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Songs

Songs

Oh! Quand je dors (1842) S. 282

Oh! Quand je dors

Oh! quand je dors, viens auprès de ma couche,
Comme à Pétrarque apparaissait Laura,
Et qu’en passant ton haleine me touche …
Soudain ma bouche
S’entr’ouvrira!
Sur mon front morne où peut-être s’achève
Un songe noir qui trop longtemps dura,
Que ton regard comme un astre se lève …
Et soudain mon rêve
Rayonnera!
Puis sur ma lèvre où voltige une flamme,
Éclair d’amour que Dieu même épura,
Pose un baiser, et d’ange deviens femme …
Soudain mon âme
S’éveillera!

Ah, while I sleep

Ah, while I sleep, come close to where I lie,
As Laura once appeared to Petrarch,
And let your breath in passing touch me …
At once my lips
Will part!
On my sombre brow, where a dismal dream
That lasted too long now perhaps is ending,
Let your countenance rise like a star …
At once my dream
Will shine!
Then on my lips, where a flame flickers—
A flash of love which God himself has purified—
Place a kiss and be transformed from angel into woman …
At once my soul
Will wake!

Composer

Franz Liszt (22 October 1811 – 31 July 1886) was a Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist, conductor, music teacher, arranger and organist of the Romantic era. He was also a writer, a philanthropist, a Hungarian nationalist and a Franciscan tertiary.

A prolific composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent representatives of the New German School (Neudeutsche Schule). He left behind an extensive and diverse body of work which influenced his forward-looking contemporaries and anticipated 20th-century ideas and trends. Among Liszt's musical contributions were the symphonic poem, developing thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form, and radical innovations in harmony.

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Poet

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.

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