Skip to main content



Oni otvechali (1902) Op. 21 no.4

Oni otvechali

Sprosili oni: ,,Kak v letuchikh chelnakh
Nam beloju chajkoj skol'zit' na volnakh,
Chtob nas storozha nedognali?``
,,Grebite!`` oni otvechali.
Sprosili oni: ,,Kak zabyt', navsegda,
Chto v mire judol'nom jest' bednost', beda,
Chto jest' v njom groza i pechali?``
,,Zasnite!`` oni otvechali.
Sprosili oni: ,,Kak krasavic privlech'
Bez chary: chtob sami na strastnuju rech'
Oni nam v ob"jatija pali?``
,,Ljubite!`` oni otvechali.

The answer

They asked: ‘How, in swift boats,
Are we to glide across the waves, like a white seagull,
Lest the guards should catch us?’
‘Row!’, they answered.
They asked: ‘How are we to forget for ever
That there is poverty and misfortune in this vale of tears,
That there is enmnity and sorry?
‘Sleep’, they answered.
They asked: ‘How are we to win beautiful girls
Without spells: so that our passionate words
Will make them fall into our embraces?
‘Love!’ they answered.

If you would like to use our texts and translations, please click here for more information.


Sergei Rachmaninov was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor of the late Romantic period.

See Full Entry

Source Text by:

Victor Marie Hugo was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. He is considered one of the greatest and best-known French writers. In France, Hugo's literary fame comes first from his poetry and then from his novels and his dramatic achievements. Among many volumes of poetry, Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles stand particularly high in critical esteem. Outside France, his best-known works are the novels Les Misérables, 1862, and Notre-Dame de Paris, 1831 (known in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame). He also produced more than 4,000 drawings, which have since been admired for their beauty, and earned widespread respect as a campaigner for social causes such as the abolition of capital punishment.

Though a committed royalist when he was young, Hugo's views changed as the decades passed, and he became a passionate supporter of republicanism; his work touches upon most of the political and social issues and the artistic trends of his time. He is buried in the Panthéon. His legacy has been honoured in many ways, including his portrait being placed on French franc banknotes.

Taken from Wikipedia. To view the full article, please click here.

See Full Entry


Sorry, no further description available.

Previously performed at:

Mailing List