Sunday, September 13, 2009

Being Inspired by Others

The Pearl Fischers' Duet
Music by George Bizet
Libretto by Michel Carré and Eugène Cormon

It was in the evening!
In the air cooled by a breeze,
The brahmanes with faces flooded with light,
Slowly called the crowd to prayer!

At the back of the holy temple,
decorated with flowers and gold,
A woman appears!

A woman appears!

I can still see her!

I can still see her!

The prostrate crowd
looks at her amazed
and murmurs under its breath:
look, this is the goddess
looming up in the shadow
and holding out her arms to us.

Her veil parts slightly.
What a vision! What a dream!
The crowd is kneeling.

Yes, it is she!
It is the goddess,
more charming and more beautiful.
Yes, it is she!
It is the goddess
who has come down among us.
Her veil has parted and the crowd is kneeling.

But through the crowd
she makes her way.

Already her long veil
hides her face from us.

My eyes, alas!
Seek her in vain!

She flees!

She flees!
But what is this strange flame
which is suddenly kindled in my soul!

What unknown fire is destroying me?

Your hand pushes mine away!

Your hand pushes mine away!

Love takes our hearts by storm
and turns us into enemies!

No, let nothing part us!

No, nothing!

Let nothing part us!

No, nothing!

Let us swear to remain friends!

Let us swear to remain friends!

Let us swear to remain friends!

Oh yes, let us swear to remain friends!
Yes, it is her, the goddess,
who comes to unite us this day.
And, faithful to my promise,
I wish to cherish you like a brother!
It is her, the goddess,
who comes to unite us this day!
Yes, let us share the same fate,
let us be united until death!


Marion said...

Judith, this is so beautiful it made me cry...and the words are just so amazing. Thank for for sharing this and brightening my rainy Sunday morning. Blessings!

Judith Ellis said...

Oh, Marion, I am so very happy this duet brightened your day. It is among my very favorites. I used to sit in the Library at Lincoln Center and listen to record after record.

I love the passion and phrasing of the older singers. Lilli Lehmann, Lauritz Melchior, Bidu Sayo, Beniamino Gigli, Kirsten Flagstad are among my favorites, not to mention the two just posted.

I too wept listening and following the libretto at the library. I had just graduated college and amassed a rather large collection of CDs and opera scores myself. But I had not heard many of these singers in various roles. Wow!

Among my favorite conductors is Arturo Toscanini.

wmmbb said...

Enjoyed the Pearl Fishers, Judith. Thanks for the lyrics.

Did you hear Susan Boyle's version of Wild Horses? I suspect she is getting good advice. Does this song change your mind?

Judith Ellis said...

Glad you enjoyed it, wmmbb. Haven't heard Boyle since that one time but I doubt that anything she sings will change my mind. But sometimes I'm surprised about singers, though rarely. She has a nice voice that does very little for me in tone and passion. But, hey, miracles do happen. :-) I wish her the very best.

Judith Ellis said...

Nice, wmmbb.

septembermom said...

Very touching! I really enjoyed this song. Their talent is remarkable. How wonderful it must have been to sit in the library and immerse yourself in this liberating and fulfilling music. Thanks for sharing Judith.

Judith Ellis said...

Pleasure, Kelly. That experience was unforgettable. I also watched video after video and still after still of dance including Balanchine, Nijinsky, Ailey, Duncan, Kirkland, Villella, Jamison and so many more. Often sitting not too far was the great choreographer, Jerome Robbins.