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Liszt Vallée d'Obermann

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Published on Apr 4, 2011

Années de Pèlerinage, Première Année: Suisse (No. 6)

Vallée d'Obermann is the sixth and the longest piece from the collection Années de Pèlerinage, Première Année: Suisse. This set of nine pieces is based on Liszt's impressions of the sights and sounds of his stay in Switzerland during 1835-36. In spite of its title (Valley of Obermann), this piece is not the musical representation of a Swiss landscape, but an emotional experience inspired by the French writer Etienne Pivert de Sénancour's Obermann (1804), a popular romantic novel of the time. Obermann is a novel without a plot: it is a collection of letters written by an imaginary solitary and melancholy character, most likely autobiographical, from a lonely valley of the Jura Alps. Liszt's treatment reflects the sentimental nature of this novel and the melancholy and solitude of its protagonist.

"Could I embody and unbosom now
That which is most within me, --could I wreak
My thoughts upon expression, and thus throw
Soul, heart, mind, passions, feelings, strong or weak,
All that I would have sought, and all I seek,
Bear, know, feel and yet breathe --into one word,
And that one word were Lightning, I would speak;
But as it is, I live and die unheard,
With a most voiceless thought, sheathing it as a sword."

Played by: Jeno Jando

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