My Story

I am deeply interested in religion, politics, current events, history, musical theater and books! I left the LDS church a couple years ago and have spent a lot of time since then thinking and considering various religious influences in my life and in the lives of those around me. For more information on why I left the LDS church, look here. I also love to sing, act, dance (tap preferably) and perform on stage whenever possible.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Understanding

I have been part of The Sterling Singers (a local choir) for several years now and currently we are preparing for a concert that will feature many of the great classical composers. The songs are in various languages: English, Italian, German, Latin and French. We have spent many hours in rehearsal working on the French piece specifically. The piece is Cantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11. by Gabriel Faure. Our director has painstakingly made sure that we are getting the proper pouty lips to pronounce the phrases correctly (one of my favorites being, Répands sur nous le feu de which for me translates to ray paw suhr new luh fuh duh tuh). I have personally spent so much time worrying about the French pronunciation that I haven't even bothered to look up the English translations to know what, exactly, it was I was singing about.

Tonight, I attended rehearsal feeling a bit weighed down in thought and spirit. However, as we sang this song, I suddenly had an understanding of what it was I was singing about and deeply related to the message therein. I didn't have any real knowledge of what the translation was (I actually had to ask a neighbor to confirm my feelings) but I felt the meaning so keenly just through the music and the feelings it stirred inside of me.

Below is the French text of the song followed by the English translation. I am always amazed at the ability music has to teach and help us to understand even if we cannot possibly understand the exact meaning. Through this beautiful piece of music, my soul was comforted and some peace restored on this otherwise stormy evening. Thank you, Gabriel Faure.

Verbe,égal au Très-Haut, notre unique espèrance,
Jour éternel de la terre et des cieux;
De la paisible nuit nous rompons le silence,
Divin Sauveur, jette sur nous les yeux!

Répands sur nous le feu de ta grâce puissante,
Que tout l’enfer fuie au son de ta voix;
Dissipe le sommeil d’une âme languissante,
Qui la conduit à l’oubli de tes lois!

O Christ soit favorable à ce peuple fidèle
Pour te bénir maintenant rassemblé.
Reçois les chants qu’il offre à ta gloire immortelle,
Et de tes dons qu’il retourne comblé!


Word, equal to the Almighty, our only hope,
Eternal light of the earth and the Heavens;
We break the peaceful night’s silence,
Divine Saviour, cast your eyes upon us!
Spread the fire of your mighty grace upon us
May the entire hell flee at the sound of your voice;
Disperse from any slothful soul the drowsiness
Inducing it to forget your laws!
Oh Christ, look with favour upon this faithful people
Which has now gathered to bless you.
Receive its singing, offered to your immortal glory,
And may it leave with the gifts you have bestowed upon it!

2 comments:

musicgirljen said...

This has been one of my favorite choral pieces ever since I sang it in high school. But I never knew the translation... The song is now that much more beautiful. Thank you for sharing. :)

Oliver family said...

I believe in music. It transcends all boundaries and touches all souls, regardless of background, race, religion, creed, etc. Maybe that's why music is one of my passions.