Weekly Video #3

Jonas Kaufmann sings ‘Pourqoui me réveiller’ from Massenet’s Werther.

Now, I’m not usually a Massenet fan but even I have to admit that this aria is incredibly beautiful. And no more so than when sung by the wonderful (and handsome 😉 ) Jonas Kaufmann. In this scene, the poet Werther returns to his love Charlotte, who is married to Albert but secretly loves Werther anyway. In this aria, he reads her a poem in which the poet foresees his death. She begs him to stop but then refuses to leave her husband. For the rest of the story go here. With Sophie Koch.

The lyrics and translation:

Ah!  Bien souvent mon rêve s’envole 		Ah! How often my dream takes flight
Sur l’aile de ces vers, 			On the wing of these verses, 
et c’est toi, cher poète			and it’s you, dear poet,
qui, bien plutôt, était mon interprète! 	who, quite soon, was my interpreter!
Toute mon âme est là! 				All  my soul  is there!

"Pourquoi me réveiller, ô souffle du printemps?	"Why awaken me, oh breath of spring?
Pourquoi me réveiller? 				Why awaken me?
Sur mon front, je sens tes caresses 		On my brow, I feel your caresses,
Et pourtant bien proche est le temps 		and yet, very close is the time
des orages et des tristesses! 			of storms and of sorrows!
"Pourquoi me réveiller, ô souffle du printemps? "Why awaken me, oh breath of spring?
Demain dans le vallon viendra le voyageur, 	Tomorrow in the valley will come the voyager,
Se souvenant de ma gloire première. 		Remembering my first glory.
Et ses yeux vainement chercheront ma splendor, 	and his eyes vainly will seek my splendor,
Ils ne trouveront plus que deuil et que misère!	They will find only mourning and suffering!
Hélas!  					Alas!  
"Pourquoi me réveiller, ô souffle du printemps?	"Why awaken me, oh breath of spring?
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