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Ma vie a son secret
author of text
1833; Sonnet imité de l'Italien

'Bizet: Songs' (CDA66976)
Bizet: Songs
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Track 13 on CDA66976 [3'43] Archive Service

Ma vie a son secret
Arvers’ poem (published in 1833 and titled Sonnet imité de l’Italien) was quite famous in its day. Not famous enough, however, for Bizet to respect the poet’s first line which is ‘Mon âme a son secret, ma vie a son mystère’. Bizet was obviously a gifted transposer. We find ourselves wondering what the secret behind the composer’s life was – almost certainly a series of infidelities which kept him as far as possible from his wife. The song has a beautifully serene melody with a generously eloquent span, and we are reminded that this composer could unfold a long-breathed tune like few others when he was in the mood. Perhaps only Gounod can match him in this regard, and there is more than a small element of affectionate parody here as Bizet bows to the older composer’s style with a Gou-nod and a wink. The extended piano interludes with their searchingly beautiful modulations (they too have a seraphic quality worthy of Gounod) are prophetic of Don José’s flower song in Carmen.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1998

Track-specific metadata
Details for CDA66976 track 13
Recording date
7 May 1997
Recording venue
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Bizet: Songs (CDA66976)
    Disc 1 Track 13
    Release date: February 1998
    Deletion date: January 2013
    Archive Service
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