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Track(s) taken from CDA66801/2

The arrow and the song

First line:
I shot an arrow into the air
author of text

Ann Murray (mezzo-soprano), Graham Johnson (piano)
Recording details: May 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 23 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)
The arrow and the song seems to have been composed in 1885 and specifically for the English market; there was no French version published, which is surprising considering the very French musical fluidity of the setting. This type of semiquaver accompaniment, gently restless, is reminiscent of Fauré songs like Nell or Notre amour. The music flows from start to finish—the strophic song is dead, long live the through-composed! In his relatively unproductive late sixties Gounod had to acknowledge that the mantle of the mélodie had passed to Fauré’s shoulders, but the old dog can still imitate new tricks better than anyone else.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1993

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