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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67334
Recording details: August 2004
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Release date: April 2005
Total duration: 2 minutes 16 seconds

'All the singers involved in this ideally presented and recorded offering perform with a special ardour and commitment and Graham Johnson is, as always, a matchless partner and commentator. I can scarcely wait for Volume 3' (Gramophone)

'There can be nothing but praise for Johnson's pianism and his selection and arrangement of the songs. Volumes 3 and 4 are eagerly awaited' (The Sunday Telegraph)

'The chronological placement of songs within the programme highlights the composer's development and the quality and variety of Fauré's achievement shine through. As well as providing his usual comprehensive notes, Johnson is as ever a perceptive accompanist' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The discreet but authoritative Graham Johnson has masterminded a pleasing sequence of more than two dozen songs shared among eight singers. For my money, the soprano Geraldine McGreevy is the star of the enterprise. The way she adjusts her tone colour—indeed, her whole musical personality—between songs, is often remarkable … Johnson's annotations are both erudite and valuable as listening aids' (The Independent)

'As before, Johnson's notes are a model of what's required, whether you are an adept in Fauré's mélodies or a newcomer. They are stylish, informative and suffused with his passion for this music. Then there's his own artistry, authoritative but never overbearing' (International Record Review)

Spleen, Op 51 No 3
First line:
Il pleure dans mon cœur
1888, Op 51 No 3, ‘À Mme Henri Cochin’, Hamelle: Third Collection p13, D minor (original key) 3/4 Andante quasi allegretto
author of text

Other recordings available for download
Dame Janet Baker (mezzo-soprano), Geoffrey Parsons (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançais
Here we must compare Fauré with Debussy. That composer’s song, the second of the Ariettes oubliées, is entitled ‘Il pleure dans mon cœur’ and was first published in 1888. There is no sign of Fauré being influenced by the younger man’s music which is still under the spell of Massenet, its wide-ranging vocal lines and sumptuous, swooning harmonies engineered to delight, rather than disturb, the listener. If Debussy’s music here suggests the hot-house of the ‘décadence’, Fauré goes for a darker and altogether more intense verismo mood. The songs of 1888 (the others are Au cimetière and Larmes) are cris du cœur, definitely not pastels. Both composers effectively evoke the falling of rain on the miserable lodgings that Verlaine shared with Rimbaud in Camden Town, north London, in the autumn of 1872. Debussy’s oscillations in thirds suggest a monotone drizzle; Fauré’s staccato semiquavers alternate closely between the hands. This pattering motif sometimes giving way to churning triplets, Fauré’s whole construction is undeniably tighter, more of a piece, than Debussy’s. The latter’s ‘Quoi! nulle trahison?’ is set as a recitative; with Fauré this desperate exclamation is kept within the song’s ongoing momentum, and sounds more frightened than lethargic. The diminuendo, as well as the freezing of the harmonic movement in the piano-writing after ‘Sans amour et sans haine’, speaks volumes. ‘Mon cœur a tant de peine’ is set to a downward scale, drained of its confidence; we can imagine the poet turning his face to the wall. The seven-bar postlude is undemonstrative in the manner of the depressed who are rendered helpless as they sink into the depths of despond.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2005

Other albums featuring this work
'Fauré: La chanson d'Ève & other songs' (CDA66320)
Fauré: La chanson d'Ève & other songs

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