By 1903, when he wrote Dans le jardin
to a commission by the poet and actor Paul Gravollet for the volume Les frissons
(to which twenty-one other composers also contributed, including Ravel, d’Indy and Widor), he was still basking in the success of his opera Pelléas et Mélisande
the previous year. The conversational style of this all-too-rarely performed song harks back to that of the opera, as do the fluid tempi—twelve different ones in under three minutes.
from notes by Roger Nichols © 2014