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