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Hyperion Records

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À l'ombres des bosquets chante un jeune poète by Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier (1815-1891)
Reproduced by permission of The Wallace Collection, London / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA66856
Recording details: January 1996
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Arthur Johnson
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: January 1997
Total duration: 2 minutes 15 seconds

'This is the most resounding blow yet to be struck for the mélodies of Saint-Saëns … Le Roux is one of the most charismatic performers of our time … this is certainly one of the best things he has done so far. A double welcome for performers and rare repertory' (Gramophone)

'Musical jewels surface with delightful consistency in this 27-song recital. An absorbing and revelatory disc' (BBC Music Magazine)

'There's hardly a dud among these 30-or-so songs on this well filled, perfectly recorded disc, an ideal accompaniment to a hot summer evening' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Another immensely pleasant recital from Hyperion, both in content and performance. [François Le Roux] is establishing himself as the leading French baritone of the day' (Classic CD)

'François Le Roux est l'interprète prédestiné. Son intelligence des mots, son sens de la juste inflexion font ici merveille' (Diapason, France)

'Apoya magnificamente al baritono, firmando entre ambos un trabajo auténticamente digno de conocerse. Sonido exemplar' (CD Compact, Spain)

L'Attente
First line:
Monte, écureuil, monte au grand chêne
composer
1855
author of text
Les Orientales (No 20)

Introduction
This song gives the satisfying impression of a perfectly planned scherzo movement from a piece of chamber music. This and the ballad Le pas d’armes du Roi Jean are quintessential Hugo songs. They display to the best advantage the broad sweep and energy of the poet, and Saint-Saëns rises magnificently to the occasion with a moto perpetuo that suggests that he might have known the music of Mendelssohn (the Octet, for instance) or even some of the songs like Hexenlied or Neue Liebe. Wagner set this poem as early as 1842 and there is a possibility that in 1855 the twenty-year-old composer modelled his song on the master’s (titled Attente). Wagner, a composer whom Saint-Saëns venerated as a young man, also writes a stirring moto perpetuo with throbbing right-hand chords suggestive of the horse-ride which brings together two lovers after an unbearable absence.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1997

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