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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67257
Recording details: November 2000
Champs Hill, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: May 2002
Total duration: 5 minutes 43 seconds

'A vital addition to Hyperion's French song series, beautifully sung and played' (Gramophone)

‘Johnson has done much to rehabilitate the reputations of obscure composers of French Songs’ (BBC Music Magazine)

'A worthy and wonderful treat … a scintillating disc' (The Observer)

'Wonderfully idiomatic performances from singer and pianist alike, ideally recorded and presented' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

'intrinsic artistic quality and fine performance … A tantalizing glimpse of a fine talent that deserves to be remembered as more than the sixth member of Les Six' (Fanfare, USA)

Trois Poèmes de Pétrone, Op 15
November 1918
author of text
translator of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançais
These songs create a triptych (two animated movements framing a slow one), and are based on a single motif, varied in rhythm and feeling.
What was said about Epigrammes can also be applied to the Poèmes de Pétrone. It is maybe possible to find in these latter settings more unity and a greater amplitude of vocal line. But they remained under Satie’s influence, especially so far as the process of accompaniment was concerned.
Trois Poèmes de Pétrone was my first work to be published, thanks to Maurice Ravel who had arranged an introduction to Jacques Durand. They were paid for in kind, with 50 copies given to me to distribute between my friends and relations. Their titles are the most frequently mentioned on the statements of SACEM [the French society that looks after the rights of French writers, composers and musicians]. Many only know me through these songs, which give people a somewhat limited idea of who I am !

(Louis Durey, from his Catalogue Commenté, translation by Isabelle Battioni)

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2002

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