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Cello Journey #20, Jan. 9, 2007, Faure Apres un Reve

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The music for this episode is the chanson or song by Gabriel Faure called Apres un Reve (After a Dream). At the time Faure wrote this he was having a difficult time in his life. A woman that he loved broke off an engagement to him. Gabriel was very disappointed, gloomy and sad. He wrote a number of pieces that reflect this mood.

The poem that this piece is based on describes a dream with visions of heaven, being with one’s true love, and happiness. At some point though the singer sings that he wishes the dream would return. Perhaps you have some dream that you wish would return to you. I hope you enjoy it.

For feedback please e-mail cellojourney@gmail.com or leave comments.


Dans un sommeil que charmait ton image
Je revais le bonheur, ardent message;
Tes yeux etaient plus doux, ta voix pure et sonore
Tu rayonnais comme un ciel eclaire par l’aurore;
Tu m’appelais, et je quittais la terre
Pour m’enfuir avec toi vers la lumiere;
Les cieux pour nous entr’ouvraient leurs nues;
Splendeurs inconnues, lueurs divines entrevues…
Helas, helas, triste reveil des songes !
Je t’apelle, o nuit, rends-moi tes mensonges;
Reviens, reviens radieuse
Reviens, o nuit mysterieuse

English Translation: (This is a rough translation with the help of an online translator)
In a sleep which your image charmed
I dreamed happiness, ardent mirage;
Your eyes are softer, your voice pure and clear
You radiated like a sky brightened by the dawn;
You called me, and I left the ground
to flee with you towards the light;
The skies between us opened their clouds;
Unknown splendours, divine gleams…
Alas, alas, sad awakening from dreams!
I call you, O night, return to me your illusions;
Return, return radiance
Return, O night mysterious!


  1. A most excellent piece. I will look to buy some sheet music for this piece in the future. My only complaint would be that your shadows are at odd angles. Perhaps an overhead light would give a better appearance. Excellent playing, good job and good luck!

  2. I’m french speaking, and this is quite a good translation 🙂
    Except for the message that turns into mirage ?

    I tend to like Fauré more and more…

  3. Marianne Violdalt(I think was her name)broke off the engagment after months of Faure waiting for an answer, then after she spent a summer away from him. The worst part, other than Gabriel being heartbroken, was that he was very good friends with her family, and he was then cut off from them. I read I biograpgy of him the other day. Lovely piece. I have Joshua Bell’s recording, but naturally the cello version is better!!!:-)

  4. Hannah – Nice to hear some more details about Gabriel’s circumstances. I didn’t know he was good friends with that family.

  5. Eee! I love it! Faure is officially my favorite composer… Well… Erm… Actually I dunno. He can’t really beat Dvorak, but he’s certainly high on my list. I am certainly buying the sheet music to this ASAP! I have been in a cello slump lately, but watching this inspired me. Thanks so much!

  6. Really lovely – happily, my dream was to hear that piece and unlike poor old Gabriel I can do it at the click of a mouse again and again. Great site. Very inspiring to us novices. More please!

  7. Madeline – I really like Dvorak too!

    Zara – I sometimes wonder what composers of those days would think about computers, the internet, things like that.

  8. I first heard this piece in a small concert when my friend decided to sing this piece. She really has a lovely operatic voice and even though I forgot the name of the piece I immediately recognized that this was the piece she sung when I watched this video because I remember being so in awe of her and of course the beauty of the piece. It is amazing that this piece works so well in both voice and cello.

    I have been looking at your site for a while and I would just like to say that while I do love the pieces you play immensely and the technical ability you both possess, I feel that it is your interpretation that really makes me enjoy the way you both play. It is great that you both have opted for considerate interpretations instead of compromising the music by showing off.

    Continue with the music making, I can’t wait to watch more!

  9. Karly – Thank you for your thoughtful comments. It is neat that your friend sung this. I think it sounds great on voice. I listened to some voice recordings before playing it. The words fit the music so well. I agree that it sounds good on the cello too.

  10. hello this is a great piece and i am perfroming it for my level 7 AMEB exam in the cello. You are a great cellist and am looking forward to another performance. I put in one request though Allegro Appassionato by Saint-Saens. It might be a bit long but it is one of my favs.

  11. I vote for Allegro Appassionata too! I played it last year. I love your website and your playing. Who is your pianist? Can you tell us about him? He’s very good.

  12. I lsitened to this and I would love to here your interpratation (sp?) of lalo’s “chants russes” in my opinion, the most beautiful cello piece ever written

  13. Hi, just found this site.
    Great stuff, i’m 14 and this is certainly a lot more in tune than mine currently!
    Just wondering, which edition do you have, as mine starts an octave below and then goes up at the reprise of the tune.
    Being able to watch a ‘cellist so close up is fab, gives me a chance to think about my technique and how i appear to other people.
    Interesting watching the fingerings and bowings too.

  14. I actually play it both times in the same octave. I listened to some voice recordings of this and looked at the score of the original song.


  15. Thank you for your homepage. I just recorded Apres un Reve together with many other pieces on a CD. I was looking for the text of Apres un Reve on the Internet and found just the right page. Thank you very much for your contribution.
    Berndt Bohman
    Principal cellist of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra

  16. This is a great site. I love your playing. Perfect intonation. Everything sounds so natural, which is great for us practising at home. I dont feel that manufactured recording studio sound. Also the piano sound natural. Its as how it would sound if we were there in the room with you. It would be great if you could put these pieces on a DVD and also on CD with the piano accompaniment separate. Keep up the good work. You are making a world impression. Greeting from Dublin, Ireland.

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