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Track(s) taken from CDA66801/2

Maid of Athens

composer
1872; also set to French words as Vierge d'Athènes
author of text

Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor), Graham Johnson (piano)
Recording details: July 1993
St Paul's Church, New Southgate, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Arthur Johnson
Engineered by Keith Warren
Release date: October 1993
Total duration: 4 minutes 5 seconds

Cover artwork: Lord Byron and the maid of Athens by Sir William Allen (1782-1850)
Roy Miles Gallery, 29 Bruton Steet, London W1
 
Gounod in England
1
Maid of Athens  [4'05]

Reviews

'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)
Maid of Athens might have suffered the same fate (Byron’s exquisite lyric permanently transmuted to Vierge d’Athènes) were it not for the recording of the song by Reynaldo Hahn in its original form and given a certain dreamy nostalgia by his delightfully inflected English. In the French and Italian versions the Greek refrain is eradicated which is reason enough to scorn them. The song was a very great success in Gounod’s lifetime and deservedly so—the mellifluous melodic invention is typical of the composer in his best Mediterranean mood. The English first edition is dedicated ‘to Byron’s original Maid of Athens, Mrs Black’.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1993

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