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Songs

Songs

La mer est infinie (1921) Op. 118 no.1


Part of a series or song cycle:

L’horizon chimérique (Op. 118)


La mer est infinie

La mer est infinie et mes rêves sont fous.
La mer chante au soleil en battant les falaises
Et mes rêves légers ne se sentent plus d’aise
De danser sur la mer comme des oiseaux soûls.
Le vaste mouvement des vagues les emporte,
La brise les agite et les roule en ses plis;
Jouant dans le sillage, ils feront une escorte
Aux vaisseaux que mon cœur dans leur fuite a suivis.
Ivres d’air et de sel et brûlés par l’écume
De la mer qui console et qui lave des pleurs,
Ils connaîtront le large et sa bonne amertume;
Les goélands perdus les prendront pour des leurs.

The sea is boundless

The sea is boundless and my dreams are wild.
The sea sings in the sun, as it beats the cliffs,
And my light dreams are overjoyed
To dance on the sea like drunken birds.
The waves’ vast motion bears them away,
The breeze ruffles and rolls them in its folds;
Playing in their wake, they will escort the ships,
Whose flight my heart has followed.
Drunk with air and salt, and stung by the spume
Of the consoling sea that washes away tears,
They will know the high seas and the bracing brine;
Lost gulls will take them for their own.
Translations by Richard Stokes, from A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

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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

ean de La Ville de Mirmont was a French poet who died at the age of 27 defending his country during World War I, at Verneuil.

Jean de La Ville de Mirmont was born into a Protestant Bordeaux family to Henri and Sophie Malan. He was one of six siblings. His father Henri was a professor of literature known for his translation of Cicero as well as an alderman for Bordeaux.

At the age of 22, Jean moved to Paris, where he renewed his childhood friendship with François Mauriac (the latter was to recall the former frequently, most notably in La Rencontre avec Barrès, 1945). Jean held a government post at the prefectory of the Seine where he was responsible for assisting the elderly. In 1914, he was called to the front with the rank of sergeant of the 57th Infantry Regiment. He died buried by a shell explosion on the 28 November of the same year, on Chemin des Dames.

His body was exhumed and reinterred by his family in 1920. It rests in the family tomb H.42 at the Protestant Cemetery of rue Judaïque at Bordeaux.

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


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