Poems Without Frontiers

Poems in Translation

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Romain Bussine (1830-1899)

Bussine was a voice teacher at the Paris Conservatoire and gave occasional recitals as a baritone.

In 1870, he sang the High Priest from Saint- Saens's Samson and Delilah and in the following year, with several leading figures within the Parisian music society, he founded the Société Nationale de Musique with the motto ars galica. This expressed, at the time of the Paris Commune and the increasing influence of German music, the desire to promote French chamber and orchestral music. The society flourished for several decades but Bussine resigned as joint president in 1886 when foreign music began to be advocated by the committee.

Bussine was also a poet, however, and some works of his were set by his friend Gabriel Fauré. The most well known are his transliterations from the Italian of the poems that became better known in French as Après un Rêve and Sérénade Toscane.

He died in Paris.