This L’invitation au voyage
is cast in a musical language that is a thousand miles away from the sensual quasi-Wagnerian murmurings of Duparc, as well as the sybaritic undulations of the less well-known Chabrier setting with its bassoon obbligato. The style is close to that of an Offenbach waltz where the piano-writing is accented on the off-beats, a displacement that emphasizes the risqué undertones of this proposed voyage. In the absence of any tempo direction from the composer a rollicking pace has to be avoided for the sake of these immortally suave words. For ‘Là, tout n’est qu’ordre et beauté’ the metre changes to a demure 2/4 Andantino and changes back to triple metre at the beginning of the next verse. Cressonnois set all three of Baudelaire’s verses; the second strophe refers to furniture, rather too heavy a subject for effective musical imagery as Duparc clearly realized. Here we restrict ourselves to two strophes, the first and third. Cressonnois’ song is straightforwardly strophic so there is no loss of new musical material.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 2006
English: Richard Stokes