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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67523
Recording details: August 2004
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: June 2006
Total duration: 4 minutes 23 seconds

'A disc to treasure' (BBC Music Magazine)

'John Mark Ainsley understands the idiom of these beguiling songs and delivers them with grace, fluency and clear diction … Graham Johnson's playing is as vivid and piquant as his booklet notes. A delectable disc' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Ainsley—urbane, sexy and witty throughout—is at his absolute best' (The Guardian)

'Graham Johnson is quite literally changing the way we hear French mélodie. What a voyage to be invited to join!' (International Record Review)

'How does Graham Johnson do it? Once again, he has explored territory that few today have even considered worthy of investigation, and once again, he has come up with an extraordinary CD' (Fanfare, USA)

'One of the finest examples of Gallic song performance' (MusicWeb International)

'Comme toujours, John Mark Ainsley touche à la perfection tant par le style que pour son impeccable diction, et Graham Johnson poursuit en maître artisan son indefatigable exploration du monde du lied et de la mélodie' (Diapason, France)

First line:
Je veux oublier que j'aime
author of text
1855; Les pariétaires

This poem is taken from Les pariétaires (1855) by Émile Augier, a collection also known to Gounod (for his song Boire à l’ombre). This mélodie is among Delibes’s earlier creations. It is cast in the form of a ‘scène’ which reminds us that the composer was an admirer of Meyerbeer, although the creaky melodramatic poses of the Second Empire are here redeemed by a smooth and felicitous technique that avoids over-sentimental emphasis. The poet’s original four strophes are arranged into an ABA structure with a coda: the ‘A’ section, a G minor aria, suggests manly determination; the middle section (Beaucoup plus lent), in A flat major, has a triplet-accompanied canonic melody between voice and piano that recalls the style of Gounod.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2006
English: Richard Stokes

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