“I recorded this song for my new album with the brilliant Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Voice of Nature: the Anthropocene. Our theme was the natural world, as both inspiration and victim of human life. Reynaldo Hahn’s setting of a poem by Paul Verlaine captures the transcendent moment when a couple hold their breath at the perfection of moonrise over a forest. During the shutdown at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I found this kind of consolation in long walks outdoors near my home. But in ‘the age of man,’ as the climate crisis continues to worsen, I fear that moments like this will only be memories if we don’t act now.
Below are the English language lyrics for my contribution, ‘The enchanted hour.’”
The white moon
shines in the woods.
From each branch
springs a voice
beneath the arbor.
Oh my beloved...
Like a deep mirror
the pond reflects
of the black willow
where the wind weeps.
Let us dream! It is the hour...
A vast and tender calm
seems to descend
from a sky
made iridescent by the moon.
It is the exquisite hour!
About the Artist
Renée Fleming, a member of the Academy, is a Grammy® award winning musician.
Renée Fleming, Yannick Nézet-Séguin
“L’Heure exquise” by Reynaldo Hahn, from 7 Chansons grises
Heard on the album Voice of Nature: the Anthropocene on Decca Classics
Video licensed to Youtube by UMG (on behalf of Decca Music Group Ltd.)
Commission on the Arts
The Commission - drawing on the expertise of its members who are artists, scholars, activists, and leaders, as well as the input of people across the country who participated in listening sessions - dedicated itself to recognizing and supporting the essential role of the arts and artists in American life.