Feeling in the mood for a vacation? Listen to Sonetto 104 and take a trip to Italy!
Sonetto del Petrarca is part of the collection ‘Years of Pilgrimage’, a set of travel impression put to music by Franz Liszt in the most magnificent operatic way. The poem Sonetto 104 by the Renaissance humanist Petrarch focuses on a comparison between love and war as seen through the eyes of a warrior.
Tone color changes underscore the changing moods of the poem, and the juxtaposition of minor and major chords express the inner tension of the narrator in the most beautiful way.
The music follows the outline of the Sonetto closely, and the original Italian words can be easily perceived in the rich bel canto aria melodies, which were Liszt‘s souvenirs from Italy.
by Francesco Petrarca1304 (Arezzo, Tuscany) – July 18 or 19, 1374 (Arquà, near Padua, Italy)
I find no peace, and yet I make no war:
and fear, and hope: and burn, and I am ice:
and fly above the sky, and fall to earth,
and clutch at nothing, and embrace the world.
One imprisons me, who neither frees nor jails me,
nor keeps me to herself nor slips the noose:
and Love does not destroy me, and does not loose me,
wishes me not to live, but does not remove my bar.
I see without eyes, and have no tongue, but cry:
and long to perish, yet I beg for aid:
and hold myself in hate, and love another.
I feed on sadness, laughing weep:
death and life displease me equally:
and I am in this state, lady, because of you.
Enjoy my recent performance of Liszt‘s Sonetto del Petrarca 104 at Steinway Piano Gallery Cleveland!