Jussi Björling sings Salut, demeure (Faust)

One of the leading operatic tenors of the 20th century, Jussi Björling sings “Salut, demeure” from Faust, a grand opera in five acts by Charles Gounod to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré.

This opera contains many great “hits”. From these we present Faust’s cavatina here: “Salut demeure chaste et pure” meaning I greet you, home chaste and pure. At Marguerite’s house Faust greets the home in which Nature brought up Marguerite, where the small girl became a beautiful and attractive woman. The tension and tempo of the cavatina gradually increase until the cusp point, the famous high C, near the end of the aria. The cavatina is usually sung by lyric tenors.

Lyrics

French (original)

Quel trouble inconnu me pénètre!
Je sens l’amour s’emparer de mon être.
Ô Marguerite, à tes pieds me voici!

Salut, demeure chaste et pure
Salut, demeure chaste et pure
Où se devine la présence
D’une âme innocente et divine
Que de richesse en cette pauvreté
En ce réduit, que de félicité
Que de richesse
Que de richesse en cette pauvreté
En ce réduit, que de félicité
O Nature,
C’est là que tu la fis si belle
C’est là que cette enfant
A dormi sous ton aile,
A grandi sous tes yeux.
Là que de ton haleine
Enveloppant son âme
Tu fis avec amour
Epanouir la femme
En cet ange des cieux
C’est là ! Oui ! C’est là !
Salut, demeure chaste et pure
Salut, demeure chaste et pure
Où se devine la présence
D’une âme innocente et divine
Salut !
Salut, demeure chaste et pure
Où se devine la présence
D’une âme innocente et divine.

English translation

What kind of unknown trouble is penetrating me
I sense love taking hold of my being!
O Marguerite, at your feet, here I am!

I greet you, home chaste and pure,
I greet you, home chaste and pure,
Where is manifested the presence
Of a soul, innocent and divine!
How much richness in this poverty!
In this retreat, how much happiness!
How much richness
What richness in this poverty!
O nature, it is here
That you have made her so beautiful!
It is here that this child
Slept under your wing,
Grew up under your eyes.
Here that your breath
Enveloping her soul,
You made, with love, the woman blossom
Into this angel from heaven!
It’s here! Yes, it is here!
I greet you, home chaste and pure,
I greet you, home chaste and pure,
Where is manifested the presence
Of a soul, innocent and divine!
I greet you, home chaste and pure, etc

Sources

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