Voice from Une allée du Luxembourg (Alain Jacques / Nerval)

An avenue in Luxembourg Gardens

Composer
Publisher
Duration
2 minutes
Genre
Other
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A sweet but touching poem by the 24-year-old Gérard de Nerval (Odelettes, 1832), which sadly announces the breakdown ("ma nuit profonde"– my deep night) and depression that came ten years later and led him ultimately to suicide. Georges Auric (1899-1983) had also set it in music in 1925. In the stting here the melody follows a 13/4 pattern in the first 2 stanzas then shifts to a 7/4 pattern in the last stanza. Literal translation (AJ):

She was passing, the young girl, As lively and swift as a bird: In her hand a bright flower, In her mouth a new refrain.

She’s perhaps the only one in the world, Whose heart would respond to mine, Who, coming in my deep night, With a single look would light it up.

But no, - my youth is finished… Goodbye, sweet ray which has shone for me… Perfume, young girl, harmony… Happiness was passing, - it has fled!

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