The poem for Envoi de fleurs
is by Émile Augier who was a celebrated playwright and the librettist of Gounod’s first opera Sapho
. The piano introduction is to be played somewhat faster than the vocal refrain and this gives an impression of an old-fashioned chanson with interludes rather than an organic mélodie. There is a hint of the calculatedly charming naughty-cum-innocent little girl in this song—the elongations of words and the pauses in the middle of phrases (the prosody is cleverly worked out) suggest the pout of a temptress. In any case the song would not be out of place on the operetta stage. It is dedicated to ‘mon ami et confrère Ambroise Thomas’.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1993