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Measures Of Affection: Five Musical Love Letters

Composer Peter Lieberson wrote his <em>Neruda Songs</em> for his wife, mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson.
Johansen Krause
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Peter Lieberson
Composer Peter Lieberson wrote his Neruda Songs for his wife, mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson.

If you've ever written a love letter, you know it's not easy. Amid a swirl of emotions, balancing elegant language and hormone-fueled passion can be tricky. Composers for centuries have skirted this problem by doing what comes naturally — writing their love letters in the language of music. Here are five passionate outpourings in melody and harmony.

Do you have a favorite musical love letter? Have you ever written one? How was it received? Tell us about it in the comments section.

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Tom Huizenga is a producer for NPR Music. He contributes a wide range of stories about classical music to NPR's news programs and is the classical music reviewer for All Things Considered. He appears regularly on NPR Music podcasts and founded NPR's classical music blog Deceptive Cadence in 2010.
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