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Despite an early aesthetic that wanted Baudelaire hating nature, his works, especially after 1859, speak of it otherwise: the close proximity of Paris urban environment to the natural world blends the boundary between the two, the urban landscape coexisting peacefully with nature. Baudelaire goes as far as to profess his desire to write ‘eclogues’, the classical pastoral style of poetry exalting the beauty and simplicity of nature.
And there you have it: "Le coucher du soleil romantique" exemplifies the struggle between nature and man, the peace and perfection of the former being disrupted by the latter. Baudelaire's take is rather typical of a world where man dominates over everything, regardless of the consequences. Longing for that sun but incapable of following through, raptured by his own demons, Man is faced with the inevitable consequence of the darkest night and his own demise.
One of the most touching poems of Charles Baudelaire in the Fleurs du mal: a game of lights, and the inevitability of time slipping away in an aria for soprano and piano.
~2 min. 40 sec.
1 vocal score