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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67333
Recording details: January 2004
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: January 2005
Total duration: 2 minutes 33 seconds

'Hyperion's sound is impeccable and in both his playing and accompanying essay, Graham Johnson penetrates to the heart of one of music's most subtle and enigmatic geniuses' (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)

'Johnson's own fluent playing finds the right tempo for each song, and his booklet notes are invaluable. Those who already love a handful of Fauré's songs will make many worthwhile discoveries here' (BBC Music Magazine)

'It sounds as if Hyperion is inviting us to embark on what will become a deeply satisfying voyage' (International Record Review)

'A dozen individual songs on aqueous themes are shared by a distinguished line-up of mostly British singers. As ever in Hyperion's song surveys, the piano accompaniments and the written documentation are immaculately presented by Graham Johnson' (The Guardian)

'Johnson's vignette-studded notes, encompassing the poems with idiomatic translations, make a consistently engaging cornucopia worth at least the price of admission and whose wide-ranging erudition will afford surprises even to close students of the period' (Fanfare, USA)

Tarentelle, Op 10 No 2
First line:
Aux cieux la lune monte et luit
1873, Op 10 No 2, ‘À Mme Claudie Chamerot et Mlle Marianne Viardot’, Choudens: 1879, F minor (original key)
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançais
Fauré’s Barcarolle is to his Tarentelle as Liszt’s languid Venezia is to his energetic Napoli (in the Années de pèlerinage), or Mendelssohn’s brooding Gondellied to the joyful Saltarella of the ‘Italian’ Symphony. These are different sides of the same coin as well as different sides of the Italian coast. The sequel to this poem in Marc-Monnier’s Poésies (entitled Autre Tarentelle) makes clear that both these poems are indeed set in Naples, ‘au bord de l’eau’. We glimpse here that devilish side of Fauré the note-spinner by whom the solo pianist is challenged more often than the singer of the composer’s mélodies (there are a number of virtuoso piano pieces to make the hair stand on end, fewer songs by far). Here, however, the vocal duettists are comprehensively exercised in a mad moto perpetuo with runs and melismas and the setting of considerable hurdles of ensemble singing. The menace of the minor-key tonality adds a glittering erotic undertone to the proceedings. Fauré wrote the music for the daughters of Pauline Viardot, Claudie and Marianne. He was in love with Marianne at the time which may account for the infinite trouble he seems to have taken to lavish truly sophisticated music on a bagatelle of a lyric, as well as his obvious delight in providing the musical prelude for what promises, on paper at least, to become a Neapolitan debauch. With the help of Messager, Fauré orchestrated this duet circa 1875.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2005

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