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Accompagnement (1902) Op. 85 no.3


Tremble argenté, tilleul, bouleau …
La lune s’effeuille sur l’eau …
Comme de longs cheveux peignés au vent du soir,
L’odeur des nuits d’été parfume le lac noir.
Le grand lac parfumé brille comme un miroir.
Ma rame tombe et se relève,
Ma barque glisse dans le rêve.
Ma barque glisse dans le ciel
Sur le lac immatériel …
En cadence, les yeux fermés,
Rame, ô mon cœur, ton indolence
À larges coups lents et pâmés.
Là-bas la lune écoute, accoudée au coteau,
Le silence qu’exhale en glissant le bateau …
Trois grands lis frais-coupés meurent sur mon manteau.
Vers tes lèvres, ô Nuit voluptueuse et pâle,
Est-ce leur âme, est-ce mon âme qui s’exhale?
Cheveux des nuits d’argent peignés aux longs roseaux …
Comme la lune sur les eaux,
Comme la rame sur les flots,
Mon âme s’effeuille en sanglots!


Silver aspen, lime, birch …
The moon sheds itself on the water …
Like long hair combed by the evening breeze,
The scent of summer nights perfumes the black lake.
The great perfumed lake gleams like a mirror.
My oar dips and rises,
My boat glides in the dream.
My boat glides in the sky
On the insubstantial lake …
In cadence, with closed eyes,
Row, O my heart, your indolence
In broad slow swooning strokes.
Over there the moon, against the hillside, listens
To the silence of the gliding boat …
Three large fresh-cut lilies die on my cape.
Is it their soul or mine that reaches out
To your lips, O pale and voluptuous night?
Hair of silver nights combed by tall reeds …
Like the moon on the waters,
Like the oar on the waves,
My soul sheds itself in sobs!
Translation © Richard Stokes, from 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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Albert Victor Samain was a French poet and writer of the Symbolist school.

Born in Lille, his family were Flemish and had long lived in the town or its suburbs. At the time of the poet's birth, his father, Jean-Baptiste Samain, and his mother, Elisa-Henriette Mouquet, conducted a business in "wines and spirits" at 75 rue de Paris. Samain's father died when he was quite young; it was necessary for him to leave school and seek a trade. He moved to Paris in around 1880, where his poetry won him a following and he began mixing with avant-garde literary society, and began publicly reciting his poems at Le Chat Noir. His poems were strongly influenced by those of Baudelaire, and began to strike a somewhat morbid and elegiac tone. He also was influenced by Verlaine; his works disclose a taste for indecisive, vague imagery. Samain helped found the Mercure de France, and also worked on the Revue des Deux Mondes.

Samain published three volumes of verse: Le jardin de l'infante (1893), which made him famous; Aux flancs du vase (1898) and Le Chariot d'or (1901). His poetic drama Polyphème was set to music by Jean Cras. Samain died of tuberculosis.

Camille Saint-Saëns set poems of Samain to music: "Six Mélodies sur des poésies d'Albert Samain" op.31 (1902-1906; orchestrated 1921)

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

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