There is no need to speculate on the characterization of Chabrier’s Feuillet d’album
. Instructing the artist who was to illustrate the piece when it was first published as a supplement to a magazine in 1890, the composer described it as a ‘blonde and very pale little girl, dreamy and tender; that’s the feeling’. Another Parisienne, or so it seems from the way the slow waltz idiom anticipates Satie’s cabaret songs, she most touchingly equivocates between major and minor. After wandering into a harmonic dream world in the middle section she returns with her melody in octaves—which, as Poulenc observed in his admiring comment on ‘Chabrier’s most tender piece of music’, was one of the older composer’s favourites devices.
from notes by Gerald Larner © 2009