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Track(s) taken from CDA66856

Si vous n'avez rien à me dire

author of text
Les contemplations

François Le Roux (baritone), Graham Johnson (piano)
Recording details: January 1996
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Arthur Johnson
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: January 1997
Total duration: 3 minutes 27 seconds

Cover artwork: À l'ombres des bosquets chante un jeune poète by Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier (1815-1891)
Reproduced by permission of The Wallace Collection, London / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'This is the most resounding blow yet to be struck for the mélodies of Saint-Saëns … Le Roux is one of the most charismatic performers of our time … this is certainly one of the best things he has done so far. A double welcome for performers and rare repertory' (Gramophone)

'Musical jewels surface with delightful consistency in this 27-song recital. An absorbing and revelatory disc' (BBC Music Magazine)

'There's hardly a dud among these 30-or-so songs on this well filled, perfectly recorded disc, an ideal accompaniment to a hot summer evening' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Another immensely pleasant recital from Hyperion, both in content and performance. [François Le Roux] is establishing himself as the leading French baritone of the day' (Classic CD)

'François Le Roux est l'interprète prédestiné. Son intelligence des mots, son sens de la juste inflexion font ici merveille' (Diapason, France)

'Apoya magnificamente al baritono, firmando entre ambos un trabajo auténticamente digno de conocerse. Sonido exemplar' (CD Compact, Spain)
This L’Indifférent of 1870 (for the poem’s theme is prophetic of Ravel’s song) finds Saint-Saëns in salon mode, but astonishingly it prophesies the salon of the future. In 1870, five years before the birth of Reynaldo Hahn, most salon songs were much more melodic than this, determined to keep the attention of their audiences with vocal display, local colour, or at least winning charm. By these standards there is something minimalist about this song which could easily pass for one of Hahn’s, and it could have been sung by him with a cigarette between his lips at a party circa 1899 without anyone doubting that it was his. It has all the signs of the Reynaldo touch: an accompaniment made up of a hypnotic little ostinato, not distinguished in itself, but something which bit by bit impinges on our memory; and then a vocal line which languidly suggests speech, and tugs at the heartstrings by its self-effacing tact as it describes the sweet masochism of impossible, perhaps forbidden, love.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1997

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