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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67315
Recording details: December 2001
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: August 2002
Total duration: 2 minutes 56 seconds

'this is singing which is always alive, interesting, and personal … a fascinating record' (Gramophone)

'[Schade] sings Strauss’s Cäcilie and a wonderfully hushed Zueignung as though he and Martineau were the first to discover their ecstasy' (BBC Music Magazine)

'A fascinating selection of songs that exploits Michael Schade's versatile tenor' (The Daily Telegraph)

'What a joy it is to listen to Michael Schade! … This consistently bold, exhilarating recording is a must-have for aficionados of art-song repertoire and confirmed romantics alike' (Opera News)

'highly accomplished technique and rare vocal artistry … ideally accompanied by pianist Malcolm Martineau' (

'On peut considérer ce récital comme une bonne introduction à un siècle d’art vocal et littéraire' (Répertoire, France)

Lydia, Op 4 No 2
c1870, Op 4 No 2, ‘À Mme Marie Trélat’, Hamelle: First Collection p32, G major (original key F major) 4/4 Andante
author of text

Other recordings available for download
Graham Johnson (piano), Jean-Paul Fouchécourt (tenor)
Introduction  EnglishFrançais
On the composer’s return to Paris after the upheavals of the Commune he heard Duparc’s new masterpiece L’invitation au voyage. That work is a turning point in French song; it also introduced Fauré to Baudelaire’s work and encouraged him to consider moving away from composing romances to the long poems of Hugo. Instead he began to tackle shorter poems by younger poets that had the power to create a more intense musical atmosphere. Leconte de Lisle’s Lydia (No XVII of the ‘Études latines’ section of his Poèmes antiques of 1852) was an ideal match with the composer’s new espousal of the mélodie. The simplicity of the music on the page belies a stunning new sophistication in Fauré’s approach. The vocal line is shadowed by the voice adding to the Attic purity of the evocation; the attenuated piano-writing avoids anything unseemly or immodest. An ancient Greek atmosphere is created partly by use of the Lydian mode, the sharpened fourth of the scale. This gentle exoticism adds to the music’s rarefied charm; it is as if we are breathing the air of Parnassus (the marvellous postlude dissolves into those ethereal regions more convincingly than the ascension depicted in Schubert’s Ganymed). At ‘tes baisers de colombe’ the undulating vocal line, accompanied by gently fluting thirds, is the most convincing illustration of cooing doves in all song. Dove imagery is welcomed; Leconte de Lisle’s description of Lydia’s neck being as ‘fresh and pale as milk’ is another matter! Confronted with the poet’s ‘Et sur ton col frais, et plus blanc / Que le lait’ Fauré, with devilish cunning, changes ‘plus’ to ‘si’ and simply leaves out ‘Que le lait’, allowing ‘blanc’ to link with the next verb ‘roule’. A piano interlude (bars 6 to 7) stands in for the judicious cut. If this song owes its existence to Duparc, that composer’s Phydilé was certainly inspired by Lydia, as was Chausson’s Hébé (all three song heroines were Leconte de Lisle’s Grecian nymphs).

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2005
English: Hypérion

Other albums featuring this work
'Fauré: The Complete Songs, Vol. 2 – Un paysage choisi' (CDA67334)
Fauré: The Complete Songs, Vol. 2 – Un paysage choisi

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