Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
1. Dieu ! qu'il la fait bon regarder !
Debussy was one of the great innovators of the European musical tradition. His new and decidedly French approaches to melody, harmony, and form (often described as "Impressionism") played a major role in the development of 20th century music. The Trois Chansons, composed in part in 1898 and revised a decade later, are Debussy's only published works for a cappella chorus. Settings of the lyric poetry of Duke Charles of Orleans (1391-1465), they are wonderful examples of the composer's ability to evoke musical atmosphere.
#1: Dieu! qu’il la fait bon regarder!
Lord! How good it is to gaze upon her, that graceful, good, and beautiful creature;
For all the virtues that are hers, everyone is quick to praise her.
Who could ever tire of her?
Her beauty is constantly renewed.
On either side of the ocean there is no maiden who is in all virtues so complete;
It is a dream even to think of her.
Lord! How good it is to gaze upon her.