Chorus Day – Dirait-On

Tonight, I’m going to share one of my favorite chorus songs ever, Morten Laurisden‘s setting of Dirait-On, a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke. The Women’s Glee Club sang this with the Men’s Glee Club for our Spring 2004 concert. I was singing Alto.

Dirait-On is near the top of my list of all-time favorite songs, even beyond choir.

Here’s another nice performance (couldn’t decide which video I liked best so I’m posting both):

Dirait-On is actually the last song in a 5-song cycle called Les Chansons des Roses, based on a longer poem about roses by Rilke.

Whenever I stroll through places like the Morcom Rose Garden in Oakland, I want to listen to this song. It really affects me on a deep level. It makes me think of early evening walks in beautiful landscapes in the spring and summer; just being in and enjoying nature.

Morcom Rose Garden. Taken during an afternoon stroll in May 2012.
Morcom Rose Garden. Taken during an afternoon stroll in May 2012.

It’s super important to me that I hear and savor the opening piano note (F) when I listen to this song. I have no idea why, but that F really sets the tone and feel. If I feel like I haven’t “heard” (and felt) it properly, I’ll keep restarting it til I’m satisfied. I’m particular about my favorite song. 🙂

Abandon entouré d’abandon,
tendresse touchant aux tendresses…
C’est ton intérieur qui sans cesse
se caresse, dirait-on;
se caresse en soi-mĂŞme,
par son propre reflet éclairé.
Ainsi tu inventes le thème
du Narcisse exaucé.

English translation:

Abandon surrounding abandon,
Tenderness touching tenderness…
Your oneness endlessly
Caresses itself, so they say;
Self-caressing
through its own clear reflection.
Thus you invent the theme
of Narcissus fulfilled.

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