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Track(s) taken from CDA66856

Suzette et Suzon

First line:
J'adore Suzette
author of text
Toute la lyre

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: 2 minutes 31 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)
Despite this song’s relatively late date of 1888, this is another example of a return to an earlier style. It is astonishing to realise that it dates from the same time as Debussy’s Ariettes oubliées, not to mention Wolf’s Mörike Lieder, for it cheerfully ignores the Zeitgeist in the interests of entertaining us. After forty years of song-writing the van of fashionable modernity has lost its allure for Saint-Saëns. The catalyst for this boyish romp is the poetry of Victor Hugo of course, and very teasingly charming the result is. There is a pastoral frame about this music as if the choice between Suzette and Suzon were to be made in Arcadia. In actual fact this song was destined for the salon, and the home. It was designed to sell well, and it has all the marks of a set-piece for a dapper amateur baritone. The accompaniment consists of alternating notes in the left and right hands, a perfect means of conveying the ‘either/or’ alternatives, and the prevaricating poet’s state of mind.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1997

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