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Oxford Lieder Festival Live Online

Songs

Bruxelles

Bruxelles

La fuite est verdâtre et rose
Des collines et des rampes,
Dans un demi-jour de lampes
Qui vient brouiller toute chose.
L'or sur les humbles abîmes,
Tout doucement s'ensanglante,
Des petits arbres sans cimes,
Où quelque oiseau faible chante.
Triste à peine tant s'effacent
Ces apparences d'automne.
Toutes mes langueurs rêvassent,
Que berce l'air monotone.

Brussels

Slopes and hills fade away
In greenish pink tones
In the half-light of lamps
Which blur everything.
Gold gently turns blood-red
In simple hollows.
A bird sings a faint song
In the hidden tops of trees.
Scarcely sad – so much do these
Autumnal images fade –
I drift in my languorous dreams,
Cradled in monotone air.

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Composer

Poldowski was the professional pseudonym of a Belgian-born British composer and pianist born Régine Wieniawski, daughter of the Polish violinist and composer Henryk Wieniawski. Some of her early works were published under the name Irène Wieniawska.


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Poet

Paul-Marie Verlaine was a French poet associated with the Symbolist movement. He is considered one of the greatest representatives of the fin de siècle in international and French poetry.
Born in Metz, Verlaine was educated at the Lycée Impérial Bonaparte (now the Lycée Condorcet) in Paris and then took up a post in the civil service. He began writing poetry at an early age, and was initially influenced by the Parnassien movement and its leader, Leconte de Lisle. Verlaine's first published poem was published in 1863 in La Revue du progrès, a publication founded by poet Louis-Xavier de Ricard. Verlaine was a frequenter of the salon of the Marquise de Ricard (Louis-Xavier de Ricard's mother) at 10 Boulevard des Batignolles and other social venues, where he rubbed shoulders with prominent artistic figures of the day: Anatole France, Emmanuel Chabrier, inventor-poet and humorist Charles Cros, the cynical anti-bourgeois idealist Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, Théodore de Banville, François Coppée, Jose-Maria de Heredia, Leconte de Lisle, Catulle Mendes and others. Verlaine's first published collection, Poèmes saturniens (1866), though adversely commented upon by Sainte-Beuve, established him as a poet of promise and originality.

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