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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: 1 minutes 32 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)

Il est né, le divin enfant
Traditional French carol
1888, B flat major (original key)
author of text
Traditional French Carol

Introduction  EnglishFrançais
A ‘petit rien’ perhaps (prepared for performance on Christmas Day 1888), but this arrangement of a delightful little carol shows the hand of a master. Other composers (including Chabrier, and Fauré’s pupil Ravel, not to mention D’Indy and Canteloube) left various folk song arrangements, but this is as near as we can find to Fauré arranging music other than his own (an exception to this is an impossibly long-winded arrangement of what purported to be a hymn to Apollo from the time of the ancient Greeks). This is a piano arrangement of the original accompaniment for organ, harp, oboes, cellos and double basses.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2005

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