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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 13 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)

L'invitation au voyage
First line:
Mon enfant, ma sur
composer
author of text
second stanza and couplets omitted

Introduction
Like Duparc, Godard sets only the first and last of Baudelaire’s strophes. Although this music lacks the visionary nature of Duparc (someone who was not afraid to admit his debt to Wagner while preserving the utterly French character of his own mélodies), it shows Godard at his most suave and charming. This is music for a voyage of intoxicated romance—it gently gyrates forward in triple measure, and at the end of the song it is as if we see (and hear) the two lovers disappear over the horizon. In this swaying rhythm one feels that Godard has aimed at creating a rather exotic, even louche, musical atmosphere to go with the seductive text. Neither as sublime as Duparc, nor as risqué as Chabrier, we hear in this music both the high points as well as the limits of Godard’s musical spectrum.

from notes by Graham Johnson 2006
English: Richard Stokes

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