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Dirait-oll

Morten Johannes Lauridsen

Rainer Maria Rilke

(tee3)
Temporubato(J =ca.

rit.

(unis.) pp

108)

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Bass

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freely, caressingly

(Note: if "Dirait-on"

ban-don,

is

ten - dresse

not immediately preceded by "La Rose Complite", the chorus will begin in measurc 4.)

tor.r-chant aux ten- dres

C'est ton in- t6 -

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55

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u
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tempo primo

/:\

90

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meno mosso

meno mosso

-----/

tempo pnmo

meno mosso

tempo prtmo

meno mosso

meno mosso

9sa

-=-------/

ait -

Dirait-on
Abandon entour6 d'abandon,
tendresse touchant aux tendresses.

b andon sur rounding ab ando n,


tendernes s touching tenderness ...

A
..

C'est ton int6rieur qui sans cesse


se caresse, dirait-on;

Your oneness endlessly


caresses itselJ, so they say,'

se caress en soi-mdme,
par son proper reflet 6clair6.
Ainsi tu inventes le thdme
du Narcisse exauc6.

self-caressing
through its own clear reflection.

Rainer Maria Rilke. from les Ro.ses

English tran.glation by Barbara and Erica Muhl

Thus you invent the theme


N ar c i s s r,ts ful /il I e d.

oJ'

In addition to his vast output of Getman poetry, Rilke (1875-1926) wrote nearly 400 poems in
French. His poems on roses struck me as especially charming, filled with gorgeous lyricism, deftly
crafted and elegant in their imagery. These exquisite poems are primarily light, joyous and playful,
and the musical settings are designed to enhance these characteristics and capture their delicate
beauty and sensuousness. Distinct melodic and harmonic materials recur throughout the cycle,
especially between Rilke's poignant Contre Qui, Rose (set as a wistful nocturne) and his moving
La Rose Compldte. The final piece, Dirait-on, is composed as a tuneful chan,son populaire, or
folksong, that weaves together two melodic ideas first heard in fragmentary form in preceding
movements.

Les Chansons des Roses was composed for Por11and, Oregon's superb professional chamber
chorus, Choral Cross-Ties, conducted by Bruce Browne, who gave the premiere on April 23,
I

993.

Dirait-on is published in versions for mixed chorus (SATB), men's chorus (TTBB) and treble
chorus (SSAA). It also exists as a song for high or medium voice and piano, high voice and guitar,
and as a duet for mixed high or medium voices and piano.

Morten Lauridsen
Los Angeles

Composer Morten Lauridsen is most noted for his seven vocal cycles-Zes Chansons des Roses,
Madrigali, Mid-Winter Songs, Cuatro Canciones, A Winter Come, Nocturnes, and Lux Aeternaand his series of a cappella motets which are regularly performed by distinguished ensembles and
vocal artists throughout the world. His O Magnum Mysterium and Dirait-on have become two of
the most performed and recorded compositions of recent years. "Lux Aeterna," a CD of his
compositions recorded by the Los Angeles Master Chorale conducted by Paul Salamunovich, was
a Grammy nominee in 1998. Mr. Lauridsen (b. 1943) is Professor of Composition at the
University of Southern Califomia Thornton School of Music and served as Composer-inResidence of the Los Angeles Master Chorale from 1994 to 2001. ln 2007, Lauridsen was
awarded the National Medal of Arls for his "radiant choral works combining musical power,
beauty and spiritual depth that have thrilled audiences worldwide."