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Quand nos bourgeons se rouvriront

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Wikipedia article

'Quand nos bourgeons se rouvriront' '("When the spring comes round")' is a song for solo soprano, part of a staged recitation with orchestra 'Une voix dans le dsert' written by the English composer Edward Elgar in 1915. The words are by the Belgian poet mile Cammaerts'.

It was first performed in a performance of 'Une voix dans le dsert' at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London, on 29 January 1916, sung by the soprano Olga Lynn,Olga Lynn (1882-1961) was a famous singing teacher associated with Covent Garden Opera House. Her autobiography is "Oggie, The Memoirs of Olga Lynn", pub. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1955. with the recitation by the Belgian dramatic performer Carlo Liten,Carlo Liten was born in 1879 in Antwerp, Belgium of a Belgian father and Italian mother. He was a distinguished theatre actor and reciter, at the time well-known in Europe and America. He performed in Elgar's 'Carillon', 'Le drapeau belge' and 'Une voix dans le dsert'. After World War I he acted in three films "The Strongest" (1920), "L'Affaire du train" (1921) and "Les Mystres de Paris" (1922). It was said of him by John Palmer (assistant editor of the London 'Saturday Review') that Liten "had the most wonderful voice in the memory of any living person ... for resonance, servicableness and charm the most remarkable I have ever heard from any actor. Add to this mastery of gesture and expression dictated by a refined intelligence and we get a rare personality." and the orchestra conducted by the composer.

The French title '"Quand nos bourgeons se rouvriront"' literally translates into '"When our buds shall re-open"', but in the English version of the lyrics, by Cammaerts' wife Tita Brand, it became '"When the spring comes round"'.

The song was published separately by Elkin & Co. in 1916, inscribed "English version by R. H. Elkin". The words are the same as in the vocal score of 'Une voix dans le dsert', so it is not clear whether the English translation of the song is by Tita Brand or by Elkin.

'The Pall Mall Gazette' described the scene on the wartime front in West Flanders, Belgium:



*Kennedy, Michael, 'Portrait of Elgar' (Oxford University Press, 1968)

*Moore, Jerrold N. Edward Elgar: a creative life (Oxford University Press, 1984)

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