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La belle Isabeau (1850) Op. 19


Part of a series or song cycle:

Feuillets d'Album (Op. 19)


La belle Isabeau

Dans la montagne noire,
Au pied du vieux château,
J'ai ouï conter l'histoire
De la jeune Isabeau.
Elle était de votre âge,
Cheveux noirs et l'oeil bleu.
Enfants, voici l'orage!
À genoux! Priez Dieu!
La belle jeune fille
Aimait un chevalier.
Son père sous la grille
La tint comme un géôlier.
Le chevalier volage
L'avait vue au saint lieu.
Un soir dans sa cellule
Isabeau vit soudain,
Sans crainte et sans scrupule,
Entrer le paladin.
L'ouragan faisait rage,
Le ciel était en feu.
Enfants, voici l'orage!
À genoux! Priez Dieu!
De frayeur Isabelle
Se sentit le coeur plein:
Où donc est, disait-elle,
Le sire chapelain?
Il est, suivant l'usage,
À prier au saint lieu.
Venez! avant l'aurore
Nous serons de retour.
Hélas! son père encore
L'attend depuis ce jour
Enfants, voici l'orage!
À genoux! Priez Dieu!

Fair Isabeau

On the black mountain,
At the foot of the old castle,
I heard them tell the tale
Of young Isabeau.
She was your age,
With black hair and blue eyes.
Children, the storm is brewing!
Fall to you knees! Pray to God!
The fair young maiden
Loved a knight.
Her father, like a jailer,
Kept her behind bars.
The fickle knight
Had see her in church.
One evening, Isabeau
Suddenly saw the paladin
Enter her prison cell
Without fear or qualms.
The hurricane raged,
The sky was ablaze.
Children, the storm is brewing!
Fall to you knees! Pray to God!
Isabelle's heart
Filled with fear:
'But where,' she said,
'Can the chaplain be?'
He is, as he is wont to be,
At his prayers in church.
'Come with me! Before dawn
We shall be back!'
Her father, alas, from that day on,
Awaits her still.
Children, the storm is brewing!
Fall to your knees! Pray to God!

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Composer

Louis-Hector Berlioz (11 December 1803 – 8 March 1869) was a French Romantic composer. His output includes orchestral works such as the Symphonie fantastique and Harold in Italy, choral pieces including the Requiem and L'Enfance du Christ, his three operas Benvenuto Cellini, Les Troyens and Béatrice et Bénédict, and works of hybrid genres such as the "dramatic symphony" Roméo et Juliette and the "dramatic legend" La Damnation de Faust.

The elder son of a provincial doctor, Berlioz was expected to follow his father into medicine, and he attended a Parisian medical college before defying his family by taking up music as a profession. His independence of mind and refusal to follow traditional rules and formulas put him at odds with the conservative musical establishment of Paris. He briefly moderated his style sufficiently to win France's premier music prize, the Prix de Rome, in 1830 but he learned little from the academics of the Paris Conservatoire. Opinion was divided for many years between those who thought him an original genius and those who viewed his music as lacking in form and coherence.

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Poet

Alexandre Dumas was a French writer. He is very widely read, and is particularly known for his novels The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo.

The English playwright Watts Phillips, who knew Dumas in his later life, described him as "the most generous, large-hearted being in the world. He also was the most delightfully amusing and egotistical creature on the face of the earth. His tongue was like a windmill – once set in motion, you never knew when he would stop, especially if the theme was himself."

Information from Wikipedia. Read more here.


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