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Psyché by Émile Paladilhe (1844-1926) / Vocal and Piano by Clyde Semler / viii.iii.xii

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Émile Paladilhe (1844-1926) was a very gifted French composer and pianist. Besides leaving behind some fine operas and oratorios, he also composed songs of great beauty. He was a friend of Charles Gounod in later years. Of the few songs which I've been able to find by Paladilhe, I believe Psyché to be the finest.


The best recording I know of this highly charged romantic French melodie was made by Dame Maggie Teyte. English singers have often been accused of being phlegmatic, but this has never been said of Maggie Teyte, Kathleen Ferrier or Sir Peter Pears. Dame Maggie was a Scotswoman born in 1888. Althought her surname was originally Tait, she changed it to Teyte fearing that her revered French audiences might pronounce her name "Tight"! There's simply no end to artistic license when you're either inspired or vain.


I apologize for the rather cut off last utterance (egares) as I'm still working on getting my windbag fully inflated again after surgery. I really should have had a set of bagpipes installed at the same time.


The English translation is not particularly good and I am not adept enough at French to attempt a translation of my own.


I should point out that the singer/lover in this song is not the only one jealous of Psyché. Venus herself was very wary of the lovely creature who caught the eye of her son Cupid and captured a little too much of his attentions.






Je suis jaloux, Psyché,

De toute la nature!

Les rayons du soleil vous baisent trop souvent.


Vos cheveux souffrent trop des caresses du vent;

Quand il les flatte, j'en murmure!

L'air meme que vous respirez

Avec trop de plaisir passe sur votre bouche.


Votre habit de trop pres vous touche!

Votre habit de trop pres vous touche!


Et si tot que vous soupirez,

Je ne sais quoi que m'effarouche

Craint, parmi vos soupirs,

Des soupirs egares!






Ah, Psyche, vex'd am I,

All nature is so zealous!

Now the kiss of the sun too often finds your cheek.


In your hair now the winds play hide and seek.

Of such devotion I am jealous!

The air you breathe makes far too free,

Straying over your lips more warmly than jocosely;


And your gown clasps your breast too closely!

And your gown clasps your breast too closely!


And I feel, when you heave a sigh,

Something within that cries morosely;

Ah, she sighs, but she sighs not for me, not for me!




Émile Paladilhe:


Maggie Teyte:


Maggie Teyte Photos:


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Taken on March 8, 2012