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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA66976
Recording details: May 1997
Unknown, Unknown
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: February 1998
Total duration: 3 minutes 42 seconds

'A most attractive addition to the song library, finely recorded and invaluably well documented' (Gramophone)

'I could rhapsodize about every one of these songs; they all enchant. Immensely enjoyable—a CD that will make repeated visits to my player' (Fanfare, USA)

'Merci, madame Murray, d'avoir interprété ces purs joyaux avec un rare talent de comédienne, déclamant la douleur, éveillant les sortilèges, chuchotant les secrets' (Telerama)

'Une joya' (CD Compact, Spain)

Vieille chanson
? 1865
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançais
This song is among the more conservative delights of the first recueil. Its suggestions of the charms and gallantries of the ancien régime are beautifully etched; one is reminded that the composer’s grandfather would have lived in the reign of Louis XVI. Bizet has found an old-fashioned style to fit the poet’s epoch, a gift shared by Schubert when setting eighteenth-century verse. It is the most significant song to be written before the outburst of song-writing that was to occur in 1866, and it shows the composer’s legendary skills as a pasticheur at parties, improvising at the piano. It also shows his feeling for the voice and an unforced vocal line, and his ever-so-slightly amused affection for the courtly cadences of a past century. The musical depiction of the ‘fauvette’ (‘song-bird’) as a coloratura diva-influenced singer with a line in gently tripping semiquavers is a charming touch from Bizet’s own epoch. The poem is sexually suggestive in a gentle manner (without resorting to open ribaldry), and the music is faintly reminiscent of Mozart’s Dans un bois solitaire.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1998

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