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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 3 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)

Pastorale
composer
1868
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançais
Here Bizet amuses himself with writing another piece in the old style. It is neither the suave and courtly evocation of Vieille chanson, nor the sixteenth-century air de cour of Sonnet. Rather it is a deliberately rustic musette in the style of the hurdy-gurdy music which was fashionable when Marie-Antoinette played at being a shepherdess in the twilight of the ancien régime. Alternations between minor and major keys are the order of the day, with the stylized interchanges between the shepherdess and her Colin yielding to a surprising (and correspondingly virtuosic) willingness to surrender in the last strophe. The piano ritornello suggests an oboe accompanied by strings. Noske finds this summons up a feeling for Provence, no doubt because the music is reminiscent of the F sharp minor chorus in L’Arlésienne. Unlike Le matin (published in the first recueil and entirely modelled on this chorus), Pastorale is in fact an original song and, despite its modest musical means, one of Bizet’s most charming mélodies.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1998

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