This poem only appeared in later editions of Musset’s work; it is taken from the comedy Bettine
(1851), and the poet’s title was originally Cantate de Bettine
, not Sérénade
. Like the more famous Venise
, this poem is a reflection of Musset’s Italian enthusiasms. The Hillemachers’ music is whimsically charming; one is reminded of Hugo Wolf’s contemporary Italienische Serenade
and, at times, the delightful lolloping gait of Chopin’s third Ballade for piano.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 2006
English: Richard Stokes