J’ai Presque Peur en Vérité

SATB a capella

A work commissioned by the Haarlems Studentenkoor, for their French concert program. The work was premiered on the 9th of June 2009, in the Oosterkerk, Haarlem. The text was written by Paul Verlaine.

There is a lot of emotion in this work, but the experience of it is never fully realized. The desire to dare to open yourself to love, the other, the world is very present, but there seems to be an inability to takeopen up, so that the piece keeps being dissonant and irregular to the end.

I’m almost afraid, it’s true

I’m almost afraid, it’s true,
when I see how my life is entwined
with the radiant thought
that stole my soul last summer;

when I see how your ever-dear image
lives in this heart that is all yours,
my heart that only wants
to love you and to please you;

and I tremble – forgive me
for speaking so freely –
at the thought that a word or a smile
from you so rules me

and that a gesture,
a word or a wink
from you is enough to set my soul
in mourning for its heavenly illusion.

I really only want to see you,
no matter how dark
and full of pain my future,
through an immense hope,

plunged into this supreme job
of saying over and always to myself,
despite all dismal returns,
that I love you, that I love thee!