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Les papillons

First line:
Les papillons couleur de neige
composer
1873; à Théodore Dubois
author of text
1838; La comédie de la mort

 
The poem is from Gautier’s La comédie de la mort (1838). Although Paladilhe’s song of 1873 cannot match the sheer pianistic ingenuity of the famous Chausson setting of these words (1880) it has other strengths. Chausson quickly passes over the eastern provenance of these exotic butterflies (as exotic as the same composer’s humming bird—Le colibri) that surround the poet’s dark-eyed Indian beauty, his ‘bayadère’. Paladilhe has an Andantino middle section to his song where the passage ‘ô belles des belles’ prompts quasi-oriental melisma.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2006
English: Richard Stokes

Recordings

L'invitation au voyage – Mélodies from La belle époque
CDA67523

Details

Track 21 on CDA67523 [2'59]

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