Quand nos bourgeons se rouvriront
”Quand nos bourgeons se rouvriront” ("When the spring comes round") is a song for solo soprano, part of a staged recitation with orchestra Une voix dans le désert written by the English composer Edward Elgar in 1915. The words are by the Belgian poet Émile Cammaerts.
It was first performed in a performance of Une voix dans le désert at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London, on 29 January 1916, sung by the soprano Olga Lynn, with the recitation by the Belgian dramatic performer Carlo Liten, and the orchestra conducted by the composer.
The French title "Quand nos bourgeons se rouvriront" literally translates into "When our buds shall re-open", but in the English version of the lyrics, by Cammaerts' wife Tita Brand, it became "When the spring comes round".
The song was published separately by Elkin & Co. in 1916, inscribed "English version by R. H. Elkin". The words are the same as in the vocal score of Une voix dans le désert, so it is not clear whether the English translation of the song is by Tita Brand or by Elkin.
'It is night when the curtain rises, showing the battered dwelling, standing alone in the desolate land, with the twinkling of camp fires along the Yser in the distance, and in the foreground the cloaked figure of a man, who soliloquises on the spectacle ... the voice of a peasant girl is heard coming from the cottage, singing a song of hope and trust in anticipation of the day the war shall be ended ...'
- Kennedy, Michael, Portrait of Elgar (Oxford University Press, 1968) ISBN 0-19-315414-5
- Moore, Jerrold N. “Edward Elgar: a creative life” (Oxford University Press, 1984) ISBN 0-19-315447-1
- The CD with the book Oh, My Horses! Elgar and the Great War has many historical recordings including Une voix dans le désert with Quand nos bourgeons se rouvriront, a 1985 recording with Alvar Lidell (narrator), Valerie Hill (soprano) and the Kensington Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leslie Head
- Olga Lynn (1882-1961) was a famous singing teacher associated with Covent Garden Opera House. Her autobiography is "Oggie, The Memoirs of Olga Lynn", pub. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1955.
- Carlo Liten was born in 1879 in Antwerp, Belgium of a Belgian father and Italian mother. He was a distinguished theatre actor and reciter, at the time well-known in Europe and America. He performed in Elgar's Carillon, Le drapeau belge and Une voix dans le désert. After World War I he acted in three films "The Strongest" (1920), "L'Affaire du train" (1921) and "Les Mystères de Paris" (1922). It was said of him by John Palmer (assistant editor of the London Saturday Review) that Liten "had the most wonderful voice in the memory of any living person ... for resonance, servicableness and charm the most remarkable I have ever heard from any actor. Add to this mastery of gesture and expression dictated by a refined intelligence and we get a rare personality."
- The Pall Mall Gazette, 31 January 1916
- Boche: French slang meaning "rascal", an offensive term applied by French soldiers to German soldiers in World War 1.
- Foreman, Lewis (ed.),Oh, My Horses! Elgar and the Great War, Elgar Editions, Rickmansworth, 2001 ISBN 978-0-9537082-3-9