Music & Theatre

Si mes vers avaient des ailes

My first year of grad school at #NYU is done :-0  While I’m ready for a rest, I’m also sad for most of my courses to be over! My voice jury was yesterday (it went well!) and I began it with this piece, which I hope you enjoy hearing!

Music is by Reynaldo Hahn, poetry by Victor Hugo, and my accompaniment is from Free Pianist. You can also download my version for free 🙂 

One trick with art songs/poetic lyrics is that you don’t have outside context and often the lyrics aren’t the way you would naturally speak – so interpretation can be harder than with something from a book musical or opera.

I decided to base my story/circumstance for this piece on the Héloise and Abelard love story (if you’re not familiar with that, here’s a nice synopsis). I imagined Héloise may have sung it after she and Pierre were separated and before she decided to continue their forbidden relationship through correspondence (and that this song is what ultimately spurred her to write to him). I hope you enjoy that take!

Here's a great translation by Richard Stokes:
My verses would flee, sweet and frail,
To your garden so fair,
If my verses had wings,
Like a bird.

They would fly, like sparks,
To your smiling hearth,
If my verses had wings,
Like the mind.

Pure and faithful, to your side
They’d hasten night and day,
If my verses had wings,
Like love!

Thank you, as always, for watching this #WeeklyWednesday! I hope it finds you well – and I look forward to seeing you next week 🙂