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Lorraine Hunt Lieberson and the Music of Love

SCOTT SIMON, Host:

Lorraine Hunt Lieberson died of cancer this week. The famed mezzo-soprano was just 52. She began her musical career as a professional violist, but became a singer in her mid-30s with a voice that the director Peter Sellers called this wild, blazing sound.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Lorraine Hunt Lieberson toured with the Boston Symphony Orchestra this past spring, performing Neruda Songs, a song cycle based on the love poems of Pablo Neruda. Music was composed by her husband, Peter Lieberson.

This Neruda sonnet begins, My love, if I die and you don't, and ends, Love has not ended, it is like a long river, only changing lands and changing lips.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Lorraine Hunt Lieberson performing Neruda songs, a song cycle based on love poems of Pablo Neruda and composed last year by her husband Peter Lieberson. The score is dedicated to my beloved Lorraine. She died Monday at their home in Santa Fe. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.