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Rencontre (1878) Op. 21 no.1

Part of a series or song cycle:

Poème d'un jour (Op. 21)


J’étais triste et pensif quand je t’ai rencontrée,
Je sens moins aujourd’hui mon obstiné tourment,
Ô dis-moi, serais-tu la femme inespérée
Et le rêve idéal poursuivi vainement?
Ô passante aux doux yeux, serais-tu donc l’amie
Qui rendrait le bonheur au poète isolé,
Et vas-tu rayonner sur mon âme affermie
Comme le ciel natal sur un cœur d’exilé?
Ta tristesse sauvage, à la mienne pareille,
Aime à voir le soleil décliner sur la mer!
Devant l’immensité ton extase s’éveille
Et le charme des soirs à ta belle âme est cher.
Une mystérieuse et douce sympathie
Déjà m’enchaîne à toi comme un vivant lien,
Et mon âme frémit, par l’amour envahie
Et mon cœur te chérit sans te connaître bien.


I was sad and pensive when I met you,
Today I feel less my persistent pain;
O tell me, could you be the long hoped-for woman,
And the ideal dream pursued in vain?
O passer-by with gentle eyes, could you be the friend
To restore the lonely poet’s happiness,
And will you shine on my steadfast soul
Like native sky on an exiled heart?
Your timid sadness, like my own,
Loves to watch the sun set on the sea!
Such boundless space awakes your rapture,
And your fair soul prizes the evenings’ charm.
A mysterious and gentle sympathy
Already binds me to you like a living bond,
And my soul quivers, overcome by love,
And my heart, without knowing you well, adores you.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

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​"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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Charles-Jean Grandmougin was a French poet and playwright. He lived in Paris. Two of his poems appeared in the third and final volume of Le Parnasse contemporain (1876). His poetry has been set as songs by composers including Fauré, Chaminade, Pierné and Bizet. He was more well known as a librettist and translator for operas and oratorios. He wrote the libretto for César Franck's opera Hulda, set in 11th-century Norway, and based on the play Lame Hulda (1858) by Norwegian writer Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson. He also wrote the libretto for La Vierge, an oratorio by Jules Massenet.

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

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