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Track(s) taken from CDA68016

Paysage sentimental, L55

First line:
Le ciel d'hiver, si doux, si triste, si dormant
between September 1883 and February 1884; dedicated to Marie-Blanche Vasnier
author of text
from Les aveux, published in 1882

Jennifer France (soprano), Malcolm Martineau (piano)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: February 2013
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: October 2014
Total duration: 3 minutes 4 seconds

Cover artwork: An Evening in Ancient Times (1908) by Alphonse Osbert (1857-1939)
Musée de la Ville de Paris, Musée du Petit-Palais, France / Giraudon / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'Jennifer France sounds both charming and convinced, and her slightly soubrettish but always attractive sound (unfazed by the occasional stratospheric top note that Debussy evidently threw in, further to entice Mme Vasnier) adds a proper note of youthful abandon, just what these early settings need to bring them to life. Praise is also due to Malcolm Martineau for his total empathy with the always atmospheric but by no means easy accompaniments. The recorded sound is ideal ... Baritone Jonathan McGovern too is well cast, velvety in sound, easy on the ear' (International Record Review)» More
The title Paysage sentimental has nothing to do with sentimentality, the adjective referring instead to the conceit that the scenery reflects, or may even inspire, the emotions of the two lovers—a notion omnipresent in the Verlaine poems which Debussy had already begun to set. The two words ‘heureux mélancoliquement’ underline the dual, conflicted nature of the lover’s feelings, prefigured in the piano’s opening minor 3rd and 6th within the major mode.

from notes by Roger Nichols © 2014

Le titre Paysage sentimental n’a rien à voir avec la sentimentalité, l’adjectif se référant plutôt à la prétention qu’a le paysage de refléter, voire s’inspirer, les émotions des deux amants—une notion omniprésente dans les poèmes verlainiens que Debussy avait déjà commencé à mettre en musique. Les mots «heureux mélancoliquement» soulignent la nature double, conflictuelle des sentiments éprouvés par les deux amants et que préfigure, au piano, la tierce et sixte mineure inaugurale sise au sein du mode majeur.

extrait des notes rédigées par Roger Nichols © 2014
Français: Hypérion

Der Titel Paysage sentimental hat nichts mit Sentimentalität zu tun; das Adjektiv bezieht sich hier vielmehr auf die Einbildung, dass die Landschaft die Emotionen des Liebespaars reflektiere oder sogar inspiriere—eine Auffassung, die in den Gedichten Verlaines, die Debussy bereits teilweise vertont hatte, allgegenwärtig ist. Die beiden Worte „heureux mélancoliquement“ [melancholisch fröhlich] unterstreichen die duale, hin- und hergerissene Gefühlswelt des Liebespaars, die in der kleinen Terz und Sext innerhalb der Durtonart in der Anfangsfigur des Klaviers prophezeit wird.

aus dem Begleittext von Roger Nichols © 2014
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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