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Pourquoi? (1930)

Part of a series or song cycle:

Trois Mélodies


Pourquoi les oiseaux de l’air,
Pourquoi les reflets de l’eau,
Pourquoi les nuages du ciel,
Pourquoi les feuilles de l’Automne,
Pourquoi les roses de l’Été,
Pourquoi les chansons du Printemps,
Pourquoi n’ont-ils pour moi de charmes,
Pourquoi, Ah! Pourquoi?


Why are the birds of the air,
Why are the gleaming waters,
Why are the clouds of heaven,
Why are the leaves of autumn,
Why are the roses of summer,
Why are the songs of spring,
Why for me are they devoid of charm,
Why? Ah, why?
Translations by Richard Stokes, from A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

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Olivier Eugène Prosper Charles Messiaen was a French composer, organist, and ornithologist. He wrote music for chamber ensembles and orchestra, vocal music, as well as for solo organ and piano, and also experimented with the use of novel electronic instruments developed in Europe during his lifetime.

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