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Harmonie du soir • Evening
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The English version presented below is a literal, word-for-word translation. It attempts to preserve the poet's word order as far as possible, for a better appreciation of the composer's musical treatment of individual words and phrases. Download track from iTunes. Corinne Orde & Jonathan Cohen - Fauré & Debussy: Bonne Chanson, Belle Époque


Voici venir les temps où vibrant sur sa tige,
Chaque fleur s’évapore ainsi qu’un encensoir;
Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l’air du soir,
Valse mélancolique et langoureux vertige.

 

Chaque fleur s’évapore ainsi qu’un encensoir,
Le violon frémit comme un coeur qu’on afflige,
Valse mélancolique et langoureux vertige,
Le ciel est triste et beau comme un grand reposoir;

 

Le violon frémit comme un coeur qu’on afflige,
Un coeur tendre, qui hait le néant vaste et noir!
Le ciel est triste et beau comme un grand reposoir;
Le soleil s’est noyé dans son sang qui se fige...

 

Un coeur tendre, qui hait le néant vaste et noir,
Du passé lumineux recueille tout vestige.
Le soleil s’est noyé dans son sang qui se fige,
Ton souvenir en moi luit comme un ostensoir.

 

Charles Baudelaire


Here come the times when, quivering on its stem,
Each flower gives off fragrance like a censer;
the sounds and perfumes swirl in the evening air,
A melancholy waltz and a languid dizziness!

 

Each flower gives off fragrance like a censer;
The violin trembles like a heart that is troubled,
A melancholy waltz and a languid dizziness!
The sky is sad and beautiful like a vast repository.

 

The violin trembles like a heart that is troubled
A tender heart, which hates the void that is vast and dark!
The sky is sad and beautiful like a vast repository;
The sun has drowned in its own congealing blood.

 

A tender heart, which hates the void that is vast and dark,
From the luminous past it gathers every vestige.
The sun has drowned in its own congealing blood,
the memory of you shines in me like a monstrance.

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