Clair de Lune

TEXT
Au clair de la lune, Tonight by the moonlight,
Mon ami Pierrot, Pierrot, my dear friend
Prête-moi ta plume A note I would soon write,
Pour écrire un mot. If a pen you'd lend.
Ma chandelle est morte, Burnt out is my candle,
Je n'ai plus de feu. and my fire is cold
Ouvre-moi ta porte unlock your door handle
Pour l'amour de Dieu! for God's love of old.
 
Au clair de la lune, In the moonlight bright then,
Pierrot répondit: Pierrot answered me:
Je n'ai pas de plume, I do not have a pen,
Je suis dans mon lit. I'm in bed, you see.
Va chez la voisine, Go next door, the neighbor
Je crois qu'elle y est. does not yet retire,
Car dans sa cuisine. In the Kitchen labors
On bat le briquet. Someone at the fire.
 
Au clair de la lune, By the moonlight bright then,
L'aimable Arlequin This fool went and knocked
Frappa chez la brune, At the brunettes door, when.
Qui répond soudain: Through the door she asked
Qui frapp' de la sorte? Who is knocking now, here?
Il dit à son tour: In return he spoke:
Ouvrez votre porte, Open up your door dear,
Pour le dieu d'amour. For the love of God.
 
Au clair de la lune, Only by the moonlight
On n'y voitque peu; Not much can be told.
On chercha la plume They search for a pen now
On chercha le feu. Then the fire behold.
Cherchant de la sorte Searching this and that way
Ne sais c'qu'on trouva; Who knows what they'll find.
Mais je sais qu'la porte This much tho' I can say,
Sur eux se ferma They closed the door behind

 

Pierre Jalbert

Performer and production credits:
Karol Bennett, soprano; Leone Buyse, flute; Hannah Holman, cello; Susan Oltsman Koozin, narrator; Tricia Park, violin; Rod Waters, piano; Michael Webster, clarinet; Blake Wilkins, percussion.
Bill Klemm, videographer and editor; Kate Dawson, director.


Composer Pierre Jalbert writes: "The French Folk Melody Au Clair de la Lune (In Shining Moonlight) is generally attributed to Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687), one of the most famous French composers of the Baroque period. He served as Court Composer to King Louis XIV of France for much of his life and composed many operas, instrumental music and religious music.

The song is presented here in two versions. The first, an arrangement by Ferdnand de la Tombelle, is a more subdued, 'classical' version of the song. The second is an arrangement by me; a more animated, rollicking version that one might hear at a French family gathering."

Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687) was born in Florence. He moved to Paris in 1646 at the invitation of the Chevalier de Guise. In 1653 his success as a court composer resulted in his appointment as King Louis XIV's official composer of instrumental music. Lully's accomplishments included collaborations with the great French playwright Moliére and a series of early French operas. He eventually became France's most celebrated musician. He died a particularly unfortunate death. He conducted using a large staff, which he used to beat time. At a performance in 1687, he accidentally struck his foot. Gangrene set in, and he died three months later.

 

 

Fernand de la Tombelle

Performer and production credits:
Karol Bennett, soprano; Leone Buyse, flute; Hannah Holman, cello; Susan Oltsman Koozin, narrator; Tricia Park, violin; Rod Waters, piano; Michael Webster, clarinet; Blake Wilkins, percussion.
Bill Klemm, videographer and editor; Kate Dawson, director.


Fernand de la Tombelle (1854- 1928) was born in Paris. A Baron and true Renaissance man, he was a poet, artist, composer skillful organist, philosopher and scientist. Although he achieved considerable renown in France during his lifetime, his music is now largely forgotten.

FOR FURTHER STUDY
Benjamin Britten: Folk Song Arrangements - Naxos 8557220-21
Aaron Copland: Old American Songs - Sony 424301
Gyorgy Ligeti: A Cappella Choral Works - Sony 62305
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