Skip to main content

Songs

Oxford Lieder Festival Live Online

Songs

C'est l'extase (1885) L60


Part of a series or song cycle:

Ariettes oubliées (L60)


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 cri 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 languorous 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 soft cry
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, from A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

If you would like to use our texts and translations, please click here for more information.

Composer

(Achille) Claude Debussy was a French composer. He is sometimes seen as the first Impressionist composer, although he vigorously rejected the term. He was among the most influential composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Please click here for the full Wikipedia article.


See Full Entry

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.

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


See Full Entry

Sorry, no further description available.

Previously performed at:

(As part of a song cycle/series:)

Oxford Lieder Live Online

The Oxford Lieder Festival goes LIVE ONLINE, 10-17 October 2020. Enjoy the world's greatest singers at home, across 40 events live-streamed from iconic Oxford venues.

Book Now

Mailing List