L’heure exquise — Philippe Jaroussky

If you could please, spare 3 minutes in your very busy daily life and come in to listen this very sweet song I’m about to share, I will be very grateful.

I came across this song today which I am very eager to share with you the beauty of it.

L’heure Exquise“, which translates to “The Exquisite Hour” in French, is a late 19th century French Melodie written by Reynaldo Hahn.

Don’t let the date scare you. In fact till today, there are rarely melodies as sweet as this. Simple, yes, very, but very, very sweet.

Spare 3 minutes of your time for me, will you?

L’heure Exquise

Phillip Jaroussky is a famous French countertenor, which is a male singing in the higher register resembling the female voice. He sang this song in his new album Opium, which features French melodies of the 19th Century Belle Epoque.

This song, “L’heure Exquise”, is composed by Reynaldo Hahn. He is a late Romanticism French composer who captures the essence of the La Belle Epoque. Belle Epoque is the golden era in France in the late 19th century. It was a time when an economy burst followed by the British Industrial Revolution that sent Europe to a high surge of development. Entertainment was highly sought for in this era, so does an demand for individuality.

If you listen carefully, the song is so sweet and simple, it’s as if the singer is holding to the lover so close there’s no need to shout, just simple whispers are enough to say a simple thing, “lets just enjoy the moment under the moon, this quiet night”.

Beautiful, isn’t it?

To think that Hahn wrote this when he was 15. He must be a love saint.

And Jaroussky made it even more beautiful with his wonderful voice and excellent technique.

Let’s just keep ourselves focused on the music, shall we?

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The White Moon

“L’Heure Exquise” Lyrics

French Lyrics:
La lune blanche
luit dans les bois.
De chaque branche
part une voix
sous la ramée.
O bien aimé[e]…

L’étang reflète,
profond miroir,
la silhouette
du saule noir
où le vent pleure.
Rêvons, c’est l’heure.

Un vaste et tendre
semble descendre
du firmament
que l’astre irise.
C’est l’heure exquise!

English Translation:
The white moon
shines in the woods.
From each branch
springs a voice
beneath the arbor.
Oh my beloved…

Like a deep mirror
the pond reflects
the silhouette
of the black willow
where the wind weeps.
Let us dream! It is the hour…

A vast and tender
seems to descend
from a sky
made iridescent by the moon.
It is the exquisite hour!

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