Home > Love, Music, Opera, Valentines Day > Matters of the Heart

Matters of the Heart

February 13, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Another Valentine Day is upon us; a time to ponder love, romance, and matters of the heart. Ah, love! Is there any other emotion that has proven more inspirational to artists, poets, writers, and composers throughout history? I thought I’d pull together a number works that capture love in its many different forms – hardly an exhaustive list but fun for me and hopefully for you. Enjoy!

The first selection evokes a rapturous, emotional, caught-in-the-throes-of-passionate-entrancement, mutually shared kind of love. The song is a barcarole (literally, a boat song) with its rhythmic tempo rocking gently back and forth as though floating upon the water in a Gondola. Lyrics originally in French, with English translation provided.

Belle Nuit O Nuit D’Amour from Offenbach’s Les Contes De Hoffman

French:
Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour,
Souris à nos ivresses,
Nuit plus douce que le jour,
Ô belle nuit d’amour!
Le temps fuit et sans retour
Emporte nos tendresses,
Loin de cet heureux séjour
Le temps fuit sans retour.
Zéphyrs embrasés,
Versez-nous vos caresses,
Zéphyrs embrasés,
Donnez-nous vos baisers!
vos baisers! vos baisers!

Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour,
Souris à nos ivresses,
Nuit plus douce que le jour,
Ô belle nuit d’amour!
Ah! Souris à nos ivresses!
Nuit d’amour, ô nuit d’amour!

English Translation:
Lovely night, oh night of love
Smile upon our joys!
Night much sweeter than the day
Oh beautiful night of love!
Time flies irretrievably
Forgetting our tenderness
Far from this happy place
Time flies for ever.
Burning zephyrs,
Fill us with your caresses
Burning zephyrs,
Give us your kisses!
your kisses! your kisses! Ah

Lovely night, oh night of love
Smile upon our joys!
Night much sweeter than the day
Oh beautiful night!
Ah Smile upon our joys!
Night of love, oh night of love!

Of course there are other kinds of love. How about a sad and hopelessly love-struck peasant beginning to believe his Elixir of Love potion he purchased might actually be working his dream woman? Now that’s a haunting kind of love.

Una Furtiva Lagrima from Gaetano Donizetti’s L’Elisir D’Amore

Italian:
Una furtiva lagrima
Negli occhi suoi spunto.
Quelle festose giovani
Invidiar sembro.
Che piu cercando io vo?
Che piu cercando io vo?
M’ama! Sì, m’ama, lo vedo, lo vedo.

Un solo instante i palpiti
Del suo bel cor sentir!
I miei sospir, confondere
Per poco a’ suoi sospir!
I palpiti, i palpiti sentir,
Confondere i miei coi suoi sospir
Cielo, si puo morir!
Di piu non chiedo, non chiedo.
Ah! Cielo, si puo, si puo morir,
Di piu non chiedo, non chiedo.
Ah! Cielo, si puo, si puo morir,
Di piu non chiedo, non chiedo.

Si puo morir, si puo morir d’amor.

English Translation:
A furtive tear
Welled up in her eye…
Those carefree girls
She seemed to envy…
Why should I look any further?
Why should I look any further?
She loves me, yes, she loves me.
I can see it, I can see it.

To feel for just one moment
The beating of her dear heart!
To blend my sighs
For a little with hers!
The heartbeats, the heartbeats of hers I feel,
To mingle my sighs along with hers.
Heavens! I could die;
I wish for nothing more; nothing.
Heavens! I could die;
I wish for nothing more; nothing.

I could die, oh I could die of love.

No references to romantic love would be complete without some mention of Romeo and Juliet. In Bellini’s Opera, I Capuletti e i Montecchi (The Capulets and Montagues), Juliet sits in her chambers pining for the forbidden love of Romeo.

O Quante Volte from Bellini’s I Capuletti e i Montecchi

Italian Text
Oh! quante volte,
Oh! quante ti chiedo
Al ciel piangendo
Con quale ardor t’attendo,
E inganno il mio desir!
Con quale ardor t’attendo,
E inganno il mio desir!
Raggio del tuo sembiante
Parmi il brillar del giorno:
L’aura che spira intorno
Mi sembra un tuo sospir.
L’aura che spira intorno
Mi sembra un tuo sospir.

English Translation (a lot is lost in the translation – sorry)
Oh! How many times,
Oh! How many times I’ve asked you,
Crying to the heavens
ardor to which I await,
And deceives my desire!
Ardor with which I await,
And deceives my desire!
The radius of your countenance
Is like the shine of day to me:
The breeze that blows around me
I think of one of your sighs.
The breeze that blows around me
I think of one of your sighs.

Bah! Enough already with the Romantic kind of love. How about a good old-fashioned seductive, saucy, sultry, forbidden kind of love? These following two selections from Bizet’s Opera Carmen have a taste of it all: bondage, dominance, flirting, biting, spitting, and of course, submission and surrender to lusty naughtiness. What’s NOT to love?

Sometimes you really don’t need words to feel the sultriness and oozing sensuality. A Spanish Guitar and a Tango Flamenco will do nicely.

Wishing all of you a love-filled day, whatever meaning and interpretation you may choose for love. Happy Valentines Day.

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Categories: Love, Music, Opera, Valentines Day
  1. October 29, 2011 at 6:15 am

    love these all videos, 🙂

  2. September 12, 2012 at 2:00 am

    Hi there, Phil. Thank you very much for your visit & follow. I truly do hope I have something to give, in what I do. I’m honoured for you to drop by :).

    Now, will click on your video because that red rose is utterly, utterly stunning in its redness. Red is my favourite colour, easily. So vibrant…

  3. September 12, 2012 at 2:05 am

    That first video was fantastic! I have NEVER been to the opera, & I’m just amazed how that woman held the whole stage & sang the whole way through so awesomely. She was great – & that was only one song! Aye, love’s a gypsy that doens’t follow the rules….

    That was just great – thank you for a new experience today 🙂

  4. September 12, 2012 at 2:11 am

    The Flamenco, too. Beautiful, beautiful…. Listening to it now…

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