Ernest Chausson: Le charme (The Charm)

1 04 2009

I did not know I loved you until I saw that first tear

I did not know I loved you till I saw that first tear

With a falling melody, Chausson shows the singer literally falling in love as the song progresses. There is a sense, though, that the singer is resisting — the melody avoids falling down to the tonic note of the scale. Finally, the singer reaches resolution at t’aimais - “I loved you.” The singer does not hold that tonic pitch, and the line continues to descend as the tear falls; even the final note in the piano does not reach a definitive resolution, with the final pitch played being the third, not the tonic. A beautifully captured sense of both the beauty and the tentativeness of falling in love!

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2 responses

23 01 2010
SherwinJTB

The picture confused me… I think it’s about the French composer from the Romantic period.

23 01 2010
Paul

Hi, and thanks for the comment! I try to select images that in some way embody the song and the text, not ones that are necessarily biographical. I liked the eyes and the quizzical look on this lad’s face — I could see him being either the subject or the speaker of this lovely poem/song.

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