Remembrance of things past, sigh the lack of many a thing sought, wail my dear time’s waste sessions of sweet silent thought in two hundred forty one minutes

OE Ælfric Catholic Homilies: 2nd Ser. (Cambr. Gg.3.28) xx. 194 Hit is awriten be ðam yfelum timan. OE Anglo-Saxon Chron. (Laud) (Peterborough interpolation) anno 654 On his time þa comon togadere heo & Oswiu Oswaldes broðor cyningas. OE Laws of Edgar (Nero E.i) iv. ii. 208 Mine þegnas hæbben heora scipe on minum timan, swa hy hæfdon on mines fæder. OE tr. Defensor Liber Scintillarum (1969) ix. 96 Multi enim se credebant longo tempore uiuere : soðlice hi gelyfdon lange timan lybban. OE Wulfstan Last Days (Hatton) 134 Wa ðam wifum þe þonne tymað & on þam earmlican timan heora cild fedað. 1160 Anglo-Saxon Chron. (Laud) (Peterborough contin.) anno 1137 Nu we willen sægen sumdel wat belamp on Stephnes kinges time.

To describe it, À la recherche du temps perdu is an album I released in two thousand twenty one. Six lp records, twelve sides each about twenty minutes.

Total run time two hundred forty one minutes. The album is based around the novels by Proust, Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust, and is predicated on a few threads … The music of the novels, the music Proust (an avid music collector) had in his head and in his collection, the anthems of the Faubourg Saint-Germain. What music one might hear getting lost in Paris of the Belle Époque? The content includes twenty six composers and a Dixieland jazz band: Bartók, Bellini, Berg, Brahms, Caccini, Chausson, Chopin, Debussy, Delibes, Donizetti, Franck, Hahn, Jungmann, Louisiana Five, Lully, Ravel, Saint-Saëns, Satie, Schoenberg, Schubert, Schumann, Scriabin, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Verdi, Wagner and Weber.

The primary impetus for the album came from my truck.

I read the books in my early twenties. Austin, Texas summer driving an industrial orange Type 181 Volkswagen with the doors off and the windshield forward, getting lost in clubs to Ministry and Cabaret Voltaire, working in a book store with refugees from St. John’s and Sarah Lawrence, sneaking into the UT music library … picked up a used copy of the Moncrieff translation and read it for the first time … enjoyed the books, but they didn’t have a strong strong resonance. My interests ran to Borges, Graves, Schulz, Baudelaire, Jane Austen at the time … but a few phrases stuck with me, especially this one: “The places we have known do not belong to the little world of space on which we map them for our own convenience. None of them was ever more than a thin slice, held between the contiguous impressions that composed our life at that time; remembrance of a particular place is but regret for a particular moment; and houses, roads, avenues are as fugitive, alas, as the years.” Some years later I picked the books up again. I was living in Studio City and working for a London based games company that had an office in Beverly Hills off Rodeo. The drive over the hill on Beverly Glen was often a onelane congested clusterfuck. Roughly a ninety minute ten mile crawl. I had reread the books and enjoyed them immensely, especially the language and context. Since my first reading I become familiar with Proust’s favorite author John Ruskin, and with John Ruskin’s favorite author Jonathan Swift. It’s an interesting line that can be directly drawn from Swift to Proust. I acquired the audio books, at first an abridged version with music interludes between sections, and then unabridged versions in English and French. The unabridged versions did not have music interludes, which I dearly missed, so I began making my own to enjoy on those tortuous drives to and from Beverly Hills in my little truck.

Les lieux que nous avons connus n’appartiennent pas qu’au monde de l’espace où nous les situons pour plus de facilité. Ils n’étaient qu’une mince tranche au milieu d’impressions contiguës qui formaient notre vie d’alors ; le souvenir d’une certaine image n’est que le regret d’un certain instant ; et les maisons, les routes, les avenues, sont fugitives, hélas ! comme les années.

A secondary impetus came from Kassel Jaeger. François asked me to collaborate on his Zauberberg album … he made some field recordings at the Waldsanatorium in Davos where Thomas Mann set the majority of his excellent ‘Der Zauberberg’ novel. The album came out rather nicely and it gave me the desire to make something similar with Proust. By then the recherche novels had become part of my yearly observances starting around Proust’s birthday in July and were bound up with long late night drives into the Mojave, a habit I had acquired visiting Harold Budd … Joshua Tree, Pinto Basin Road at 2am, surreal … otherworldly, somewhere between Fortynine Palms Oasis and le Septième Arrondissement … step one, read the books every year for ten years.

Finished step one in twenty seventeen and began collecting 78’s from Proust’s era … things he might have had or known. In twenty nineteen I recorded some of the compositions, taking what might be called ‘great liberty’ with the manuscripts … like setting the Bartók Sz. 67 Moderato at half speed without dynamics almost like a lullaby … I worked with a Southeast European string ensemble, a cost effective group of former Soviet Union block players, mostly excellent although I did have some challenges keeping a cellist in tune on the Moderato. Then I spent a couple years framing the pieces, casting them with all those perceptions and connections … an album in time.

1175 Ormulum (Burchfield transcript) l. 14429 Fra þatt tatt adam shapenn wass. Anan till noþess time. 1225 St. Katherine (Bodl.) (1981) 159 (MED) He heold on to herien his heaðne maumez wið misliche lakes, long time of þe dei. 1325 Chron. Robert of Gloucester (Calig.) l. 1321 Þe prinse..Þat in time of worre as a lomb is boþe mek & milde & in time of pes as leon boþe cruel & wilde. 1340 Ayenbite (1866) 68 Yef me him zent aduersete, pouerte, ziknesse, dyere time, rayn, druȝþe. 1350 in R. H. Robbins Hist. Poems 14th & 15th Cent. (1959) 29 Whenne shal þis be? Nouþer in þine tyme ne in myne. 1375 William of Palerne (1867) l. 318 (MED) Þei ful faire han me fostered and fed a long time. 1382 Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Bodl. 959) (1965) 3 Esdras ii. 16 In þe tymes of artaxersis king of persis writen to hym of þese þat dwelleden in Jude. 1400 W. Langland Piers Plowman (Laud 581) (1869) B. x. l. 72 Sithen þe pestilence tyme. 1425 in A. Hudson Eng. Wycliffite Serm. (1990) I. 265 Pharisees..weren religious in Cristys tyme. 1425 Mandeville’s Trav. (Titus C.xvi) (1919) 59 (MED) In þat tyme þere weren iij heroudes of gret name & loos for here crueltee. 1450 tr. G. Deguileville Pilgrimage Lyfe Manhode (Cambr.) (1869) 55 It is a long time gon that no wiht bledde of his blood. 1450 R. Mannyng Chron. (Lamb.) (1887) i. l. 4190 [Caesar] tok his leue..To wende fro þem for longe teymes. 1474 W. Caxton tr. Game & Playe of Chesse (1883) ii. iv. 53 As the Knyghtes shold kepe ye peple in tyme of peas. 1484 W. Caxton tr. Subtyl Historyes & Fables Esope v. f. cxxxviii Poge of Florence recyteth how in his tyme one named Hugh prynce of the medycyns, sawe a catte whiche had two hedes. 1510 T. More tr. G. F. Pico della Mirandola Lyfe I. Picus sig. a.iii He scrupulously sought out all the famous doctours of his tyme. 1516 R. Fabyan New Chron. Eng. vii. 505 Some..were holdyn in for a tyme, to practis & shewe vnto the newe how they shuld ordre & guyde the sayd offyces. 1551 R. Robinson in tr. T. More Vtopia sig. ✠vv Ye old acquayntaunce, that was betwene you and me in the time of our childhode. 1567 W. Painter Palace of Pleasure II. xxix. f. 315 During the time that supper was preparing. 1568 R. Ascham Scholemaster (1570) ii. f. 37 Some men of our time,..haue so ouer reached them selues, in making trew difference in the poyntes afore rehearsed. 1589 T. Nashe To Students in R. Greene Menaphon Epist. sig. **3v Saint Iohns in Cambridge, that at that time was..shining so farre aboue all other Houses, Halls, and Hospitalls. 1616 W. Shakespeare Tempest (1623) iii. ii. 86 After a little time Ile beate him too.

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought I summon up remembrance of things past, I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought, And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste: Then can I drown an eye, unus’d to flow, For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night, And weep afresh love’s long since cancell’d woe, And moan th’ expense of many a vanish’d sight; Then can I grieve at grievances foregone, And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan, Which I new pay as if not paid before. But if the while I think on thee, dear friend, All losses are restor’d, and sorrows end. -Wm Shakspe, Sonnet Thirty

Du côté de chez Swann: Scriabin Désir, Schumann Der Nussbaum, Schubert Ellens dritter Gesang, Weber Der Freischütz, Bellini Care compagne…Come per me serena, Ravel Introduction Allegro for Harp Flute Clarinet and String Quartet, Ravel String Quartet in F major, Lully Que Soupirer D’amour, Debussy Clair de lune

Il y a bien des années de cela. La muraille de l’escalier où je vis monter le reflet de sa bougie n’existe plus depuis longtemps. En moi aussi bien des choses ont été détruites que je croyais devoir durer toujours, et de nouvelles se sont édifiées, donnant naissance à des peines et à des joies nouvelles que je n’aurais pu prévoir alors, de même que les anciennes me sont devenues difficiles à comprendre. Il y a bien longtemps aussi que mon père a cessé de pouvoir dire à maman : « Va avec le petit. » La possibilité de telles heures ne renaîtra jamais pour moi. Mais depuis peu de temps, je recommence à très bien percevoir, si je prête l’oreille, les sanglots que j’eus la force de contenir devant mon père et qui n’éclatèrent que quand je me retrouvai seul avec maman. En réalité ils n’ont jamais cessé ; et c’est seulement parce que la vie se tait maintenant davantage autour de moi que je les entends de nouveau, comme ces cloches de couvents que couvrent si bien les bruits de la ville pendant le jour qu’on les croirait arrêtées mais qui se remettent à sonner dans le silence du soir. (Many years have passed since that night. The wall of the staircase, up which I had watched the light of his candle gradually climb, was long ago demolished. And in myself, too, many things have perished which, I imagined, would last for ever, and new structures have arisen, giving birth to new sorrows and new joys which in those days I could not have foreseen, just as now the old are difficult of comprehension. It is a long time, too, since my father has been able to tell Mamma to “Go with the child.” Never again will such hours be possible for me. But of late I have been increasingly able to catch, if I listen attentively, the sound of the sobs which I had the strength to control in my father’s presence, and which broke out only when I found myself alone with Mamma. Actually, their echo has never ceased: it is only because life is now growing more and more quiet round about me that I hear them afresh, like those convent bells which are so effectively drowned during the day by the noises of the streets that one would suppose them to have been stopped for ever, until they sound out again through the silent evening air.)

Les lieux que nous avons connus n’appartiennent pas qu’au monde de l’espace où nous les situons pour plus de facilité. Ils n’étaient qu’une mince tranche au milieu d’impressions contiguës qui formaient notre vie d’alors ; le souvenir d’une certaine image n’est que le regret d’un certain instant ; et les maisons, les routes, les avenues, sont fugitives, hélas ! comme les années. (The places that we have known do not belong only to the little world of space on which we map them for our own convenience. None of them was ever more than a thin slice, held between the contiguous impressions that composed our life at that time; remembrance of a particular place is but regret for a particular moment; and houses, roads, avenues are as fugitive, alas, as the years.)

À l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs: Bartók String Quartet No. 2 Moderato, Satie Son Binocle, Wagner Siegfried Idyll, Wagner Euch Luften die mein Klagen, Caccini Amarilli, Wagner Einsam in trüben Tagen, Strauss Der Rosenkavalier Ist ein Traum kann nicht wirklich sein, Debussy Nuit d’étoiles

Nos désirs vont s’interférant, et dans la confusion de l’existence, il est rare qu’un bonheur vienne justement se poser sur le désir qui l’avait réclamé. (Our desires cut across one another’s paths, and in this confused existence it is but rarely that a piece of good fortune coincides with the desire that clamoured for it.)

Car il était celui que j’eusse choisi entre tous, me rendant bien compte, avec une satisfaction de botaniste, qu’il n’était pas possible de trouver réunies des espèces plus rares que celles de ces jeunes fleurs qui interrompaient en ce moment devant moi la ligne du flot de leur haie légère, pareille à un bosquet de roses de Pennsylvanie, ornement d’un jardin sur la falaise, entre lesquelles tient tout le trajet de l’océan parcouru par quelque steamer, si lent à glisser sur le trait horizontal et bleu qui va d’une tige à l’autre, qu’un papillon paresseux, attardé au fond de la corolle que la coque du navire a depuis longtemps dépassée, peut pour s’envoler en étant sûr d’arriver avant le vaisseau, attendre que rien qu’une seule parcelle azurée sépare encore la proue de celui-ci du premier pétale de la fleur vers laquelle il navigue. (For it was that which I should have chosen above all others, feeling quite certain, with a botanist’s satisfaction, that it was not possible to find collected anywhere rarer specimens than these young flowers who were interrupting at this moment before my eyes the line of the sea with their slender hedge, like a bower of Pennsylvania roses adorning a garden on the brink of a cliff, between which is contained the whole tract of ocean crossed by some steamer, so slow in gliding along the blue and horizontal line that stretches from one stem to the next that an idle butterfly, dawdling in the cup of a flower which the moving hull has long since passed, can, if it is to fly and be sure of arriving before the vessel, wait until nothing but the tiniest slice of blue still separates the questing prow from the first petal of the flower towards which it is steering.)

Le Côté de Guermantes: Debussy Première Arabesque, Strauss Traum durch die Dämmerung, Weber Euryanthe Glöcklein im Tale, Donizetti L’elisir d’amore Una furtiva lagrima, Schubert (Liszt) Ständchen, Saint-Saëns Samson and Delilah Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix, Debussy String Quartet in G minor

Mais, dans les autres baignoires, presque partout, les blanches déités qui habitaient ces sombres séjours s’étaient réfugiées contre les parois obscures et restaient invisibles. Cependant, au fur et à mesure que le spectacle s’avançait, leurs formes vaguement humaines se détachaient mollement l’une après l’autre des profondeurs de la nuit qu’elles tapissaient et, s’élevant vers le jour, laissaient émerger leurs corps demi-nus, et venaient s’arrêter à la limite verticale et à la surface clair-obscur où leurs brillants visages apparaissaient derrière le déferlement rieur, écumeux et léger de leurs éventails de plumes, sous leurs chevelures de pourpre emmêlées de perles que semblait avoir courbées l’ondulation du flux ; après commençaient les fauteuils d’orchestre, le séjour des mortels à jamais séparé du sombre et transparent royaume auquel çà et là servaient de frontière, dans leur surface liquide et pleine, les yeux limpides et réfléchissant des déesses des eaux. Car les strapontins du rivage, les formes des monstres de l’orchestre se peignaient dans ces yeux suivant les seules lois de l’optique et selon leur angle d’incidence, comme il arrive pour ces deux parties de la réalité extérieure auxquelles, sachant qu’elles ne possèdent pas, si rudimentaire soit-elle, d’âme analogue à la nôtre, nous nous jugerions insensés d’adresser un sourire ou un regard : les minéraux et les personnes avec qui nous ne sommes pas en relations. En deçà, au contraire, de la limite de leur domaine, les radieuses filles de la mer se retournaient à tout moment en souriant vers des tritons barbus pendus aux anfractuosités de l’abîme, ou vers quelque demi-dieu aquatique ayant pour crâne un galet poli sur lequel le flot avait ramené une algue lisse et pour regard un disque en cristal de roche. Elles se penchaient vers eux, elles leur offraient des bonbons ; parfois le flot s’entr’ouvrait devant une nouvelle néréide qui, tardive, souriante et confuse, venait de s’épanouir du fond de l’ombre ; puis l’acte fini, n’espérant plus entendre les rumeurs mélodieuses de la terre qui les avaient attirées à la surface, plongeant toutes à la fois, les diverses sœurs disparaissaient dans la nuit. Mais de toutes ces retraites au seuil desquelles le souci léger d’apercevoir les œuvres des hommes amenait les déesses curieuses, qui ne se laissent pas approcher, la plus célèbre était le bloc de demi-obscurité connu sous le nom de baignoire de la princesse de Guermantes. (But in the other boxes, everywhere almost, the white deities who inhabited those sombre abodes had flown for shelter against their shadowy walls and remained invisible. Gradually, however, as the performance went on, their vaguely human forms detached themselves, one by one, from the shades of night which they patterned, and, raising themselves towards the light, allowed their semi-nude bodies to emerge, and rose, and stopped at the limit of their course, at the luminous, shaded surface on which their brilliant faces appeared behind the gaily breaking foam of the feather fans they unfurled and lightly waved, beneath their hyacinthine locks begemmed with pearls, which the flow of the tide seemed to have caught and drawn with it; this side of them, began the orchestra stalls, abode of mortals for ever separated from the transparent, shadowy realm to which, at points here and there, served as boundaries, on its brimming surface, the limpid, mirroring eyes of the water-nymphs. For the folding seats on its shore, the forms of the monsters in the stalls were painted upon the surface of those eyes in simple obedience to the laws of optics and according to their angle of incidence, as happens with those two sections of external reality to which, knowing that they do not possess any soul, however rudimentary, that can be considered as analogous to our own, we should think ourselves mad if we addressed a smile or a glance of recognition: namely, minerals and people to whom we have not been introduced. Beyond this boundary, withdrawing from the limit of their domain, the radiant daughters of the sea kept turning at every moment to smile up at the bearded tritons who clung to the anfractuosities of the cliff, or towards some aquatic demi-god, whose head was a polished stone to which the tides had borne a smooth covering of seaweed, and his gaze a disc of rock crystal. They leaned towards these creatures, offering them sweetmeats; sometimes the flood parted to admit a fresh Nereid who, belated, smiling, apologetic, had just floated into blossom out of the shadowy depths; then, the act ended, having no further hope of hearing the melodious sounds of earth which had drawn them to the surface, plunging back all in a moment the several sisters vanished into the night. But of all these retreats, to the thresholds of which their mild desire to behold the works of man brought the curious goddesses who let none approach them, the most famous was the cube of semi-darkness known to the world as the stage box of the Princesse de Guermantes.)

« Mais ça m’amuse de voir cela avec Charles », dit la duchesse avec un sourire à la fois facticement concupiscent et finement psychologique, car, dans son désir d’être aimable pour Swann, elle parlait du plaisir qu’elle aurait à regarder cette photographie comme de celui qu’un malade sent qu’il aurait à manger une orange ou comme si elle avait à la fois combiné une escapade avec des amis et renseigné un biographe sur des goûts flatteurs pour elle. (“But I like to look at it with Charles,” said the Duchess, with a smile at once artificially concupiscent and psychologically subtle, for in her desire to be friendly to Swann she spoke of the pleasure which she would have in looking at the photograph as though it were the pleasure an invalid feels he would find in eating an orange, or as though she had managed to combine an escapade with her friends with giving information to a biographer as to some of her favourite pursuits.)

Sodome et Gomorrhe: Louisiana Five Slow & Easy, Brahms String Sextet No. 1 in B♭, Jungmann Longing For Home, Hahn Si mes vers avaient des ailes, Berg Lyric Suite VI. Largo desolato, Verdi Rigoletto Teurer Name, Franck Sonata in A major for Violin and Piano, Schumann Der Nussbaum

C’était une femme charmante, d’un esprit, comme sa beauté, si ravissant, qu’un seul des deux eût réussi à plaire. Mais, née hors du milieu où elle vivait maintenant, n’ayant aspiré d’abord qu’à un salon littéraire, amie successivement — nullement amante, elle était de mœurs fort pures — et exclusivement de chaque grand écrivain qui lui donnait tous ses manuscrits, écrivait des livres pour elle, le hasard l’ayant introduite dans le faubourg Saint-Germain, ces privilèges littéraires l’y servirent. Elle avait maintenant une situation à n’avoir pas à dispenser d’autres grâces que celles que sa présence répandait. Mais habituée jadis à l’entregent, aux manèges, aux services à rendre, elle y persévérait bien qu’ils ne fussent plus nécessaires. Elle avait toujours un secret d’État à vous révéler, un potentat à vous faire connaître, une aquarelle de maître à vous offrir. Il y avait bien dans tous ces attraits inutiles un peu de mensonge, mais il faisaient de sa vie une comédie d’une complication scintillante et il était exact qu’elle faisait nommer des préfets et des généraux. Tout en marchant à côté de moi, la duchesse de Guermantes laissait la lumière azurée de ses yeux flotter devant elle, mais dans le vague, afin d’éviter les gens avec qui elle ne tenait pas à entrer en relations, et dont elle devinait parfois, de loin, l’écueil menaçant. (This was a charming woman, her wit, like her beauty, so entrancing that either of them by itself would have made her shine. But, born outside the world in which she now lived, having aspired at first merely to a literary salon, the friend successively—and nothing more than a friend, for her morals were above reproach—and exclusively of every great writer, who gave her all his manuscripts, wrote books for her, chance having once introduced her into the Faubourg Saint-Germain, these literary privileges were of service to her there. She had now an established position, and no longer needed to dispense other graces than those that were shed by her presence. But, accustomed in times past to act as go-between, to render services, she persevered in them even when they were no longer necessary. She had always a state secret to reveal to you, a potentate whom you must meet, a water colour by a master to present to you. There was indeed in all these superfluous attractions a trace of falsehood, but they made her life a comedy that scintillated with complications, and it was no exaggeration to say that she appointed prefects and generals. As she strolled by my side, the Duchesse de Guermantes allowed the azure light of her eyes to float in front of her, but vaguely, so as to avoid the people with whom she did not wish to enter into relations, whose presence she discerned at times, like a menacing reef in the distance.)

Et ce mouvement gracieux d’Albertine posant son menton sur l’épaule de Rosemonde, la regardant en souriant et lui posant un baiser dans le cou, ce mouvement qui m’avait rappelé Mlle Vinteuil et pour l’interprétation duquel j’avais hésité pourtant à admettre qu’une même ligne tracée par un geste résultât forcément d’un même penchant, qui sait si Albertine ne l’avait pas tout simplement appris de Mlle Vinteuil ? Peu à peu le ciel éteint s’allumait. Moi qui ne m’étais jusqu’ici jamais éveillé sans sourire aux choses les plus humbles, au bol de café au lait, au bruit de la pluie, au tonnerre du vent, je sentis que le jour qui allait se lever dans un instant, et tous les jours qui viendraient ensuite ne m’apporteraient plus jamais l’espérance d’un bonheur inconnu, mais le prolongement de mon martyre. Je tenais encore à la vie ; je savais que je n’avais plus rien que de cruel à en attendre. Je courus à l’ascenseur, malgré l’heure indue, sonner le lift qui faisait fonction de veilleur de nuit, et je lui demandai d’aller à la chambre d’Albertine, lui dire que j’avais quelque chose d’important à lui communiquer, si elle pourrait me recevoir. (And that graceful movement with which Albertine laid her chin upon Rosemonde’s shoulder, gazed at her smilingly, and deposited a kiss upon her throat, that movement which had reminded me of Mlle. Vinteuil, in interpreting which I had nevertheless hesitated to admit that an identical line traced by a gesture must of necessity be due to an identical inclination, for all that I knew, Albertine might simply have learned it from Mlle. Vinteuil. Gradually, the lifeless sky took fire. I who until then had never awakened without a smile at the humblest things, the bowl of coffee and milk, the sound of the rain, the thunder of the wind, felt that the day which in a moment was to dawn, and all the days to come would never bring me any more the hope of an unknown happiness, but only the prolongation of my martyrdom. I clung still to life; I knew that I had nothing now that was not cruel to expect from it. I ran to the lift, regardless of the hour, to ring for the lift-boy who acted as night watchman, and asked him to go to Albertine’s room, and to tell her that I had something of importance to say to her, if she could see me there.)

La Prisonnière: Delibes Lakmé Duo des fleurs, Debussy Images Hommage à Rameau, Berg String Quartet Op. 3, Verdi La forza del destino Noch hegt mich der geliebte Ort, Chopin Nocturne Op.9 No. 1, Schoenberg Fünf Orchesterstücke , Wagner Act III Scene 1 Tannhäuser Allmächt’ge Jungfrau, Chausson Concert for Violin Piano and String Quartet

Ma jalousie s’apaisait, car je sentais Albertine devenue un être qui respire, qui n’est pas autre chose, comme le signifiait ce souffle régulier par où s’exprime cette pure fonction physiologique, qui, tout fluide, n’a l’épaisseur ni de la parole, ni du silence ; et dans son ignorance de tout mal, son haleine, tirée plutôt d’un roseau creusé que d’un être humain, était vraiment paradisiaque, était le pur chant des anges pour moi qui, dans ces moments-là, sentais Albertine soustraite à tout, non pas seulement matériellement, mais moralement. Et dans ce souffle pourtant, je me disais tout à coup que peut-être bien des noms humains, apportés par la mémoire, devaient se jouer. Parfois même, à cette musique la voix humaine s’ajoutait. Albertine prononçait quelques mots. Comme j’aurais voulu en saisir le sens ! Il arrivait que le nom d’une personne dont nous avions parlé, et qui excitait ma jalousie vînt à ses lèvres, mais sans me rendre malheureux, car le souvenir qu’il y amenait semblait n’être que celui des conversations qu’elle avait eues à ce sujet avec moi. (My jealousy grew calm, for I felt that Albertine had become a creature that breathes, that is nothing else besides, as was indicated by that regular breathing in which is expressed that pure physiological function which, wholly fluid, has not the solidity either of speech or of silence; and, in its ignorance of all evil, her breath, drawn (it seemed) rather from a hollowed reed than from a human being, was truly paradisal, was the pure song of the angels to me who, at these moments, felt Albertine to be withdrawn from everything, not only materially but morally. And yet in that breathing, I said to myself of a sudden that perhaps many names of people borne on the stream of memory must be playing. Sometimes indeed to that music the human voice was added. Albertine uttered a few words. How I longed to catch their meaning! It happened that the name of a person of whom we had been speaking and who had aroused my jealousy came to her lips, but without making me unhappy, for the memory that it brought with it seemed to be only that of the conversations that she had had with me upon the subject.)

Parfois, au crépuscule, en rentrant à l’hôtel je sentais que l’Albertine d’autrefois, invisible à moi-même, était pourtant enfermée au fond de moi comme aux plombs d’une Venise intérieure, dont parfois un incident faisait glisser le couvercle durci jusqu’à me donner une ouverture sur ce passé. (Sometimes at dusk as I returned to the hotel I felt that the Albertine of long ago invisible to my eyes was nevertheless enclosed within me as in the dungeons of an internal Venice, the solid walls of which some incident occasionally slid apart so as to give me a glimpse of that past.)

Le Temps retrouvé: Debussy Images Cloches à travers les feuilles, Puccini Gianni Schicchi O mio babbino caro, Scriabin Op. 73 No. 1, Brahms Drei Intermezzi für Pianoforte No. 1, Schubert Ständchen (Serenade) Leise flehen meine Lieder, Hahn (Bizet) Les Pêcheurs de perles De mon amie, Schumann Schumann Der Nussbaum, Tchaikovsky String Quartet No. 3 in e-flat minor, Donizetti L’elisir d’amore Una furtiva lagrima, Debussy String Quartet in g minor, Hahn L’Heure exquise

Si je m’étais toujours tant intéressé aux rêves que l’on a pendant le sommeil, n’est-ce pas parce que, compensant la durée par la puissance, ils nous aident à mieux comprendre ce qu’a de subjectif, par exemple, l’amour ? Et cela par le simple fait que — mais avec une vitesse prodigieuse — ils réalisent ce qu’on appellerait vulgairement nous mettre une femme dans la peau, jusqu’à nous faire passionnément aimer pendant quelques minutes une laide, ce qui dans la vie réelle eût demandé des années d’habitude, de collage et — comme si elles étaient inventées par quelque docteur miraculeux — des piqûres intraveineuses d’amour, aussi bien qu’elles peuvent l’être aussi de souffrance ; avec la même vitesse la suggestion amoureuse qu’ils nous ont inculquée se dissipe, et quelquefois non seulement l’amoureuse nocturne a cessé d’être pour nous comme telle, étant redevenue la laide bien connue, mais quelque chose de plus précieux se dissipe aussi, tout un tableau ravissant de sentiments, de tendresse, de volupté, de regrets vaguement estompés, tout un embarquement pour Cythère de la passion dont nous voudrions noter, pour l’état de veille, les nuances d’une vérité délicieuse, mais qui s’efface comme une toile trop pâlie qu’on ne peut restituer. Eh bien, c’était peut-être aussi par le jeu formidable qu’ils font avec le Temps que les Rêves m’avaient fasciné. N’avais-je pas vu souvent en une nuit, en une minute d’une nuit, des temps bien lointains, relégués à ces distances énormes où nous ne pouvons presque plus rien distinguer des sentiments que nous y éprouvions, fondre à toute vitesse sur nous, nous aveuglant de leur clarté, comme s’ils avaient été des avions géants au lieu des pâles étoiles que nous croyions, nous faire ravoir tout ce qu’ils avaient contenu pour nous, nous donner l’émotion, le choc, la clarté de leur voisinage immédiat, qui ont repris une fois qu’on est réveillé la distance qu’ils avaient miraculeusement franchie, jusqu’à nous faire croire, à tort d’ailleurs, qu’ils étaient un des modes pour retrouver le Temps perdu ? (If I have always been so much interested in dreams, is it not because, compensating duration with intensity they help us to understand better what is subjective in love? And this by the simple fact that they render real with prodigious speed what is vulgarly called nous mettre une femme dans la peau to the point of falling passionately in love for a few minutes with an ugly one, which in real life would require years of habit, of union and—as though they had been invented by some miraculous doctor—intravenal injections of love as they can also be of suffering; with equal speed the amorous suggestion is dissipated and sometimes not only the nocturnal beloved has ceased to be such and has again become the familiar ugly one but something more precious is also dissipated, a whole picture of ravishing sentiments, of tenderness, of delight, of regrets, vaguely communicated to the mind, a whole shipload of passion for Cythera of which we should take note against the moment of waking up, shades of a beautiful truth which are effaced like a painting too dim to restore. Well, perhaps it was also because of the extraordinary tricks dreams play with time, that they fascinated me so much. Had I not in a single night, in one minute of a night, seen days of long ago which had been relegated to those great distances where we can distinguish hardly any of the sentiments we then felt, melt suddenly upon me, blinding me with their brightness as though they were giant aeroplanes instead of the pale stars we believed, making me see again all they had once held for me, giving me back the emotion, the shock, the vividness of their immediate nearness, then recede, when I woke, to the distance they had miraculously traversed, so that one believes, mistakenly however, that they are one of the means of recovering lost Time?)

À ce moment même, dans l’hôtel du prince de Guermantes, ce bruit de pas de mes parents reconduisant M. Swann, ce tintement rebondissant, ferrugineux, interminable, criard et frais de la petite sonnette, qui m’annonçait qu’enfin M. Swann était parti et que maman allait monter, je les entendais encore, je les entendais eux-mêmes, eux situés pourtant si loin dans le passé. Alors, en pensant à tous les événements qui se plaçaient forcément entre l’instant où je les avais entendus et la matinée Guermantes, je fus effrayé de penser que c’était bien cette sonnette qui tintait encore en moi, sans que je pusse rien changer aux criaillements de son grelot, puisque, ne me rappelant plus bien comment ils s’éteignaient, pour le réapprendre, pour bien l’écouter, je dus m’efforcer de ne plus entendre le son des conversations que les masques tenaient autour de moi. Pour tâcher de l’entendre de plus près, c’est en moi-même que j’étais obligé de redescendre. C’est donc que ce tintement y était toujours, et aussi, entre lui et l’instant présent, tout ce passé indéfiniment déroulé que je ne savais pas que je portais. Quand il avait tinté j’existais déjà et, depuis, pour que j’entendisse encore ce tintement, il fallait qu’il n’y eût pas eu discontinuité, que je n’eusse pas un instant pris de repos, cessé d’exister, de penser, d’avoir conscience de moi, puisque cet instant ancien tenait encore à moi, que je pouvais encore le retrouver, retourner jusqu’à lui, rien qu’en descendant plus profondément en moi. C’était cette notion du temps incorporé, des années passées non séparées de nous, que j’avais maintenant l’intention de mettre si fort en relief dans mon œuvre. Et c’est parce qu’ils contiennent ainsi les heures du passé que les corps humains peuvent faire tant de mal à ceux qui les aiment, parce qu’ils contiennent tant de souvenirs, de joies et de désirs déjà effacés pour eux, mais si cruels pour celui qui contemple et prolonge dans l’ordre du temps le corps chéri dont il est jaloux, jaloux jusqu’à en souhaiter la destruction. Car après la mort le Temps se retire du corps et les souvenirs — si indifférents, si pâlis — sont effacés de celle qui n’est plus et le seront bientôt de celui qu’ils torturent encore, eux qui finiront par périr quand le désir d’un corps vivant ne les entretiendra plus. J’éprouvais un sentiment de fatigue profonde à sentir que tout ce temps si long non seulement avait sans une interruption été vécu, pensé, sécrété par moi, qu’il était ma vie, qu’il était moi-même, mais encore que j’avais à toute minute à le maintenir attaché à moi, qu’il me supportait, que j’étais juché à son sommet vertigineux, que je ne pouvais me mouvoir sans le déplacer avec moi. (At that very moment, in the Prince de Guermantes’ mansion, I heard the sound of my parents’ footsteps and the metallic, shrill, fresh echo of the little bell which announced M. Swann’s departure and the coming of my mother up the stairs; I heard it now, its very self, though its peal rang out in the far distant past. ‘Then thinking of all the events which intervened between the instant when I had heard it and the Guermantes’ reception I was terrified to think that it was indeed that bell which rang within me still, without my being able to abate its shrill sound, since, no longer remembering how the clanging used to stop, in order to learn, I had to listen to it and I was compelled to close my ears to the conversations of the masks around me. To get to hear it close I had again to plunge into myself. So that ringing must always be there and with it, between it and the present, all that indefinable past unrolled itself which I did not know I had within me. When it rang I already existed and since, in order that I should hear it still, there could be no discontinuity, I could have had no instant of repose or of non-existence, of non-thinking, of non-consciousness, since that former instant clung to me, for I could recover it, return to it, merely by plunging more deeply into myself. It was that notion of the embodiment of Time, the inseparableness from us of the past that I now had the intention of bringing strongly into relief in my work. And it is because they thus contain the past that human bodies can so much hurt those who love them, because they contain so many memories, so many joys and desires effaced within them but so cruel for him who contemplates and prolongs in the order of time the beloved body of which he is jealous, jealous to the point of wishing its destruction. For after death Time leaves the body and memories—indifferent and pale—are obliterated in her who exists no longer and soon will be in him they still torture, memories which perish with the desire of the living body. I had a feeling of intense fatigue when I realised that all this span of time had not only been lived, thought, secreted by me uninterruptedly, that it was my life, that it was myself, but more still because I had at every moment to keep it attached to myself, that it bore me up, that I was poised on its dizzy summit, that I could not move without taking it with me.)

10 Replies to “Remembrance of things past, sigh the lack of many a thing sought, wail my dear time’s waste sessions of sweet silent thought in two hundred forty one minutes”

  1. Would you please share with me the composer and title of the piece that plays on disc one, track one at 1m 50s, and then again at the beginning of the last track on disc 4? I am curious to know the vocalists as well. The song is mesmerizing, as is this album.

    1. Hi Ryan, the answer is Robert Schumann, “Der Nussbaum”

      Robert Schumann’s “Der Nussbaum” (The Nut Tree) comes from the song cycle that he gave to his bride Clara on their wedding day. The song cycle was named after the traditional bridal finery, Myrthens (Myrtles). Schumann wrote Der Nussbaum in 1840, and it marked a radical turning point in his career, as shortly after this piece was composed, he seized upon poetry with a passion, producing more than half his solo songs that year. It is one of four flower-like songs contained in the cycle; others include “Die Lotusblume,” “Du bist wie eine Blume,” and “Aus den östlichen Rosen.” “Der Nussbaum” is a delicate setting of one of Mosen’s poems (see below), in which a meditative melody is shared between the piano and voice. The text tells of the whispers and caresses shared by two nut tree blossoms, revealing a certain maiden’s dreams of a bridegroom; nearby a girl listens, drifting gently into reverie.

      Schumann applies the piano technique of descriptive figuration in “Der Nussbaum” to create the texture of its dreamy setting, by using rolling arpeggios that suggest the “gentle breezes” wafting through the nut tree’s rustling leaves. When this composition was complete, Schumann sent a copy to his fiancée, Clara Wieck, with a note that read, “Sing this quietly and simply, just as you are.” In the work, where occasional departures in text may look like transcription inaccuracies, Schumann has given himself the liberty to separate some of the verses, which impede the flow of the line, to allow the music’s dreamlike quality to emanate.

      In general, in Lieder the traditional word/music synthesis needs to be expanded to include another highly important factor: the instrumental relationship of the voice and the piano. Major Lied composers adopt differing philosophies for finding solutions to these problems. Der Nussbaum illustrates a Schumann solution: subject the poem to musical enrichment by taking into account the inherent sonorities of the two instruments involved, bring together each of the four elements – poetry, musical construction, voice, and piano – into an amalgamated artistic whole. In short, it is not chiefly the value of the poetry that dictates the merit of a Lied, but the accomplishment of its musical realization through the sensitive use of idiomatic vocal and keyboard sonorities. Strikingly, Robert Schumann, the nineteenth-century composer with he deepest immersion in German literature, is the one who most emphatically decides that poetry is there for the musician to remold into new forms of artistic synthesis. The piano improvises a melodious figure above a fragmentary folklike vocal line. The broken-arpeggio figure provides an atmosphere of dreamy contemplation. He invents a musical duet between voice and piano.

  2. on Le Temps retrouvé – À ce moment même … avec moi”, whats the reference song that starts at 7:33? it’s beautiful

    1. Gaetano Donizetti, Una furtiva lagrima from act 2 scene 3 of the opera L’elisir d’amore. It is sung by Nemorino (tenor) when it appears that the love potion he bought to win the heart of his dream lady, Adina, works. Nemorino is in love with Adina, but she is not interested in a relationship with an innocent, rustic man. To win her heart, Nemorino buys a love potion with all the money he has in his pocket. That love potion is actually a cheap red wine sold by a traveling quack doctor, but when he sees Adina weeping, he knows that she has fallen in love with him, and he is sure that the “elixir” has worked.

      Una furtiva lagrima
      negli occhi suoi spuntò:
      Quelle festose giovani
      invidiar sembrò.

      Che più cercando io vo?
      Che più cercando io vo?
      M’ama! Sì, m’ama,
      lo vedo, lo vedo.

      Un solo istante i palpiti
      del suo bel cor sentir!
      I miei sospir confondere
      per poco a’ suoi sospir!
      I palpiti, i palpiti sentir,
      confondere i miei co’ suoi sospir.

      Cielo, si può morir;
      di più non chiedo, non chiedo.
      Ah, cielo! Si può! Si può morir!
      Di più non chiedo, non chiedo.
      Si può morir! Si può morir d’amor.

      In an opera about fake potions and feigned emotions, Donizetti invests this aria with considerable pathos. It is set in B♭ minor, a dark key with often tragic associations.

      1. thanks for replying❤️‍🔥 i also wanted to know the song at the min 16:56? i just couldn’t find it anywhere… it touches deep inside me

  3. xo. Reynaldo Hahn, L’Heure exquise … Based on a poem (1870) by the French great writer Paul Verlaine, L’heure exquise (The exquisite hour) is one of the best known songs of Reynaldo Hahn. Published in 1892, it is the fifth of a group of seven songs entitled Chansons grises (Gray songs). Verlaine often drew inspiration from the delicate paintings of Watteau, which is reflected in his text for this song as well as in Hahn’s tender melody. The composer perfectly captures the image of a moon-drenched evening when lovers come together to share “the exquisite hour.” The delicate melody line requires the utmost vocal control on the part of the singer and the ability to spin floating high notes at the end of each verse.

    La lune blanche
    Luit dans les bois;
    De chaque branche
    Part une voix
    Sous la ramée…
    Ô bien aimée.
    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.

    (The white moon
    Gleams in the woods;
    From every branch
    There comes a voice
    Beneath the boughs…
    O my beloved.
    The pool reflects,
    Deep mirror,
    The silhouette
    Of the black willow
    Where the wind is weeping…
    Let us dream, it is the hour.
    A vast and tender
    Seems to fall
    From the sky
    The moon illumines…
    Exquisite hour.)

    Reynaldo Hahn, 9 August 1874 – 28 January 1947 was a Venezuelan-born French composer, conductor, music critic, and singer. He is best known for his songs – mélodies – of which he wrote more than 100. Hahn was born in Caracas but his family moved to Paris when he was a child, and he lived most of his life there. Following the success of his song “Si mes vers avaient des ailes” (If my verses had wings), written when he was aged 14, he became a prominent member of fin de siècle French society. Among his closest friends were Sarah Bernhardt and Marcel Proust. After the First World War, in which he served in the army, Hahn adapted to new musical and theatrical trends and enjoyed successes with his first opérette, Ciboulette (1923) and a collaboration with Sacha Guitry, the musical comedy Mozart (1926). During the Second World War Hahn, who was of Jewish descent, took refuge in Monaco, returning to Paris in 1945 where he was appointed director of the Opéra. He died in Paris in 1947, aged 72.

  4. 素晴らしい!このアルバムはプルーストの小説とその時代の音楽を繊細に組み合わせ、聴く者をあのユニークな時代へと誘います。クラシックからジャズまで、多岐にわたる音楽の選択は、Belle Époqueのパリをさまよう魅力的な音楽の冒険を作り出しています。このプロジェクトの背後にある調査と情熱は、毎曲毎曲に感じられます。

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *