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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 49 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)

Viens!, Op 11 No 3
First line:
Viens! – une flūte invisible
ą Madame Henriette Fuchs
author of text
1856; Les contemplations

Godard here shows his debt to Saint-Saëns, one of his early mentors; indeed Godard was the grateful heir to Saint-Saëns’s relatively hidebound conservatism—a cast of mind that Fauré, a closer protégé of Saint-Saëns, took care to avoid. A melody in slow note values (dotted minims and dotted crotchets) unfolds over a tonic pedal and demonstrates Godard’s considerable harmonic ingenuity. For the second strophe the accompaniment quickens with left-hand semiquavers. The poem is from Hugo’s Les contemplations (1856). Saint-Saëns had set the same poem as a solo song in 1855 and as a vocal duet in 1885. Delibes had set the poem in 1863. Pierné was to write a song on this text in 1880, and Caplet, in a version that includes a flute obbligato, in 1900.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2006
English: Richard Stokes

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