David Warin Solomons’ Music Catalogue


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Sagesse  and Après Paul


for alto and guitar

Download mp3 of Sagesse

Story behind the piece:

Verlaine is in his prison cell looking out through the high window and listening to the bells and birdsong outside. He asks himself: "what have you done with your lost young years?"

Verlaine's poem, and singing translation by the composer.

Le ciel est par dessus le toit si bleu si calme

un arbre par dessus le toit berce sa palme

la cloche dans le ciel qu'on voit

doucement tinte

un oiseau sur l'arbre qu'on voit

chante sa plainte.

Mon Dieu mon Dieu, la vie est là, simple et tranquille.

Cette paisible rumeur là vient de la ville.

Qu'as-tu fait, oh toi que voilà

pleurant sans cesse,

dis, qu'as-tu fait de ta jeunesse?  

The sky above the eaves is blue, is blue and calm

a tree in spreading leaves sways its arms

the churchbell in the sky

softly rings

a bird perched in the tree

bitter sweet sings.

My God, true life is there

simple serene!

Far away gentle bustle of the town scene.

Oh what have you done, consumed by tears,

say what have you done

with your young years?

Sample page of Sagesse (pdf)

There are also version for flute and guitar and for flute and harp:

Scores of all versions are available from Musik Fabrik:

Version for voice and guitar

Version for flute and guitar

Version for flute and harp

Sagesse was also the inspiration for a recorder quartet, using the same melody, called Après Paul  

also published by Musik Fabrik (score available here)

Après Paul has been performed by the recorder quartet X-tet;  you can hear them play it here (mp3).

Sample page of Après Paul (pdf)

************************************** Video of Sagesse

Back to instrumental main page

Back to  recorders main page

Video of 2015 performance of the version for flute and guiitar