To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin.
Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.
Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults.
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’.
Si l’on veut savoir qui m’envoie Ces belles fleurs, Elles me viennent d’où la joie Et les douleurs; Elles me viennent d’où ma vie Pend désormais, De celle-là pour qui j’oublie Ceux que j’aimais!
Si l’on cherche pourquoi je l’aime À cet excès Hélas! je n’en sais rien moi-même. Ce que je sais, C’est que dans ses yeux on voit luire Tout son esprit Et qu’au coin de son fin sourire Mon cœur se prit!
Comme un oiseau qui s’effarouche, Et fuit dans l’air, Plus je le cherche sur sa bouche Plus il se perd. C’est pourquoi celle qui m’envoie Ces belles fleurs Est celle d’où me vient la joie Et les douleurs!
Émile Augier (1820-1889)
If you wish to know who is sending me These beautiful flowers, They come to me from whence come joy And sorrow; They come to me from whence Hangs my life, From her for whom I forget All that I loved!
If you should seek to know why I love her To such excess, Alas! I do not know myself. All I know is That in her eyes can be seen Her whole spirit shining, And that on the corner of her subtle smile My heart is caught!
Like a bird that is startled And flies up into the air, The more I search for her smile The more it hides. That is why she who sends me These beautiful flowers Is she from whom comes joy And sorrow!