• The Eternal Feminine

    Poldowski (Régine Wieniawski)

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    In this episode of The Eternal Feminine Podcast Series, we discuss Polish/British pianist and composer Poldowski (1879-1932). A woman of many names, Poldowski was born Irena Régine (Regina) Wieniawski in Belgium to an English mother (Isabella Wieniawski née Hampton) and the famous Polish violinist Henryk (Henri) Wieniawski. Young Régine showed musical talent at a young age and was the only one of her siblings to become a musician. She eventually married into the English aristocracy (thus becoming Lady Dean Paul), and made a name for herself as a sensitive composer of many genres, particularly in her setting of French poetry.

    Listen to the full podcast for more insight into this somewhat elusive figure and hear our live recording of her poignant work Berceuse d’Armorique, which she wrote after the death of her young son.

    To learn more about Poldowski’s famously colorful family, check out From Tsars to Stars.”

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  • The Eternal Feminine

    Poldowski – Featured Song

    Berceuse d’Armorique

    text: Anatole le Braz, 1892
    translation: Suzanne Yeo

    Dors, petit enfant, dans ton lit bien clos:
    Dieu prenne en pitié les matelots!
    Chante ta chanson, chante, bonne vieille!
    La lune se lève et la mer s’éveille.
    Sleep, little child in your closed bed:
    May God take pity on the good sailors!
    Sing your song, sing old woman!
    The moon rises and the sea awakens.
    Au pays du Froid, la boule des fiords
    Chante sa berceuse en berçant les morts.
    Chante ta chanson, chante, bonne vieille!
    La lune se lève et la mer s’éveille.
    In the land of the cold, the swell of the fjords
    Sings its lullaby as it rocks the dead.
    Sing your song, sing old woman!
    The moon rises and the sea awakens.
    Dors, petit enfant, dans ton lit bien doux,
    Car tu t’en iras comme ils s’en vont tous.
    Chante ta chanson, chante, bonne vieille!
    La lune se lève et la mer s’éveille.
    Sleep little child, in your soft bed,
    For you will go as they all do.
    Sing your song, sing old woman!
    The moon rises and the sea awakens.
    Tes yeux ont déjà la couleur des flots.
    Dieu prenne en pitié les bons matelots!
    Chante ta chanson, chante, bonne vieille!
    La lune se lève et la mer s’éveille.
    Your eyes are already the colour of the waves.
    May God have pity on the good sailors!
    Sing your song, sing old woman!
    The moon rises and the sea awakens.

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  • Pauline Viardot-Garcia
    The Eternal Feminine

    Pauline Viardot

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    In our first episode of The Eternal Feminine Podcast Series, we discuss French composer and opera singer Pauline Viardot-Garcia (1821-1910). We know her primarily as one of the legendary divas of the 19th century, famed and fêted for the exquisite beauty of her voice and the passion which she infused into her performances. As a singer, she was not only brilliant in her art, but also a very savvy businesswoman. Later, she would become a great voice teacher as well, following in the Garcia family tradition.

    And yet, as much as that would have been, in and of itself, she was still so much more.

    Listen to the podcast to learn about this multi-faceted creator and artist and to hear our rendition of Viardot’s beautiful piece Haï luli.

    To read more about Viardot, check out “Six Degrees of Pauline Viardot“.

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  • The Eternal Feminine

    Viardot – Featured Song

    Haï luli

    text: Xavier de Maistre, c. 1825
    translation: Suzanne Yeo

    Je suis triste, je m’inquiète,
    Je ne sais plus que devenir.
    Mon bon ami devait venir,
    Et je l’attends ici seulette.
    Haï luli, haï luli,
    Où donc peut-être mon ami?

    I am sad, I am anxious,
    I don’t know what’s going to happen.
    My lover was supposed to be here,
    And yet I’m waiting here alone.
    Haï luli, haï luli,
    Where can my love be?

    Je m’assieds pour filer ma laine,
    Le fil se casse dans ma main:
    Allons! je filerai demain,
    Aujourd’hui je suis trop en peine.
    Haï luli, haï luli,
    Qu’il fait triste sans son ami!

    I sit down to spin my wool,
    The thread breaks off in my hand:
    I’m done with it! I’ll spin tomorrow,
    Today I am in too much pain.
    Haï luli, haï luli,
    How sad it is without one’s love!

    Ah! si jamais il devient volage,
    S’il doit un jour m’abandonner,
    Le village n’a qu’à brûler
    Et moi-même avec le village !
    Haï luli, haï luli,
    À quoi bon vivre sans son ami?

    Ah! should he ever become fickle,
    Should he one day abandon me,
    I’ll have to burn down the village
    And myself along with it!
    Haï luli, haï luli,
    What use is it to live without my love?

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