Le lac (Niedermeyer / Lamartine)

The Lake

By: Louis Niedermeyer (1802-1861)
For: Voice + keyboard
page one of Le lac (Niedermeyer / Lamartine)

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Composer
Louis Niedermeyer (1802-1861)
Year of composition
1820
Lyricist
Alphonse de Lamartine (1790-1869)
Publisher
Difficulty
Difficult (Grades 7+)
Duration
7 minutes
Genre
Classical music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

Niedermeyer selected 6 out of the 16 quatrains of this long poem: the first 4, then the 13th and the 16th. This poem was also set to music by Alain Jacques who selected the quatrains 1, 2 and 5 in a first section, then the quatrains 6 and 9 in a second section, and to finish the quatrains 13 and 16 in the last section. Translation (AJ):

Thus, always pushed towards new shores, In the eternal night carried without return, Will we ever be able, on the ocean of the ages, To cast anchor one single day?

Oh lake! The year has scarcely ended its course Than near the cherished waters she was to revisit, Behold, I come alone to sit on this stone Where you have seen her sit.

As you roared beneath these deep rocks, As you smashed your waters against their torn sides, So the wind threw the foams of your waves Onto her beloved feet.

One night, do you remember? As we cruised along silently, One heard from afar, on the water and under the skies, Only the sound of rowers who struck in rhythm Your harmonious waters.

Oh lake, mute stones, grottoes, forest obscure! You that time spares or can rejuvenate, Will you keep of this night, fair nature, At least its souvenir?

May the wind that moans, the reed that sighs, May the light scents of thy balmy air, May all that we hear, see or breathe, All say: "They have loved!"

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