Cinq Mélodies populaires grecques

composer
1904; published 1906
arranger
arrangement for voice and harp made in 1930 with Ravel's approval
author of text
from the Greek

 
The earliest of Ravel’s Cinq mélodies populaires grecques were written in 1904 at the urgent request of Pierre Aubry, who needed to illustrate a lecture he was giving on Greek folksong. A mutual friend of his and Ravel’s, Michel D Calvocoressi (himself of Greek descent), found five choice examples and Ravel supplied a piano accompaniment for them in a mere thirty-six hours. Calvocoressi, impressed by this ‘extraordinary feat’, then produced three more and commissioned Ravel to set those as well. The new collection, selected from the total eight, was first performed (in Greek) and published in French translation in 1906. Ravel began the task of orchestrating them but soon lost interest (Rosenthal completed the task in 1935). The version for voice and harp recorded here was made in 1930 by the American harpist Carlos Salzedo, who had Ravel’s complete approval.

These are all popular songs from the island of Chios (just off the coast of Turkey), famous for its mastic production. They mix the entirely flippant Tout gai! with the deeply profound Là-bas, vers l’église, and move from the last serenade of a groom on his wedding day (‘Réveille-toi’) and the excitement of a dashing gallant, with no lack of self-confidence to the awed adulation of beauty (‘Ô joie de mon âme’).

from notes by Alison Nicholls © 2008

Recordings

Romantic Residues
CDA67725

Details

No 1: Le réveil de la mariée  Réveille-toi, réveille-toi, perdrix mignonne
Track 19 on CDA67725 [1'21]
No 2: Là-bas, vers l'église
Track 20 on CDA67725 [1'48]
No 3: Quel galant m'est comparable?
Track 21 on CDA67725 [0'48]
No 4: Chanson des cueilleuses de lentisques  Ô joie de mon âme
Track 22 on CDA67725 [3'17]
No 5: Tout gai!
Track 23 on CDA67725 [0'58]

Track-specific metadata for CDA67725 track 19

Le réveil de la mariée
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-08-72519
Duration
1'21
Recording date
22 November 2007
Recording venue
St Martin's Church, East Woodhay, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Philip Hobbs
Recording engineer
Philip Hobbs
Hyperion usage
  1. Romantic Residues (CDA67725)
    Disc 1 Track 19
    Release date: August 2008