Barcarolle: “Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour”

 

The “Barcarolle” is a piece from Offenbach’s opera “The Tales of Hoffmann”. The text – written by Jules Barbier – describes the beauty of the night and of love, in a duet for soprano and mezzo-soprano, a female character and a juvenile male character sung and acted by a female

Offenbach’s music for the Barcarolle was used in Life is Beautiful (1997) twice. First, in a scene where Guido sees Dora at the opera and tries to practise Schopenhauer’s theory of the World as Will and  Idea, and later when Guido plays the piece through the concentration camp on a record player: in the middle of unspeakable horror,  he has been able to  find a way to let his wife know he’s alive and he loves her.

A barcarolle is a traditional folk song sung by Venetian gondoliers, or a piece of music composed in that style.

Barcarolle

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! Ah!
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!
Ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah!

 

Beautiful night, oh night of love
Smile upon our joys!
Night sweeter than the day
O, beautiful night of love!
Time flees and never returns
Carrying away our endearments
Far from this happy stay
Time flees and never returns.
Burning Zephyrs
Give us your caresses
Burning Zephyrs
Give us your kisses!
Your kisses! Your kisses! Ah!
Beautiful night, oh night of love
Smile upon our joys!
Night sweeter than the day
O, beautiful night of love!
Smile upon our joys!
Night of love, O, night of love!
Ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah!

 

Bella notte, oh notte d’amore
Sorridi alle nostre ubriachezze
Notte più dolce del giorno
Oh, bella notte d’amore!
Il tempo fugge e senza ritorno
Porta via le nostre tenerezze
Lontano da questo felice soggiorno
Il tempo fugge e senza ritorno
Zefiri infiammati
Versateci le vostre carezze
Zefiri infiammati
Dateci i vostri baci!
I vostri baci! I vostri baci! Ah!
Bella notte, oh, notte d’amore
Sorridi alle nostre ubriachezze
Notte d’amore, O, notte d’amore!
Ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah!

22 thoughts on “Barcarolle: “Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s