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Hyperion Records

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'Les Roses d'Ispahan' after Gabriel Fauré (c1907) by Lucien Levy-Dhurmer (1865-1953)
Sotheby’s Picture Library
Track(s) taken from CDA67336
Recording details: August 2004
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: November 2005
Total duration: 2 minutes 15 seconds

'There are songs of a fragrance, ambiguity and vision unique to Fauré and all the singers involved in this glorious project, while not always in their first radiance and purity of voice, never lose their sense of poetic engagement and commitment. Graham Johnson, whether writing or playing, is magically attuned to every nuance of Fauré's universe; and Hyperion's sound and presentation are impeccable' (Gramophone)

'This completes Hyperion's recording of all Fauré's songs master-minded by Graham Johnson with a quintet of specialist singers: Jennifer Smith, Felicity Lott, Geraldine McGreevy, Jean-Paul Fouchécourt and Stephen Varcoe, all in top form here … suffice it to say that this superb enterprise is a jewel in Hyperion's crown' (The Sunday Telegraph)

'The sound is warm and initimate and Johnson's comprehensive notes are packed with information on each song and its cultural surround. In all this series has proved an impressive achievement, demonstrating that even the least known of Fauré's songs is well worth hearing' (BBC Music Magazine)

'These four CDs deserve an honoured place in the collection of anyone who cares about one of the finest of all mélodistes' (International Record Review)

'There's an ineffable, nostalgia-filled sadness about Jennifer Smith's rapt delivery of the final two songs of La chanson d'Ève, the mood intensified as so often in this series by Graham Johnson's accompaniments. An outstanding disc' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Graham Johnson, whose sterling pianism distinguishes every track … his accompanimens are models of Fauréan discretion and care … Gabriel Fauré: The Complete Songs offers a vital contribution to the ongoing re-imagination of Fauré, as well as a splendid opportunity to become acquainted with his allusive art' (Nineteenth-Century Music Review)

Aubade, Op 6 No 1
First line:
L'oiseau dans le buisson
composer
c1873, published as Op 6 No 1, G major (original key F major) 12/8 Allegretto moderato quasi andante
author of text

Other recordings available for download
Dame Janet Baker (mezzo-soprano), Geoffrey Parsons (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançais
When poets wax lyrical about the dawn they can seldom resist describing the flowers and gardens that are first to experience the day’s awakening. The minimalist accompaniment of the song is mezzo staccato and evokes pinpricks of light; as the strophe progresses, the distant brilliance of the morning star gradually gives way to legato phrasing and warmer sunlight. All this is in Fauré’s best Italian style – similar to the two Romaine Bussine settings – where the simplest of accompaniments supports a melodic curve that is independently eloquent. It is indeed a marvel how this composer graces the seemingly static anonymity of such piano-writing with an ardent serenade that evokes Massenet (cf his duet Rêvons, c’est l’heure, 1871, with its similar quaver duplets) or some of the canzone of Tosti. Fauré had the common touch when required. If he had possessed the gumption to market himself ruthlessly, he might have made the same amount of money as some of his more canny colleagues.

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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