Oh happy home! Oh blessed flower!
is perhaps one of the best of the English songs. The text by Edward Maitland (later translated by Charles Ligny when the song was published by Lemoine as La fleur du foyer
) is hardly distinguished, but the music, a mixture of recitative and aria, is a happy compromise between French mélodie and English ballad. The piano prelude is the longest in all the Gounod songs and the change from the E minor of loneliness to the E major of family fulfilment is affecting. Gounod later orchestrated this work.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1993