New York Public Library Digital Library Collections

[Home] [Book] [Expand] [Collapse] [Help]

Clear Search Expand Search


     Meyerbeer: L'AFRICAINE    Table of Contents      Massenet: LE CID

The Mapleson Cylinders - Program Notes

- Libretti
- Gounod: ROMÉO ET JULIETTE


Gounod: ROMÉO ET JULIETTE

During the Grau era, Gounod's Roméo et Juliette surpassed even his Faust in popularity as the choice for a Met opening-night opera; in the Nineties, it launched five seasons, to Faust 's two. Two of those openings starred Nellie Melba--including the first night of the 1900-01 season. Mapleson's sole recordings from Roméo come from that season's fifth and final performance of the opera--Melba's last Juliette with the company, in fact. (Gounod's opera would be sung three times the next season, and twice in 1902-03.)

Band 4

Act I: Juliet's Valse excerpts :

(a) "Je veux vivre" ... "avant de l'effeuiller!" and Mapleson announcement

(b) cadenza

Nellie Melba (s), Juliette

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra--Luigi Mancinelli

March 9 (matinee), 1901

[Item (a) dated by announcement and snake; (b) by speed matching and Glackens 108. The container now holding the unplayable cylinder M-10 bears Mapleson's notation: "End of Valse, March 9, 1901." Another of the New York Public Library group of recordings transferred to lacquer discs at the Library of Congress in 1941, the cylinder containing the main part of Juliette's "Valse" did not survive the transfer intact, though its complete contents are preserved on the lacquer, which is the source for this band. In 1981, only some fifty seconds of the original could be salvaged in a new transfer from the original, albeit with many groove skips in addition to the original cutting chatter (probably the result of a loose connection in the recording machine); the 1981 transfer will be found on Side 12/Band 2. In 1982, at the Mapleson Music Library, the missing cylinder described in Glackens 108 ("Juliette's Valse--end") was found, and we have added the aria's final bars here. The remainder of that second cylinder is on Side 12/Band 11, its contents as yet unidentified.]

At the Capulets' ball, Juliette sings of the fleeting happiness of youth.

[original]

JULIETTE

(a)
Ah! Je veux vivre
dans le rêve qui m'envivre
longtemps encor!
Douce flamme,
je te garde dans mon âme
comme un trésor!
[ repeat ]
Cette ivresse
de jeunesse
ne dure, hélas, qu'un jour,
puis vient l'heure
où l'on pleure,
le coeur cède à l'amour,
et le bonheur fuit sans retour!
Ah! Je veux vivre, etc.
Loin de l'hiver morose
laisse-moi, laisse-moi sommeiller,
et respirer la rose,
et respirer la rose
avant de l'effeuiller.
(b)
[Ah! douce flamme,
reste dans mon âme
comme un doux trésor
longtemps en]cor!
Ah! Comme un trésor
longtemps encor!

[translation]

JULIETTE

I would live
in this dream that intoxicates me
for yet a long time!
Sweet flame,
I hold you in my soul
like a treasure.
[ repeat ]
This bliss
of youth
endures, alas, but a day,
then comes the time
when one weeps,
the heart gives way to love,
and happiness never returns again!
Ah! I would live, etc.
Far from the sullen winter
permit me, permit me to dream,
and to breathe the rose's scent,
to breathe the rose's scent
before picking it.
Ah, sweet flame,
remain in my soul
like a sweet treasure
for a long time still.
Ah! like a treasure
for a long time still.


     Meyerbeer: L'AFRICAINE    Table of Contents      Massenet: LE CID