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Track(s) taken from CDA67523

L'invitation au voyage

First line:
Mon enfant, ma sœur
circa 1870
author of text
second stanza omitted; from Les fleurs du mal

John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Graham Johnson (piano)
Recording details: August 2004
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: June 2006
Total duration: 4 minutes 26 seconds

Other recordings available for download

Sarah Walker (mezzo-soprano), Roger Vignoles (piano)
Mary Bevan (soprano), Joseph Middleton (piano)


'A disc to treasure' (BBC Music Magazine)

'John Mark Ainsley understands the idiom of these beguiling songs and delivers them with grace, fluency and clear diction … Graham Johnson's playing is as vivid and piquant as his booklet notes. A delectable disc' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Ainsley—urbane, sexy and witty throughout—is at his absolute best' (The Guardian)

'Graham Johnson is quite literally changing the way we hear French mélodie. What a voyage to be invited to join!' (International Record Review)

'How does Graham Johnson do it? Once again, he has explored territory that few today have even considered worthy of investigation, and once again, he has come up with an extraordinary CD' (Fanfare, USA)

'One of the finest examples of Gallic song performance' (MusicWeb International)

'Comme toujours, John Mark Ainsley touche à la perfection tant par le style que pour son impeccable diction, et Graham Johnson poursuit en maître artisan son indefatigable exploration du monde du lied et de la mélodie' (Diapason, France)
This is one of the most famous mélodies of all time, composed around 1870. It was Duparc’s special role in the history of French song to introduce a note of depth and seriousness into a genre that had been notably lacking such qualities during the Second Empire. The inspiration with this composer was Wagnerian (Duparc heard Rheingold in 1869) but his music distils Wagner’s visionary qualities into works of art of great concision and translucence. In this unquestionably French music there is no trace of the megalomania and pomposity that repelled Godard and other French anti-Wagnerians. Duparc embraced the Christian ideals typical of the César Franck circle as a whole; perhaps that is why the pagan resonances of Baudelaire’s ‘Luxe, calme et volupté’ are turned into music of unbelievable refinement—here is purity as well as decadence, rigour and sensuality. With Baudelaire and Duparc we traverse the landscapes of the Dutch East Indies; as in all such journeys, where imagination plays the largest part, we find ourselves flying beyond operatic sets of wood and canvas towards realms previously inaccessible to the French duo of singer and pianist. Decades earlier Schubert and Schumann had discovered those regions where the intimate fusion of great words and music worthy of them represents a special flowering of creative opportunity; with L’invitation au voyage French song comes of age and joins the German lied as something separate yet equal.

from notes by Graham Johnson ©

Other albums featuring this work

Studio Master: SIGCD509Download only NEWStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Duparc: Songs
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