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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA66320
Recording details: August 1988
Seldon Hall, Haberdashers' Aske's School, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: November 1989
Total duration: 2 minutes 11 seconds

'This varied and generous selection of 28 songs is perhaps the best general introduction to this important side of Fauré's output and is also one of Geoffrey Parsons's finest recordings: voice and piano seem always to be at one. A magical disc' (BBC Music Magazine Top 1000 CDs Guide)

'Deeply considered and deeply moving performances' (BBC Record Review)

'A performance to treasure' (Opera Now)

Le papillon et la fleur, Op 1 No 1
First line:
La pauvre fleur disait au papillon céleste
composer
1861
author of text

Other recordings available for download
Jennifer Smith (soprano), Graham Johnson (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançais
Fauré begins his song-writing career with a pianistic carte de visite. A ritornello is launched with élan (one ascending C major scale, then another – a musical commonplace adapted for lepidopteran acrobatics) followed by sequences that spiral downwards in waltz rhythm. The song is usually chattered in a fast tempo (and in a bright D major transposition) that emphasizes its glittering superficiality. In the lower, original, key there is room for a touch of sadness and vulnerability; we can see a lovesick teenager rooted to the spot and not yet able to quench the thirsts of adolescence. The cover of the autograph (where the composer takes more pains in the penmanship of the title, La fleur et le papillon, than in the setting’s prosody) contains an amusing sketch of a flower with tiny arms looking up to a hovering butterfly wearing a crown. This was drawn by Saint-Saëns, Fauré’s teacher at the École Niedermeyer, who was clearly bemused by his pupil’s achievement. The poem, No XXVII in Hugo’s Chants du crépuscule has no title in the first edition. Perhaps the composer knew the text from Henri Reber’s modest setting of 1847.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2005


Other albums featuring this work
'Fauré: The Complete Songs, Vol. 4 – Dans un parfum de roses' (CDA67336)
Fauré: The Complete Songs, Vol. 4 – Dans un parfum de roses

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