Last night I heard a beautiful piece-Chanson Triste, composed by Henri Du Parc in 1868. It was written for piano and voice (without words, though), but last night I heard it performed on cello and piano, by unknown artists and of unknown origin. It’s something I wouldn’t mind playing when taking a left turn in a certain burgundy Valiant…
Has anyone out there heard this piece done in cello and piano? I can only seem to find orchestral versions, or piano and voice, or worse-some lousy bullshit by Tchaikovsky. As the song suggests, I am sad. Only, however, because I cannot find the version I desire.
I’ve learned quite a bit about Henri, his predilection for hamsters and olive oil and this, his first piece and that’s all well and good, but I really just want a recording of it in cello and piano, especially not in voice as that addition seems to change the character of the piano in every version I’ve found. Pianists must react differently to voice accompaniment than to another instrument. The piece was married to several lyrics as I understand it, but this poem from L'Illusion, published in 1875 by Jean Lahor seems to be the accepted combination:
Moonlight slumbers in your heart
Moonlight slumbers in your heart,
A gentle summer moonlight,
And to escape the cares of life
I shall drown myself in your light.
I shall forget past sorrows,
My sweet, when you cradle
My sad heart and my thoughts
In the loving calm of your arms.
You will rest my poor head,
Ah! sometimes on your lap,
And recite to it a ballad
That will seem to speak of us;
And from your eyes full of sorrow,
From your eyes I shall then drink
So many kisses and so much love
That perhaps I shall be healed.
I don’t especially like this translation from the French, but cannot find a full translation of my preferred version where the second stanza, line 4 reads;
In the tender calm of your arms
and the final stanza, third line;
So many kisses and tenderness
Which, in keeping with the rest of the poem, merely paints a portrait of love, or what may seem to be for one whose life is in turmoil and seeks comfort in the arms of another; allowing us to draw our own conclusions-but that’s just me and I occasionally listen to The Butthole Surfers, so what do I know?
Anyway, this happens to be the best rendition I can find. The piano isn’t quite right, but the woman has a wonderful voice, dammit.