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RC 97 Puisque l’aube grandit

text source

Paul Verlaine, La bonne chanson (Paris: Vanier 1891), 8-10

first performance

1909-11-23 00:00:00.0 Amsterdam, Concertgebouw

recordings

  • Anniversary Edition 6 Et'cetera KTC 1435 CD6

publications

  • Complete Songs for Solo Voice and Piano Vol. 4 Donemus / Alphons Diepenbrock Fonds 22417717
  • Diepenbrock Album B/M Vol. I
  • Diepenbrock Album T/S Vol. II
  • Puisque l’aube grandit Noske, A.A. 2814857
  • Puisque l’aube grandit Noske, A.A. 2814857

  • Puisque l’aube grandit
  • Verlaine, Paul
  • mezzo-soprano (or baritone) and piano
  • 1909-06-20 00:00:00.0 - 1909-07-19 00:00:00.0
  • duration 6:30

Puisque l’aube grandit (Since Dawn Awoke) is the fourth song Diepenbrock wrote on a text by Paul Verlaine. The poem is from the collection La bonne chanson (The Good Song) that had been given to Diepenbrock, together with eight other Verlaine editions, by his friend W.G. Hondius van den Broek on 19 June 1908. The composer did not mention in his correspondence why he chose this specific poem. The only thing he wrote was: It is a peculiar poem […] but its opening words are so beautiful. (BD VI:128) Presumably Diepenbrock – who was frequently troubled by doubts and melancholic feelings himself – was attracted by the cheerful vitality and optimism the text expresses. At the break of day Verlaine ruefully bans all dire thoughts and dispels his bad dreams. From now on, together with a new lover who has brought light and clarity, he wants to follow a straight path through life, without being hindered by obstacles and setbacks. …more >

Puisque l'aube grandit (incipit)


Puisque l’aube grandit (Since Dawn Awoke) is the fourth song Diepenbrock wrote on a text by Paul Verlaine. The poem is from the collection La bonne chanson (The Good Song) that had been given to Diepenbrock, together with eight other Verlaine editions, by his friend W.G. Hondius van den Broek on 19 June 1908. The composer did not mention in his correspondence why he chose this specific poem. The only thing he wrote was: It is a peculiar poem […] but its opening words are so beautiful. (BD VI:128) Presumably Diepenbrock – who was frequently troubled by doubts and melancholic feelings himself – was attracted by the cheerful vitality and optimism the text expresses. At the break of day Verlaine ruefully bans all dire thoughts and dispels his bad dreams. From now on, together with a new lover who has brought light and clarity, he wants to follow a straight path through life, without being hindered by obstacles and setbacks.

Diepenbrock turned Verlaine’s grand verses of twelve and thirteen syllables into a captivating song with long climaxes, great dynamic nuances and a frequent use of punctuated rhythms. Diepenbrock’s setting of the strophe in which the poet puts an end to his vindictive aggression and renounces the search for oblivion in drinking sprees, is remarkably strong, not in the least because of the independence of the piano part with a contrary rhythm in the bass.

The changes of key in this song are functional. In the fourth strophe, in which the reason for the drastic transformation is given (“Car je veux, maintenant q’un Être de lumière” – For it is my wish now that a Being of light), the key of A-flat major forms a strong contrast to the preceding key of A major, as well as to the following key of D major, the main key of the song. Amidst chord progressions based on the circle of fifths, there are two thirds relationships here, resulting in the succession of A-flat, E6, A with added sixth, D9, G, E-flat6, a-flat minor with added sixth, D-flat9, G-flat, g half diminished. Meanwhile, like so often in Diepenbrock’s songs, the piano ‘sings’ a melody of its own. The septuplet that is used, is characteristic of the rhythmic flexibility Diepenbrock aimed for in his complete oeuvre.

Commission, premiere and printed edition

The song was written for and has been dedicated to the French mezzo-soprano Julie Cahen, the wife of the principal cellist of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Gérard Hekking (1879-1942), who for some time called himself Hekking-Denancy after the town of Nancy where he was born. In June 1908 the Diepenbrocks had welcomed Hekking and his wife in their home, where Julie enthusiastically sang Les chats (The Cats, RC 68). Diepenbrock called her “an excellent singer, a true French declaimer”. (BD VI:128) Together with Evert Cornelis, she premiered Puisque l’aube grandit and Mandoline (Mandolin, RC 99) – which is also dedicated to her – in the Recital Hall of the Concertgebouw on 23 November 1909. However, as the singer was not feeling well, the performance fell short of expectations. (BD VI:178) Half a year later Diepenbrock also showed the song to Gerard Zalsman. It immediately appealed to him, as we can read in the diary of Elisabeth Diepenbrock: Yesterday evening Zalsman sang Puisque l’aube grandit here very beautifully and it sounded surprisingly captivating by a man, while we had only heard it by Mrs Hekking. (BD VI:294)

On 5 October 1910 the song was published by A.A. Noske, together with Diepenbrock’s Recueillement (Contemplation, RC 79) and Der Abend (The Evening, RC 90). Zalsman was one of the people to receive a presentation copy from Diepenbrock. He regularly sang the work at song recitals.

The Hungarian alto/mezzo-soprano Ilona Durigo (1881-1943) played an important role in the performance history of Puisque l’aube grandit. On 14 October 1911 she premiered Die Nacht (The Night, RC 106) under Willem Mengelberg. At the matinee the following day the piece was played again, this time conducted by Evert Cornelis (1884-1931). That evening Durigo sang Mandoline and Puisque l’aube grandit prima vista, accompanied by Diepenbrock at the composer’s home. She really impressed Diepenbrock, especially with the latter song: She sings that song with an incredible passion, and carries me away so much that I play it very well, something I am not capable of otherwise either. Durigo included both songs in her repertory.

In July 1916 Diepenbrock orchestrated Puisque l’aube grandit (see RC 130).

Ton Braas



Puisque l'aube grandit

Puisque l'aube grandit, puisque voici l'aurore,
Puisque, après m'avoir fui longtemps, l'espoir veut bien
Revoler devers moi qui l'appelle et l'implore,
Puisque tout ce bonheur veut bien être le mien,

C'en est fait à présent des funestes pensées,
C'en est fait des mauvais rêves, ah ! c'en est fait
Surtout de l'ironie et des lèvres pincées
Et des mots où l'esprit sans l'âme triomphait.

Arrière aussi les poings crispés et la colère
A propos des méchants et des sots rencontrés ;
Arrière la rancune abominable ! arrière
L'oubli qu'on cherche en des breuvages exécrés !

Car je veux, maintenant qu'un Être de lumière
A dans ma nuit profonde émis cette clarté
D'une amour à la fois immortelle et première,
De par la grâce, le sourire et la bonté,

Je veux, guidé par vous, beaux yeux aux flammes douces,
Par toi conduit, ô main où tremblera ma main,
Marcher droit, que ce soit par des sentiers de mousses
Ou que rocs et cailloux encombrent le chemin ;

Oui, je veux marcher droit et calme dans la Vie,
Vers le but où le sort dirigera mes pas,
Sans violence, sans remords et sans envie :
Ce sera le devoir heureux aux gais combats.

Et comme, pour bercer les lenteurs de la route,
Je chanterai des airs ingénus, je me dis
Qu'elle m'écoutera sans déplaisir sans doute ;
Et vraiment je ne veux pas d'autre Paradis.

 

Since Dawn Awoke...

Since dawn awoke and sunrise now is here,
Since having flown so long hope turns at last
And flies toward me who called through all the year;
Since all this joy is mine, and sorrow past, —

O let me now forget the bitter thought,
The evil dreams, be they forever gone.
The irony my scornful lips had caught,
The cruel words my spirit dwelt upon.

Away with fist tight-clenched and anger's sway
That rose against the fools we daily pass;
Away with spite abominable — away
Forgetfulness found in the fateful glass!

For 't is my wish — now that a Soul of light
Has in my night profound thrown its soft rays
Of early love, immortal as 'tis bright,
By favor of her smiles and graceful ways, —

It is my wish, such light her fair eye hath,
But to be led by her, what e'er forebodes;
To walk upright along the mossy path
When rocks and gravel strew the beaten roads.

I wish to walk straightforward now through Life,
My task in view, nor stepping once aside;
Without remorse or envy, without strife,
Nor fearing aught, with Her close at my side.

And I will sing my songs along the route —
To shorten the rough road they will suffice.
She, too, will listen, pleased without a doubt,
And truly this will be my Paradise.

(transl. Bergen Applegate)

 


  • A-57(1) Puisque l’aube grandit

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10

    A-57(1) dated on the last page 28 Juli 1909 and with dedication A Madame Julie Hekking-Denancy

    • 1909-07-28 00:00:00.0
    • dedication: A Madame Julie Hekking-Denancy
    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: 10
  • A-34(3) Puisque l'aube grandit

    A-34(3) dated on the first and last pages 19 Juli 1909 and with dedication A Madame Julie Hekking-Denancy

    • 1909-07-19 00:00:00.0
    • dedication: A Madame Julie Hekking-Denancy
    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: unknown
  • A-70(3) Puisque l’aube grandit

    semi-autograph A-70(3) dated on the first page 1909

    • 1909-01-01 00:00:00.0 – 1909-12-31 00:00:00.0
    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: unknown
  • A-81(2) Puisque l’aube grandit

    semi-autograph A-81(2) dated on the first page 1909

    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: unknown
  • C-10(25-43) Puisque l’aube grandit

    C-10(p25-43) dated on the first page 20 Juni 1909 and further dates 3, 11 and 16 July

    • 1909-06-20 00:00:00.0 – 1909-07-16 00:00:00.0
    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: unknown
  • MN 554-1 Puisque l’aube grandit, Druckvorlage

    semi-autograph in MN 554 (NMI, archive A.A. Noske), used as Druckvorlage

    • location: Nederlands Muziek Instituut, Noske Archive
    • pages: unknown

  • click to enlarge

    Anniversary Edition 6

    cd Et'cetera KTC 1435 CD6
    Alexander, Roberta ♦ Jansen, Rudolf ♦ Nes, Jard van ♦ Holl, Robert ♦ Prégardien, Christoph ♦ Pfeiler, Christa ♦ Doeselaar, Leo van ♦ McFadden, Claron ♦ Ameling, Elly ♦ Meer, Richte van der ♦ Baldwin, Dalton

    Tracks: 1 = RC 79; 2 = RC 68; 3 = RC 117; 4 = 97; 5 = RC 132; 6 = RC 104; 7 = RC 111; 8 = RC 43; 9 = RC 99; 10 = RC 138; 11 = RC 137; 12 = RC 4; 13 = RC 15; 14 = RC 14; 15 = RC 13; 16 = RC 51

  • Complete Songs for Solo Voice and Piano Vol. 4

    1993 Donemus / Alphons Diepenbrock Fonds Braas, Ton
  • Diepenbrock Album B/M Vol. I

    1952 Reeser, Eduard
  • Diepenbrock Album T/S Vol. II

    1960 Reeser, Eduard
  • Puisque l’aube grandit

    1910 Noske, A.A.
  • Puisque l’aube grandit

    1917 Noske, A.A.

23 nov 1909: Eerste uitvoering van Mandoline en Puisque l'aube grandit door Julie Hekking en Evert Cornelis in de Kleine Zaal van het Concertgebouw. Voorts worden uitgevoerd Écoutez la chanson bien douce en liederen van Fauré, Chausson, Duparc, Franck, Debussy, Chabrier, Bruneau en een aantal volksliederen. De drie liederen van Diepenbrock vormen het laatste nummer voor de pauze.

O, ware ik dichter, vlug improviseerend dichter, gelijk die bestonden in de historie der in liefde bloeiende Kamers van rhetorica of in levensbe­schrijvingen van Da Costa of Willem de Clercq of Laurillard, die in fraaie reeksen rijmende verzen op slag zeggen konden, wat hun uit 't hart, althans van de tong moest – ik zou al de woorden bezigen die me nu invallen, Fransch gekleurde (want we hadden 'n avond vol Fransche liederen!) deli­caat en charmant, languissant en puur, apart, subtiel en mysterieus, harmo­nieus, exquis, populair, rose, extast... Die zouden, in gelid gezet, 'n eleganten aanval moeten doen op mevrouw Julie Hekking, om haar te bewegen toch vooral niet mooie zinnetjes te verlangen in ruil voor haar urenlang bekoren met de gratie harer verschijning, de expressie harer weemoedsoogen, de suggestieve kracht van haar breeden lach, en met haar zangtoon, zoo levend, zoo diep en week soms, en zoo ver... Haar eigen, allereigenste zangvoordracht, in de schoonste poëzieën, waar geen klank, geen klankkleurtje van te loor ging voor onze brave Hollandsche ooren. — Namen van dichters kan ik u noemen: Paul Verlaine, Leconte de Lisle, Baudelaire, Reboul, Rostand, Catulle Mendès. Namen van toondichters met hen: Fauré, Diepenbrock, Chausson, Duparc, Franck, Debussy, Chabrier, Bru­neau... Maar wat 't interessantst of 't innigst, 't onbeduidendst of wonder­baarlijkst van inspiratie en vinding ons scheen, en wat mevrouw Hekking, die een artieste is van echt bloed en onbesmet Fransch karakter, 't zorg­zaamst groeien en bloeien deed, in dezen kunstvol aangelegden tuin; of waar zij minder sterk was in haar beelding, waar 't geestigst – ik kan 't u niet zoo maar omschrijven, noch 'n indruk u ervan geven in de taal, passend bij de verfijnde uitingen van het moderne lied!

Algemeen Handelsblad (S.Z. [= W.N.F. Sibmacher Zijnen]), 24 november 1909

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