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Oxford Lieder Festival Live Online

Songs

Absence (1841) Op. 7 no.4


Part of a series or song cycle:

Les Nuits d’Été (Op. 7)


Absence

Reviens, reviens, me bien-aimée;
Comme une fleur loin du soleil,
La fleur de ma vie est fermée
Loin de ton sourire vermeil!
Entre nos cœurs quelle distance!
Tant d’espace entre nos baisers!
Ô sort amer! ô dure absence!
Ô grands désirs inapaisés!
Reviens, reviens, ma bien-aimée.
Comme une fleur loin du soleil,
La fleur de ma vie est fermée
Loin de ton sourire vermeil!
D’ici là-bas, que de campagnes,
Que de villes et de hameaux,
Que de vallons et de montagnes,
À lasser le pied des chevaux.
Reviens, reviens, ma bien-aimée.
Comme une fleur loin du soleil,
La fleur de ma vie est fermée
Loin de ton sourire vermeil!

Absence

Return, return, my sweetest love!
Like a flower far from the sun,
The flower of my life is closed
Far from your crimson smile!
Such a distance between our hearts!
So great a gulf between our kisses!
O bitter fate! O harsh absence!
O great unassuaged desires!
Return, return, my sweetest love!
Like a flower far from the sun,
The flower of my life is closed
Far from your crimson smile!
So many intervening plains,
So many towns and hamlets,
So many valleys and mountains
To weary the horses’ hooves.
Return, return, my sweetest love!
Like a flower far from the sun,
The flower of my life is closed
Far from your crimson smile!
Translations by Richard Stokes, from A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

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Composer

Louis-Hector Berlioz (11 December 1803 – 8 March 1869) was a French Romantic composer. His output includes orchestral works such as the Symphonie fantastique and Harold in Italy, choral pieces including the Requiem and L'Enfance du Christ, his three operas Benvenuto Cellini, Les Troyens and Béatrice et Bénédict, and works of hybrid genres such as the "dramatic symphony" Roméo et Juliette and the "dramatic legend" La Damnation de Faust.

The elder son of a provincial doctor, Berlioz was expected to follow his father into medicine, and he attended a Parisian medical college before defying his family by taking up music as a profession. His independence of mind and refusal to follow traditional rules and formulas put him at odds with the conservative musical establishment of Paris. He briefly moderated his style sufficiently to win France's premier music prize, the Prix de Rome, in 1830 but he learned little from the academics of the Paris Conservatoire. Opinion was divided for many years between those who thought him an original genius and those who viewed his music as lacking in form and coherence.

Information from Wikipedia. For the full article, please click here.


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Poet

Pierre Jules Théophile Gautier was a French poet, dramatist, novelist, journalist, and art and literary critic.

While Gautier was an ardent defender of Romanticism, his work is difficult to classify and remains a point of reference for many subsequent literary traditions such as Parnassianism, Symbolism, Decadence and Modernism. He was widely esteemed by writers as diverse as Balzac, Baudelaire, the Goncourt brothers, Flaubert, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Henry James, Proust and Oscar Wilde.

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


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