Hyperion Records

Aurore, Op 39 No 1
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The model of this kind of mélodie has already been established by Le secret (1880). The accompaniment (as in so many later Fauré songs) begins in simple crotchets, slightly detached (in this case distant stars a-twinkle – cf Diane, Séléné from L’horizon chimérique), seemingly uneventful, yet the epitome of harmonic subtlety. With the gradual arrival of dawn the music builds and develops over four pages. After the rapt diffidence of the first strophe the accompaniment (without a change of pulse) flowers into semiquavers for the second verse in the minor key. At the third strophe (the song is an ABA structure) the semiquavers are re-energized for a triumphant return to the major. With the warmth of a new dawn comes a new romantic confidence. The deployment of notes between the hands (a crotchet in the left, three semiquavers in the right) as well as the key of G major, prophesy the optimistic N’est-ce pas? from La bonne chanson. The poem is the fourth in a sequence of eight (entitled Matutina) from Silvestre’s collection Le pays des roses. The title ‘Aurore’ is Fauré’s own.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2005

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