Four years younger than Fauré, Benjamin Godard was a child prodigy—like Saint-Säens before him he was often compared to the young Mozart—and he was only fourteen years old when he enrolled at the Paris Conservatoire to study composition. His first instrument was the violin, but it was as a violist that he was to gain an enviable reputation as a performer of chamber music. Godard’s reputation as a composer, however, has proved less enviable and nowadays the one piece for which he is remembered is the tender Berceuse
for tenor (‘Oh! ne t’éveille pas encor’) from his opera Jocelyn
, first performed in 1888. This arrangement for cello and piano is the composer’s own, published in 1896.
from notes by Peter Avis © 2011