July 2: Boulanger – Hymne au Soleil, 2016

Jon CurtisSeason of the Day, SOTD - July

The younger sister of noted composer and composition teacher Nadia Boulanger, Lili Boulanger was a child prodigy who studied with Gabriel Fauré. She was the first female composer to win the distinguished Prix de Rome in music.  The soloist was Elisabeth Zurlinden (see below).

Poem by Casimer Delavigne

Du soleil qui renait benissons la puissance. Avec tout l’univers celebrons son retour. Couronne de splendeur, il se leve, il s’elance. Le reveil de la terre est un hymne d’amour. Sept coursiers qu’en partant le Dieu contient a peine, Enflamment l’horizon de leur brulante haleine. O soleil fecond, tu parais! Avec ses champs en fleurs, ses monts, ses bois epais, La vaste mer de tes feux embrasee, L’univers plus jeune et plus frais, Des vapeurs de matin sont brillants de rosee.

Let us bless the power of the reborn sun. With all the universe let us celebrate its return. Crowned with splendor, it rises, it soars. The waking of the earth is a hymn of love. Seven rushing steeds that the God scarcely holds back ignite the horizon with their scorching breath. Oh, vivid sun, you appear! With its fields in bloom, its mountains, its thick forests, the vast sea set ablaze by your fires, the universe, younger and fresher, With morning vapors are glistening with dew.

This was to be Elisabeth Zurlinden’s only solo with Consort.  She passed away unexpectedly the following year.  Here is a copy of the dedication to her, and two singer spouses, in the 2017 program.