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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 19 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)

En prière
First line:
Si la voix d'un enfant peut monter jusqu'à vous
1890, ‘À Mme Leroux-Ribeyre’, Hamelle: Second Collection p66, F major (original key E flat major) 4/4 Moderato
author of text

Other recordings available for download
Dame Janet Baker (mezzo-soprano), Geoffrey Parsons (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançais
This is not a mélodie but rather a cantique. It was commissioned for a volume of Contes mystiques, poems by Stéphan Bordèse set to music by various composers, and published by Durand in 1890. Among those who contributed to the collection were Holmès, Lecocq, Massenet, Paladilhe, Saint-Saëns, Viardot and Widor. En prière was included in the Hamelle three-volume edition and countless singers and pianists have come to know, and perform, this song as if it were a bona-fide mélodie. One may think its seraphic mood may be problematic to those who do not whole-heartedly admire Fauré’s Requiem, more or less a contemporary work. On the other hand, like the religious songs of Schubert, this music never cloys; Gounod or César Franck identify with their texts in a more personal way which make a different impression. Fauré has learned much from Gounod, particularly in a setting like this; but as in Clair de lune he keeps his distance as if avoiding avowals made in the first person. This is a portrait of devotion, a picture of someone at prayer, rather than the composer at prayer himself. The creation of an atmosphere of heartfelt piety seems effortless, the progression of harmonies a miracle of fluidity. Only Fauré could have written this music. At ‘Révélez-Vous à moi’ the triplet accompaniment cedes to a motif of crotchets which wafts across the stave as if the Holy Spirit revealed; on the song’s last page this alternates in an almost liturgical manner with triplets, and is repeated no fewer than five times, as if in benediction.

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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