Debussy 'Séguidille'




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Published on Apr 10, 2015

Gillian Keith, soprano and Simon Lepper, piano, from their 2015 CD 'Debussy Songs For His Muse'.
Written for his 'inspiratrice', soprano Blanche Vasnier, this is one of Debussy's longest and most technically challenging mélodies.
Poem by Théophile Gautier

Un jupon serré sur les hanches,
Un peigne énorme à son chignon,
Jambe nerveuse et pied mignon,
Œil de feu, teint pâle et dents blanches :
Alza ! olà ! Voilà
La véritable Manola.

Gestes hardis, libre parole,
Sel et piment à pleine main,
Oubli parfait du lendemain,
Amour fantasque et grâce folle :
Alza ! olà ! Voilà
La véritable Manola.

Chanter, danser aux castagnettes,
Et, dans les courses de taureaux,
Juger les coups des toreros,
Tout en fumant des cigarettes :
Alza ! olà ! Voilà
La véritable Manola.

Skirt drawn tight across the hips,
huge comb in her chignon,
nervous leg and charming foot,
fiery eye, pale skin, white teeth;
Alza! Hey!
Behold Manola herself!

Bold gestures, bold words,
handfuls of salt and pimento,
perfect forgetfulness of the morrow,
temperamental love and mad grace:
Alza! Hey!
Behold Manola herself!

Singing, dancing to the sound of castanets
and, at the bullfights,
analyzing the toreadors’ feats,
while smoking cigarettes:
Alza! Hey!
Behold Manola herself!


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