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Infidélité

First line:
Voici l'orme qui balance
composer
author of text

 
Infidélité is a perfect pastel, like Offrande a portrait of a tentative love that is doomed to disappointment and incomprehension. The accompaniment oscillates, a quaver chord in each hand. Harmonies change only with the greatest subtlety in the right hand, the left maintaining a pedal on a succession of open fifths for up to fifteen bars at a time. The vocal line seems caught within a small circle of notes as if to reflect the unchanging constancy of the narrator. The calm atmosphere of the evening is beautifully caught, and the whole song seems redolent of the perfumes of ebonies and lilacs. All of this is to set up the poignant change of harmony on ‘vous’ at the end, masterfully preceded by an unaccompanied bar where the voice is released from the strait-jacket of those gently pulsating quavers. I have in my possession a copy of this song (with a drawing of the stone bench, of course) inscribed by ‘R.H.’ to Madeleine Lemaire—‘Souvenir de Réveillon’. As Reynaldo met Proust at Réveillon it is all too tempting to wonder whether it was the failure of this relationship that the composer had in mind when inscribing this song for his hostess.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1996

Recordings

Hahn: Chansons grises & other songs
CDH55040
Hahn: Songs
CDA67141/22CDs

Details

Track 9 on CDH55040 [2'26]
Track 6 on CDA67141/2 CD1 [2'13] 2CDs

Track-specific metadata for CDH55040 track 9

Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-81-04509
Duration
2'26
Recording date
28 December 1981
Recording venue
Art Workers Guild, Queen Square, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Andrew Keener
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Hahn: Songs (CDA66045)
    Disc 1 Track 9
    Release date: May 1988
    Deletion date: March 2000
    Superseded by CDH55040
  2. Hahn: Chansons grises & other songs (CDH55040)
    Disc 1 Track 9
    Release date: March 2000
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