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Jean Yves Daniel-Lesur, French composer and teacher, was born in Paris in 1908. His mother was a composer and a student of Tournemire, with whom Daniel-Lesur had early organ and composition lessons. He did further study at the Paris Conservatoire. In 1936 Daniel-Lesur was, with Messiaen, Jolivet, and Baudrier, a founding member of the group La Jeune France, dedicated to a "return to the human" and opposed to the neo-classicism then prevailing in Paris. Epithalame comes from a collection that sets to music the Song of Songs. Daniel-Lesur uses the tune of the Veni sponsa Christi chant and layers its text with the following famous passage.

 

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Pose-moi comme un sceau sur ton coeur  Put me like a seal on your heart
Comme un sceau sur ton bras Like a seal on your arm
Car l'amour est fort comme la mort For love is as strong as death
La jalousie est dure comme l'enfer Jealousy is as cruel as the grave
L'amour ses traits sont de feu Its flashes are flashes of fire
une flamme de Yahvé! The very flame of the Lord!
Les grandes eaux n'ont pu éteindre l'amour Many waters cannot quench love
Les fleuves ne le submergeront pas! Neither can floods drown it!
Alleluia. Alleluia.

 

04/07