La Vie en Rose

Programme notes (click here for song lyrics and translations)

Roberto Negri's distinguished career as a concert pianist, conductor and composer, began at the age of 16 when he made his debut playing piano concerti in both Milan and Vienna. In 1976 he joined the Teatro alla Scala, Milano as Maestro Collaboratore to Riccardo Muti, Kleiber, Solti, Mehta, Maazel and Pretre among others, and he has accompanied many great singers particularly Bergonzi, Giuseppe di Stefano, Leyla Gencer, Scotto, Vargas and Luciana Serra. He currently holds the position of Maestro al Accademia della Scala, Milano, working together with the great Soprano Leyla Gencer on the development of young singers.

In the field of light music and jazz he has composed, arranged and conducted many musicals and works for music theatre, notably the award-winning Victor Victoria, and My Fair Lady, which he directed throughout Italy. As well as writing and performing works for RAI Television ("Drive-In") and Radio, he has accompanied Milva, Mina and recently recorded the music of Jacques Brell.

Roberto Negri made his London debut with Susan Daniel at the Wigmore Hall in 1996 and they have since given many recitals together throughout the UK and Italy, notably at The Mansion House, Wells Cathedral, three concerts at The Goldsmiths' Hall, Goodwood House, The Barrandov Opera, Suffolk, and several Italian Theatres particularly in Milan.

This is their second recital album together.
The sequel to La Vie en Rose, "The Seeds of Love" is planned for Spring 2005, together with an album of Neapolitan Songs with orchestra.


La Vie en Rose CD
click on the tracks below to see the song
lyrics and translation

1. Sergei Rachmaninov Zdyèss Charashaw Op.21. No 7
2. Gabriel Fauré Les Roses d’Ispahan Op.39. No4
3. Giovanni d’Anzi Ma l’amore, no Milano, !943
4. Francis Poulenc La Reine de Coeur Paris, 1940
5. Charles Ives Two Little Flowers New York, 1921
6. Robert Stolz Du sollst der Kaiser Vienna, 1908 meiner Seele sein
7. Ernest Chausson Le Colibri Op.2. No 7
8. Francesco Paolo Tosti ‘A Vucchella Folkestone, 1907
9. Enrique Granados La Maja y el Ruisenor 1912
10. Ernest Chausson Le Temps des Lilas 1910
11. E.A. Mario Le Rose Rosse Napoli, 1918
12. Robert Schuman A Red, Red Rose 1834
13. Traditional The Seeds of Love arr. Negri
14. Francesco Paolo Tosti Ancora qualque rosa è ne’ rosai 1910
15. Ivor Novello Music in May London, 1936
16. Johann Strauss Rote Rose Vienna, 1910
17. Eduardo di Capua I ‘te vurria vasa’! Napoli, 1908
18. Edith Piaf La Vie en Rose Paris, 1947

Recorded in Milan on 12,18, and 21st February, 2004.

Sound Engineering by Patrick Pecchinini
at Belmusic S.R.L, 20127 Milano, Italy.

With many thanks to Julia Owen in Rome for her guidance on the Neapolitan history, and with much gratitude to the English Folksong and Dance Society at Cecil Sharp House, for all of their help with the folksongs, and for the use of their remarkable library in central London.



"Zdyèss charashaw"
"How fair this place"

Rachmaninov wrote this radiant song while on his honeymoon...

Zdyèss charashaw...
How fair this place...
Vzglyanee, vdalee agnyom gavreet ryeka;
- Look, in the distance,the river gleams like fire,
tsvetneem kavrom loogah lekglee,
- the meadow lies in a coverlet of flowers
belayoot ablaka.
- and of snow white clouds.
Zdyèss nyet loodjay.
- There are no people ...
zdyess teeshina
- there is peace
zdyess tolkah buch
- there is only God
dah yah.
- and I.
Tsvetui dasta rahyah sàssnah,
- Flowers and an old tree
dah tui,
- and you,
metchtah mawyah !
- my longed for one !

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2. Gabriel Fauré Op.39 No 4 - Les Roses d'Ispahan
Lecomte de Lisle

Ispahan is a Damask rose and of Persian origin. Her
species name is "PomPon des Princes", and although
she was first cultivated in England and recorded in
1832, she is probably very much older.

Les Roses d'Ispahan dans leur gaîne de mousse,
Les jasmins de Mossoul,
Les fleurs de l'oranger,
Ont un parfum moins frais,ont une odeur moins douce,
Ô blanche Leïlah! Que ton souffle léger.
Ta lèvre est de corail et ton rire léger
Sonne mieux que l'eau vive et d'une voix plus douce.
Mieux que le vent joyeux qui berce l'oranger,
Mieux que l'oiseau qui chante au bord d'un nid de mousse
O Leïlah! Depuis que de leur vol léger
Tous les baisers ont fui de ta lèvre si douce.
Il ne plus de parfum dans le pâle oranger,
Ni de céleste arome aux roses dans leur mousse.
Oh! Que ton jeune amour ce papillon léger
Revienne vers mon coeur d'une aile prompte et douce.
Et qu'il parfume encor la fleur de l'oranger,
Les roses d'Ispahan dans leur gaine de mousse.

The Roses of Ispahan wrapped in their mousseline,
The jasmin of Mossoul,
And orange flowers,
Possess a perfume less fresh, a scent less sweet,
Than your light whisper, O pale Leïlah!
Your lips of coral, and your gay laugh
Are better than rushing water and sound sweeter.
Lighter than the joyous breeze which rocks the orange tree,
Better than the bird which sings on the edge of it's nest of mousse. O
Leïlah! Since their gentle flight All the kisses have fled from your
sweet lips. There is no longer any perfume in the pale orange tree,
Neither the heavenly scent of roses enfolded in their mousse.
Oh! That your young love, light as a butterfly
Could return to my heart on a wing so swift and sweet.
And restore the scent to the orange flowers
And the Roses of Ispahan wrapped in their mousseline.

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3. Giovanni d'Anzi - Ma l'amore, no!
Milan 1943 - But love, no!

Guardando le rose, fiorite stamani, io penso,"domani saranna appassite", E tutte le cose son come le rose, che vivono un giorno, un'ora e non più!

Ma l'amore, no.
L'amore mio non può disperdersi nel vento, con le rose.
Tanto è forte che non cederà non sfiorirà.
Io lo veglierò. Io lo diffenderò - da tutte quelle insidie velenose -
che vorrebbero strapparlo al cuor, povero amor! Forse te ne andrai..
D'altre donne le carezze cercherai.. Ahimè.. E se tornerai già
sfiorita ogni bellezza troverai in me.. Ma l'amore, no. - L'amore mio
non puo Dissolversi con l'oro dei capelli. Finch'io viva sarà vivo in
me, solo per te!

Seeing the roses in flower this morning, I'm thinking, "tomorrow
they'll be over", And everything's like the roses, alive for
today, just an hour, not more! But not Love. My love can't disperse
in the wind, like roses. I shall watch over it, defending it from all
those insidious poisons - That want to strike at the heart.... poor
Love! Perhaps you will wander off.seeking the caresses of other
women...Ahimè.. And if you return, you'll find me in full bloom.. But
my love won't disappear, along with the gold in your hair. As long as
I'm alive, it'll live in me, just for you!

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4. FRANCIS POULENC- La Reine de Coeur
Maurice Carème 1960. - The Queen of the Heart

Mollement accoudée
- Gently....
A ses vitres de lune,
- By her moonlit
La Reine vous salue
- TheQueen greets you
D'une fleur de rosier.
- From a rose tree.
C'est la Reine de coeur.
- She is the Queen of the heart.
Elle peut, s'il lui plaît,
- She is able to pleasure it.
Vous mener
en secret
- She can lead you in secret
Vers d'étranges demeures
- To strange
Où il n'est plus de portes,
- Where there are no longer any doors
De salles ni de tours
Neither rooms nor towers
Et où les jeunesmortes
- And where the young dead
Viennent parler d'amour
- Come to
talk of love.
La Reine vous salue;
- The Queen greets you,
Hâtez-vous de la suivre
- Hasten to meet her
Dans son chateau de givre
In her castle of hoar-frost.
Aux doux vitraux de lune.
- By the sweet, moonlit,

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5. CHARLES IVES - Two Little Flowers

(and dedicated to them)
clearly a reference
to his

On sunny days in our backyard,
Two little flowers are seen,
One dressed at times, in brightest
and one in green.
The marigold is radiant, the rose... passing fair;
The violet is ever dear, the orchid ever rare;
There's loveliness in wild flow'rs of field or wide savannah,
But fairest, rarest, of them all
are Edith and Susanna.

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6. ROBERT STOLZ - Du sollst der Kaiser meine Seele Sein
Der Favorit 1908

Little known outside Vienna, where his operettas were much appreciated, this is one of Robert Stolz' loveliest arias. Written at the height of the Belle Époch, it is a beautiful description of great love, unfettered by convention.

Ich weiss ein Land das ohne Schranken
Ich weiss ein Land worin sich ranken
Wohl tausend zärtliche Gedanken um meiner Liebe Rosenpfad
Das ist das Land worin ich lebe,
Das ist das Reich das ich dir gebe,
Auf dessen Thron ich dich nun hebe ist meines Herzens freier stadt -
Du, du, du sollst der Kaiser meiner Seele sein, Du, du, du sollst den
Purpur tragen ganz allein ! Du, du, du sollst das Szepter führen, du,
du, nur du darfst drin regieren, Du, du, du ziest als Sieger ein.

I know a land without borders
I know a kingdom encircled
By a thousand enchanting thoughts, winding themselves around my
beloved Rose garden. That is the world which I inhabit - that is the
kingdom which I give to you, Upon whose throne I place you - the free
world of my heart. You are the Emperor of my soul, You alone can wear
the purple there, Only you may hold the sceptre, for only you may
reign Where you are crowned as the victor.

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7. ERNEST CHAUSSON Op.2, No. 7 - Le Colibri
Lecomte de Lisle
The Humming Bird

Chausson's exquisite painting in music of the hummingbird, is avignette, and contrasts well with his grand, luscious orchestral writing. His aural description of the bird's slow descent toward's the fatal flower, and the pause just before the dénoument are unique, and unforgettable.

Le vert colibri, le roi des collines,
Voyant la rosée et le soleil clair,
Luire dans son nid tissé d'herbes fines,
Comme un frais rayon s'échappe dans l'air.
Il se hâte et vole aux sources voisines,
Où les bambous font le bruit de la mer,
Où l'açoka rouge aux odeurs divines
S'ouvre et porte au coeur un humide éclair.
Vers la fleur dorée, il descend, se pose,
Et boit tant d'amour dans la coupe rose.

Qu'il meurt, ne sachant s'il l'a pu tarir!
Sur ta lèvre pure, o ma bien aimée,
Telle aussi mon âme eut voulu mourir,
Du premier baiser, qui l'a parfumée.

The green hummingbird, king of the hills,
Seeing the dew and the bright sun,
Glistens in his nest woven with fine twigs,
Escapes in the air like a clear sunbeam.
He hurries off to the nearby springs,
Where the bamboos swish with the sound of the sea,
Where the ruby hibiscus with it's heavenly perfume
Unfolds, and brings a moist light to the heart.

Towards the golden flower he descends, alights,
And drinks so much love from the rosy cup
That he dies, not knowing if he could have drained it!
On your pure lips, O my beloved,
My soul would likewise have wished to die,
From the first kiss, which perfumed it.

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Gabriele d'Annunzio

Tosti was born in Naples and made a great career as a singer and composer of salon music. He spent twenty years in London where he became singing master to the children of Queen Victoria who created him a baronet, and Verdi called him the greatest writer of the century for the voice. This is a Neapolitan Barcarolle, within it, the seductive rhythms of the sea, and although Tosti called it "Arietta di Posillipo", he wrote it in Folkestone, in 1907.

Si! Comm'a nu sciorillo tu tiene na vucchella
Nu poco pocorillo appassuliatella.
Meh.dammillo, è comm'a na rusella
Dammillo nu vasillo, dammillo Cannetella.
Dammillo e pigliatillo, nu vaso piccerillo,
Comm'a chesta vucchella
Che pare na rusella
Nu poco pocorillo appassuliatella.
Si...tu tiene na vucchella
Nu poco pocorillo appassuliatella.

Yes, young lady, your mouth is just like a small hazelnut,
and somewhat passionate.
But . give it to me,.it's just like a rosebud
Give me a little kiss on the mouth, Cannetella,
Give it to me and take.. just one small kiss,
Just as your mouth
like a rosebud,
Yes, your mouth
Is so very, very passionate.

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9. ENRIQUE GRANADOS La Maja y el Ruisenor

Granados' only opera Goyescas, was inspired by thepaintings of Goya. Every morning, when I was singing Carmen in Madrid, and after dancing Flamenco and Salsa for half of the night, I would run to the museums to gaze at the magnificent paintings of Velazquez, Picasso, Mirò and of course..Goya, whose ravishing portraits of the aristocracy were in such dramatic contrast to his brutal depictions ofwar. This aria, " The Lover and the Nightingale ", is a passionate outpouring - almost a premonition of the tragedy which is to follow in the opera.

"Porqué entre sombras el ruiseñor entona su armonioso cantar ?
A caso al rey del dia guarda rencor, y de quiera algun agravio vengar?
Guarda quizas su pecho oculto tal dolor, que en sombra espera alivio
hallar, Triste entonando cantos de amor, Ay - de amor. Y tal vez
alguna flor temblorosa del pudor de amar, es la esclava, Es la esclava
enamorada de su cantor!. Misterio es el cantar que entona envuelto en
sombra el ruiseñor! Ah! Son los amores como flor, como flor a merced
de la mar. Amor! Amor! Ah! No hay cantar sin amor. Ah! Ruiseñor: es tu
cantar himno de amor. Oh ruiseñor!"

Why does the nightingale pour out his ravishing song in the darkness?
Does he have a grievance against the king, and try to revenge himself
in this way? See how deeply he holds his pain within him, and hopes to
find relief in the depths of the night, Sadly singing his love song!
Somewhere perhaps there is a rose blushing with modesty at her
thoughts of love, A slave, enchanted by his song! How mysterious is
the melody which flows in the darkness of the night. Ah! Loves are
like flowers at the mercy of the sea. Beloved! I cannot sing without
love. Ah! - it is you who sings in praise of love, oh Nightingale!

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10. Ernest Chausson - Le Temps de Lilas,
Maurice Bouchor - Lilac Time

This song is more often heard as the last movement of Chausson's ravishing tone poem for soprano and orchestra - Poème de l'amour et de la Mer, ... Love and the Sea. Here it is in the original version written in 1910. With it's grand and rather lush writing, it is a reminder of Fantin Latour's fabulous paintings of roses, the visual interpretation of the Belle Époch, and of those of the the great artist and engraver Pièrre Joseph Redouté one hundred years earlier. These would hardly have seen the light of day without the support of the Empress Josephine Bonaparte, who, abandoned by Napoleon, consoled herself with her roses both new species and old, in her beautiful garden at Malmaison.

Le temps des lilas et le temps des roses
Ne reviendra plus à ce printemps-ci;
Le temps des lilas et le temps des roses est passé,
Le temps des oeillets aussi.
Le vent a changé, les cieux sont moroses,
Et nous n'irons plus courir, et cueillir
Les lilas en fleur et les belles roses;
Le printemps est triste et ne peut fleurir.
Oh! Joyeux et doux printemps de l'année,
Qui vins, l'an passé, nous ensoleiller,
Notre fleur d'amour est si bien fanée,
Las! Que ton baiser ne peut l'éveiller!
Et toi, que fait-tu? Pas de fleurs écloses,
Point de gai soleil ni d'ombrages frais;
Le temps des lilas et le temps des roses
Avec notre amour est mort
à jamais .

The time of lilac and roses
Will not return again this Spring;
The lilac and roses are over,
And the pinks as well.
The wind has changed, the skies are overcast,
And we will not run out again to gather up the gorgeous lilac and
roses; Spring is sad and cannot flower. Oh! Joyful and sweet Spring of
the year, That last year's wine enlivened, Our blossoming love is
already faded.... Alas, your kiss cannot awaken it! And what do you
do? With no budding flowers, No happy sunshine nor fresh clouds; The
time of lilac and roses Along with our love,
is dead
For always.

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11. E.A.Mario - Le Rose Rosse
Naples, c.1918. - Red Roses

This description of the devastation wrought by the bombs of the first World War on the fields of roses is especially poignant, because it is so reminiscent of our association with poppies. I had always thought of roses as being grown in beds, but they are of course, cultivated in fields.....

Tutte le rose di tutti i roseti
vorrebbe il cuore soltanto per sè:
tutte le rose dei giorni più lieti,
or che ogni cuore più triste non è, e si fan tènere
le bocche, e baciano:
baciano e fremono tra I prati infior..

so che vuoi goder,
so che vuoi per te
rose d'ogni colore...
le rose rosse, no.
non le voglio veder!.
Non le voglio veder!

So d'un giardino che fu devastato,
poi che la guerra feroce vi entrò:
tutto il terreno di sangue arrossato,
sangue che tutte le rose macchiò!
E rosseggiarono,
corolle e petali,
infranti al tepido
bacio del sol...


Torni il bel maggio, e il ricordo cancelli
D'un tempo tristo che alfine passò.
Tutti I colori più vaghi e più belli
vegga fiorir chi sofferse ed amò.
Ma non ritornono
Le rossi immagini
Che ci ricordano tanti dolor!


All of the roses in the rose gardens
like to keep your heart just for themselves:
and all these roses are blest by happier days
now that hearts are no longer sad,
and they are held close to lips, kissed
as they rustle and flower in their fields...

Dear hearts,
I know that you long to enjoy them...
That you wish for roses of every colour..
Red roses, no..
I don't ever want to see those again!

I know a garden that was devastated
by the ferocious war which found it's way in:
All of the ground stained,
by the blood which left it's mark on the roses!
Turning them crimson,
their stamens and petals,
shattered by the sun's
pale kiss...

Hearts etc....

Glorious May returns, and banishes the memory
Of a sad time that is over at last...
All the most cherished and beautiful colours,
A reminder of the blooms which suffered and loved...
But those scarlet images
Mustn't return,
With their memories
of so much pain.

Hearts etc....

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12. ROBERT SCHUMANN - A Red, Red Rose
Robert Burns 1830

O my luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June:
O my luve's like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.
As fair art thou my bonny lad,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
'Till a' the seas gang dry.
'Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun.
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands of life shall run.
And fare thee well, my only love!
And fare thee well awhile!
And 'I will come again, my love,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile!

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13. ENGLISH FOLK SONG - The Seeds of Love
Traditional arr. Negri

This, the first Folksong ever to be written down, was heard by the legendary English collector Cecil Sharp, as sung by the gardener at the vicarage of Hambridge in Somerset while he was mowing the lawn in 1903. With it's 'garden of love' and the symbolism of it's flowers, this song would seem to be medieval in origin. The gardener had learned it in Dorset from the man who was hoeing turnips in the row next to him. It was heavy work, and they sang to maintain their rythm in the same way that slave songs originated in the Mississipi. Our gardener was made to repeat it over and over until he 'got 'un perfec'. He was born in 1870, and his name was ......John England.

I sowed the seeds of love
And I sowed them in the Spring.
I gathered them up in the morning so soon
While the small birds do sweetly sing.
My garden was planted well
With flowers everywhere
But I had not the liberty to choose for myself
Of the flowers that I love so dear.
The gardener was standing by
And I asked him to choose for me.
He choosed for me the Violet, the Lily and the Pink
But those I refused all three.
The Violet I did not like
Because it bloomed so soon.
The lily and the Pink, I really overthink,
So I vowed I would stay till June.
In June there was a red rose bud,
And that's the flower for me.
I oftentimes have pluck-ed that red rosebud
Till I gained the willow tree.
The willow tree will twist
And the willow tree will twine.
I oftentimes have wished I was in that young man's arms
That once had the heart of mine.
Come all you false young men,
Do not leave me here to complain,
For the grass that has oftentimes been trampled underfoot
Give it time it will rise up again.

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14. FRANCESCO PAOLO TOSTI - Ancora qualche rosa è ne' rosai
Gabriele D'Annunzio

Tosti was extremely discriminating in his use of language and the texts to which he chose to set his music. Here, in an unedited song, is another setting of the great Italian poet Gabriele D'Annunzio.

" Still a few roses left in the rose garden..."

Ancòra qualque rosa è ne' rosai,
Ancòra qualque timida erba odora,
Ne l'abbandono il caro luogo ancora...sorriderà, tu sorriderai.

There is still the odd rose left in the rose garden,
Still the bashful scent of fresh grass
Even as we abandon the dear place once will smile..if you
smile too.

Ti dirò.. come sia dolce il sorriso
Di certe cose che l'oblio afflisse.
Che proveresti ti fiorisse la terra sotto i piedi,.

I say to you sweet as is your smile
There are certain things that are best left to oblivion.
What would you do ...if the earth beneath your feet were suddenly to.
Burst into flower, Quite unexpectedly?

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15. IVOR NOVELLO - Music in May
Christopher Hassall ( 1936)

Novello's melodramatic love story "Careless Rapture" was set in London and China, and first produced at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 1936. This is, without doubt, one of his best numbers.

All the Winter thro'
I've sat alone and thought of you
While lazy hours on the clock dragged by.
Ev'ry day, though long as a year and sad as a sigh,
Brought happiness near;
For soon as early spring
Awoke the birds and made them sing
Of all the joys that are born anew,
Winter and sorrow took wing,
And my old desire began to burn,
I dreamed of your return
And found it was true.......
The first music in May
Sings to my heart "Live for today",
'Tis a sigh
Floating by
That whispers a warning,
New rapture is dawning.
That song calls us away,
Just you and I,
We must obey.
Now's our chance for romance
Let's follow the...
Music in May.

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16. JOHANN STRAUSS - Röte Rose
Das Spitzentuch der Konigin

Strauss wrote his operetta "The Queen's Lace Handkerchief" for the Theater an der Wien, Vienna, in1880. Set in Portugal to a plot by Cervantes, Suppè had originally refused the project, but may have regretted it, for the "Waltz King" turned it into an enormous success! This luscious, slow waltz, was conceived as a duet.

Röte Rose, du sprichst fur sie: "Heut' oder nie! Liebe blüht dir heute
oder nie!" Was noch mein mund dir zögernd verschweight, die Blüme sagt
es leis. Und der Duft, der zart dem Kelche entsteigt, gibt mein
Geheimnis preis! Ach! Röte Rose, du sagst für sie: "Ja, heut oder
nie!" Heut seh' ich dich noch einmal oder nie! Die Geigen klangen
süss und voll, mein Blut war wie im Fieber toll. Sirenen-gleich zög's
lokkend durch den Raum, mir blühte auf ein schöner Traum. Ein heisser
Rausch mich damals bezwang In nächtlicher Stünde bei Walzer-klang. Sie
hörten night den Sehnsuchtsruf der Seele. Heut' seh' ich dich noch
einmal oder nie!

Red Rose, you speak for yourself:
"Today or never..Love blossoms or never"
What my lips hesitate to say,
The flower mentions lightly.
And the perfume which wafts so gently from the vase has a secret
price! The violins play sweet and richly, my blood is on fire...
Siren-like she leads us gently around the room in a sweet dream. A
fiery ecstasy takes me over in the hours of the night as we waltz. You
scarcely hear the Soul's longing call.

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17. EDUARDO DI CAPUA I' te vurria vasa
V. Russo

Another Neapolitan Barcarolle, in the form of a slow and seductive walz, and penned by the doyen of all of the composers of the genre. Di Capua also wrote "Torna a Surriento" (Return to Sorrento), and "Funiculi, Funicula" as a celebration of the opening of the Neapolitan funicular railway. This connected the port with the sensational views of Capodimonte whose 18th Century porcelain factory rivalled that of Madame de Pompadour's outside Paris; (she also loved to surround herself with porcelain roses!)

When Emma Hamilton and Nelson first met, Emma was married to the English Consul, and Nelson had put into port with the English fleet. Hamilton insisted that all of his servants were able to sing or play an instrument, and that this was more important than their household duties! They all attended the Court of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.. Naples and Palermo. The Neapolitan dialect was already a reflection of the extraordinary cauldron of influences to be found there, most clearly demonstrated in the music, the dance (with tambourines), and in the cooking!

Naples was and still is, a very important naval base, and its language sounds at times like French, with Spanish, Moorish from the Arabic and the gypsies of central Europe, thrown in. The rhythms of Neapolitan song are not so far from the slow, erotic Tangos of Argentina with all of it's Italian (seafaring) connections, and in the Middle Ages Palermo, just across the water from Naples, was the only place in Europe, or indeed anywhere else, in which it was possible to study both Greek and Arabic simultaneously, as well as Latin.

Ah! che bell'aria fresca,
Ch'addore 'e malvarosa,
E tu durmenno staje
Ncopp'a sti ffronne 'e rosa!

'O sole poco a poco
pe stu ciardino sponte;
'o viento passa e vasa
stu ricciulillo nfronte.

I' te vurria vasà..I' te vurria
vasà. Ma 'o core nun m' 'o ddice 'e
te scetà, e te scetà. I' me vurria
addurmi, I' me vurria addurmi
Vicino 'o sciato tujo N'ora pur'
I'.N'ora pur' I'.

Ah! what lovely cool air,
With a scent of Malvarosa,
And you asleep
In a bower of roses.

The sun, little by little
Spreads through the garden;
And I pass by and kiss you
On your brow.

I long to kiss you.How I long to
kiss you. But my heart tells me to
stay calm, I long to sleep, Near to
you For ever and ever...

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18. de Louiguy La Vie en Rose
Edith Piaf 1946

The unforgettable lyrics of Madame Piaf say everything, and need no introduction. Neither does the wonderful melody....Both, are completely memorable.

Des yeux qui font baissers les miens.
- Those eyes,
which make me lower mine.
Un rir' qui se perd sur la bouch',
-That laugh, which vanishes on the lips.
Voilà ... Voilà...
Le portrait sans retouch',
- The unretouched portrait
De l'homme auquel j'appartiens.

- Of the man to whom I belong.
Quand il me prends dans ses bras
- When he takes me in his arms
Il me parle tout bas

- He murmurs to me
Je vois la vie en rose

- I see life "en rose".
Il me dit des mots d'amour

- He speaks so lovingly.
Des mots de tous les jours

- In everyday words .
Et ça m'fait
quelque chose.
- And that does things to me.
Il est entré dans mon coeur,
- He has
opened my heart,
Une part de bonheur,

- To a share of happiness,
Dont je
connais la cause.
- Of which, I alone know the cause.
C'est lui par moi, Moi par lui dans la
- He is for me, I am for him In this life.
Il me l'a dit, l'a juré, pour la vie.

- He tells me so, has sworn it, for life.
Et, dès que je l'aperçois
- And, as soon as I realise it
Alors je sens en moi
- Then inside
myself. I feel..
Mon coeur qui bat.
- My heart beating.
Des nuits d'amour à en mourir
- The
nights of love to die for,
Un grand bonheur qui prend sa place,

- A great happiness Which just happens.
Les ennuies, les chagrins s'effacent,
- Erasing all sadness And tedium,
Heureux, heureux pour mon plaisir.
- Happy, happy at my own pleasure.
Quand il me prend dans ses bras...
When he takes me in his arms
He speaks to me so softly...and I see,
la vie..en rose.

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With many thanks to Julia Owen in Rome, for her guidance on the Neapolitan songs and history. And with much gratitude to the English Folksong and Dance Society at Cecil Sharp House, for all of their help with the folksongs, and for the use of their remarkable library in Central London.

This album was recorded in Milan on 12, 18 and 21 of February 2004, at Belmusic Studios S.R.L. 20133 Milano, Italy. Sound engineering by Patrick Pecchinini.