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Pauline Viardot: Divin Sommeil! (1890)

Updated: Dec 27, 2020

Pauline Viardot (1821-1910)

soprano Elissa Alvarez

pianist Eunmi Ko

Written by the generously talented and revered (while still not yet fully recorded) singer, pianist, educator, host, polyglot, and composer Pauline Viardot (née García), this late song depicts the tender and miraculous slumber and awakening of the infant Jesus. The static voice line mirrors his sleeping, and rises dramatically with the piano at the end as his attention arrives on his holy mother and reverberates through the world.

English Translation:

Now Jesus slept

Laid on a swaddle,

The virgin watched over him

And an angel on the wing

Acted as curtain

Hanging over his head.

At his feet a lamb

A sweet and shy beast,

Waited, confident

his master awakes.

And smiling Jesus

With lips ruddy,

Finally opened his eyes

which he turned to his mother,

And the night sky

Gave way to the light.


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