Le Lac (Saint-Saëns / Lamartine)

The Lake

By: Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)
For: Voice + keyboard
page one of Le Lac (Saint-Saëns / Lamartine)

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Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)
Year of composition
Alphonse de Lamartine (1790-1869)
Difficult (Grades 7+)
4 minutes
Classical music
License details
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This long poem by Lamartine has 16 stanzas –of which Saint-Saëns selected the following seven: 4-8, 13 & 16. This poem has also been set to music by Niedermeyer, Gabriel Marcel and Alain Jacques. Alain Jacques selected 8 stanzas: 1-2, 4-6, 9, 13 & 16. An English translation is also provided in Alain Jacques’ setting. But Lamartine’s commented in 1849 on the various settings of this poem:: "I have always thought that music and poety are harmful to each other when associating. They are both complex arts: music carries in itself its feeling, beautiful verses carry in themselves their melody. " ["j’ai toujours pensé que la musique et la poésie se nuisaient en s’associant. Elles sont l’une et l’autre des arts complets : la musique porte en elle son sentiment, de beaux vers portent en eux leur mélodie."]

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