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Track(s) taken from CDA66801/2

A lay of the early spring

1872; also set to French words as Chanson d'avril
author of text

Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor), Graham Johnson (piano)
Recording details: July 1993
St Paul's Church, New Southgate, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Arthur Johnson
Engineered by Keith Warren
Release date: October 1993
Total duration: 2 minutes 43 seconds

Cover artwork: Lord Byron and the maid of Athens by Sir William Allen (1782-1850)
Roy Miles Gallery, 29 Bruton Steet, London W1


'Exemplary … enchanting … ravishingly sung' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Superb … perfection … Best of the year' (The Sunday Times)

'Uniformement exquis' (Répertoire, France)

'C'est remarquable. Un coffret qui devient un événement' (Compact, France)

'Un stupendo doble compacto' (CD Compact, Spain)
While he was in England Gounod continued to compose songs to French texts, some of which were published simultaneously in both the original language and English translation. A lay of the early spring was originally Chanson d’avril with a text by François Coppée (1842– 1908). The poem was taken from Le Passant, a play staged in 1869 in Paris starring Sarah Bernhardt. A poet named Horace Smith provided the English words, and it is rather unlikely that the English publisher was aware that the song had a double life as a mélodie.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1993

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