If thou art sleeping, maiden
is a Longfellow setting long obscured by its French double Viens, les gazons sont verts
. This has long been one of Gounod’s most popular songs and it is no small pleasure to reclaim it as part of the English song repertory. These songs form almost as important a part of our song heritage as the canzonets of that other distinguished visitor, Haydn. It is high time that the English Gounod is gathered together in printed form. The querulous shade of Mrs Weldon deserves our acknowledgement and gratitude; thanks to her machinations in the 1870s, French song’s temporary loss is English song’s recoverable gain.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1993