On ‘Fleurs’ by Carolyn Sampson and Joseph Middleton

Today I had the pleasure of experiencing a lovely recital of the new repertoire by Carolyn Sampson and Joseph Middleton in Conway Hall.

The highlight for me was to hear two poems that I love performed beautifully. I would like to share their English translation with you here.

First, ‘The Nightingale and the Rose’ by Aleksandr Pushkin:

‘In the silence of the gardens, in the spring, in the darkness of the nights

An eastern nightingale sings over a rose.

But the dear rose does not feel, pays no heed,

And it swings and slumbers to the amorous hymn.

Are you not singing for a cold beauty?

Come to your senses, o poet, to what are you aspiring?

She does not listen, does not feel the poet;

You see, she blooms; you beseech – there is no answer.’

.

.

Second, ‘The Flower and the Butterfly’ by Victor Hugo:

‘The poor flower kept saying to the airborne butterfly:

‘Don’t fly away!

Our destinies are different: I stay put, you travel!

Yet we love one another, we live without human beings, 

Remote from them;

And we resemble one another – some say that both of us are flowers.

But alas! the breeze carries you off, while the earth ties me down –

What a cruel fate!

I would like my breath to perfume your flight in the sky!

You go, then you come back, they fly off again to shine elsewhere

So every morning you find me

Bathed in tears!

Ah please, so that our love may glide along faithfully

take root like me – or else give me wings

like you’

Congratulations to all involved on a lovely concert!

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