et la tienne,
Dont s’exhale l’humble antienne
Par ce tiède soir, tout bas?

It is rapture

It is languorous rapture,
It is amorous fatigue,
It is all the tremors of the forest
In the breezes’ embrace,
It is, around the grey branches,
The choir of tiny voices.
O the delicate, fresh murmuring!
The warbling and whispering,
It is like the sweet sound
The ruffled grass gives out …
You might take it for the muffled sound
Of pebbles in the swirling stream.
This soul which grieves
In this subdued lament,
It is ours, is it not?
Mine, and yours too,
Breathing out our humble hymn
On this warm evening, soft and low?
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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