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Songs

Songs

Après un rêve (1878) Op.7 no.1

Après un rêve

Dans un sommeil que charmait ton image
Je rêvais le bonheur, ardent mirage,
Tes yeux étaient plus doux, ta voix pure et sonore,
Tu rayonnais comme un ciel éclairé par l’aurore;
Tu m’appelais et je quittais la terre
Pour m’enfuir avec toi vers la lumière,
Les cieux pour nous entr’ouvraient leurs nues,
Splendeurs inconnues, lueurs divines entrevues.
Hélas! hélas, triste réveil des songes,
Je t’appelle, ô nuit, rends-moi tes mensonges;
Reviens, reviens, radieuse,
Reviens, ô nuit mystérieuse!

After a dream

In sleep made sweet by a vision of you
I dreamed of happiness, fervent illusion,
Your eyes were softer, your voice pure and ringing,
You shone like a sky that was lit by the dawn;
You called me and I departed the earth
To flee with you toward the light,
The heavens parted their clouds for us,
We glimpsed unknown splendours, celestial fires.
Alas, alas, sad awakening from dreams!
I summon you, O night, give me back your delusions;
Return, return in radiance,
Return, O mysterious night!
Translations by Richard Stokes, from 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

Romain Bussine was a French poet, baritone, and voice teacher who lived during the 19th century.

In 1871, together with Camille Saint-Saëns and Henri Duparc, he founded the Société Nationale de Musique as a forum for promoting contemporary French chamber and orchestral music. Later an argument over the performance of foreign works led to Saint-Saëns and Bussine resigning the joint presidency of the Société Nationale in 1886.

Gabriel Fauré set one of his poems as Après un rêve ("After A Dream"), op. 7, No. 1 (composed in 1877, published in 1878). The poem, based on an Italian poem titled "Levati sol che la luna è levata," is a soliloquy about a rapturous dream of a passionate encounter to which the dreamer longs to return, even though the dream is a lie. Another setting by Fauré of a poem by Bussine is Sérénade Toscane; the poem is a fairly free version of a slightly sardonic Tuscan serenade.

Bussine worked for many years as a voice teacher at the Paris Conservatory. A baritone, he occasionally gave recitals and performed in concerts in Paris; although he was not a prolific performer. He notably sang the role of the High Priest in the first hearing of the second act of Saint-Saëns's Samson and Delilah in a private performance in 1870. Among his notable pupils were composers Guillaume Couture and Achille Fortier. He died in Paris.

Taken from Wikipedia. To view the full article, please click here.


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