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Hyperion Records

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Lord Byron and the maid of Athens by Sir William Allen (1782-1850)
Roy Miles Gallery, 29 Bruton Steet, London W1
Track(s) taken from CDA66801/2
Recording details: May 1993
St Paul's Church, New Southgate, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Arthur Johnson
Engineered by Keith Warren
Release date: October 1993
Total duration: 2 minutes 0 seconds

'Exemplary … enchanting … ravishingly sung' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Superb … perfection … Best of the year' (The Sunday Times)

'Uniformement exquis' (Répertoire, France)

'C'est remarquable. Un coffret qui devient un événement' (Compact, France)

'Un stupendo doble compacto' (CD Compact, Spain)

La p‚querette
First line:
P‚querette gentille
composer
1871
author of text

Introduction
La pâquerette is actually labelled a chanson, a simple daisy of a song, without any attempt at passing it off as mélodie. Like Augier, the poet Alexandre Dumas fils is a man of the theatre rather than a poet, but his lines are effective enough to summon a trifle of great charm from the composer. Although it may seem that Gounod was losing his vocation as a serious song composer because of his success in the theatre, it must be admitted that we have here a waltz song by one of the kings of the waltz; the music is of an elegance and an art concealing art which is reminiscent of Tchaikovsky in the same vein. Thoughts of the Russian master are evoked by a particularly wonderful set of sequences here, each of which seems to flower inevitably from the preceding garland of notes. The culminative sum of these fragments of tune, each a bar long, seems to be a flawlessly inevitable vocal line. As always one has to say ‘Clever old Gounod’.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1993

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