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Oxford Lieder Festival Live Online

Songs

Colombine

Colombine

Léandre le sot,
Pierrot qui d'un saut,
De puce
Franchit le buisson,
Cassandre sous son
Capuce,
Arlequin aussi,
Cet aigrefin si
Fantasque
Aux costumes fous,
Ses yeux luisants sous
Son masque,
- Do, mi, sol, mi, fa, -
Tout ce monde va,
Rit, chante
Et danse devant
Une belle enfant
Méchante
Dont les yeux pervers
Comme les yeux verts
Des chattes
Gardent ses appas
Et disent: "À bas
Les pattes!"
- Eux ils vont toujours! -
Fatidique cours
Des astres,
Oh! dis-moi vers quels
Mornes ou cruels
Désastres
L'implacable enfant,
Preste et relevant
Ses jupes,
La rose au chapeau,
Conduit son troupeau
De dupes?

Colombine

Foolish Leander,
Pierrot who with a flea-
Hop
Leaps the brushwood,
Pantaloon beneath
His cloak,
Harlequin too,
That swindler so
Bizarre
In his crazy clothes,
With eyes aglow behind
His mask,
- Do re mi fa sol, -
See all of then go,
Laugh, sing,
And dance before
A sweet and naughty
Child
Whose pernicious eyes,
Like the green eyes
Of cats,
Keep their charms
And say: ‘Keep your
Hands off!’
- On and on they go!
Like the fateful course
Of stars,
Oh! tell me, towards which
Dull or savage
Wreckage
Is the implacable child,
Nimbly lifting
Her skirts,
With a flower in her hat,
Leading her herd
Of fools?

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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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