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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: 2 minutes 35 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)

Guitare, Op 10 No 11
First line:
Comment, disaient-ils
composer
à Madame Léon Kerst
author of text
1840; Autre guitare, from Les rayons et les ombres

Introduction
Here is another poem from Victor Hugo’s 1840 collection Les rayons et les ombres. Although the song setting is usually known as Guitare (as here) the poem’s title is actually Autre guitare to distinguish it from Guitare, subtitled Gastibelza, as set by Liszt. It can also appear as a song under the title of its first line—Comment, disaient-ils. Many composers have been attracted to these words: Reber, Saint-Saëns, Lalo, Bizet, Massenet and Lecocq among others. Godard’s setting, completely different from the florid Hispaniolations of Bizet, is cast as a village stomp (a refined stomp, however) that shows Godard’s interest in folk music and dance.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2006
English: Richard Stokes

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