Hyperion Records

A lay of the early spring
While he was in England Gounod continued to compose songs to French texts, some of which were published simultaneously in both the original language and English translation. A lay of the early spring was originally Chanson d’avril with a text by François Coppée (1842– 1908). The poem was taken from Le Passant, a play staged in 1869 in Paris starring Sarah Bernhardt. A poet named Horace Smith provided the English words, and it is rather unlikely that the English publisher was aware that the song had a double life as a mélodie.

from notes by Graham Johnson 1993

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