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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.
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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.
A lay of the early spring,
Maiden fair, to thee I sing.
While each bird its mate is calling,
And as gentle breezes blow,
Countless flakes of blossom snow
From the orchard trees are falling.
Bird and blossom, maiden sweet,
Teach that lovers true should meet
When all Nature thus rejoices.
Come then, dearest, to the vale
Where the thrush and nightingale
In sweet concert raise their voices,
For when fickle spring departs,
Summer warmth shall fill our hearts
With a love and faith unbroken.
Horace Smith (?-?)
Track-specific metadata for CDA66801/2 disc 2 track 14