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Track(s) taken from CDA67523

L'invitation au voyage

First line:
Mon enfant, ma sœur
1863; à mon ami Alexandre Batta
author of text
second verse omitted

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: 3 minutes 29 seconds


'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 L’invitation au voyage is cast in a musical language that is a thousand miles away from the sensual quasi-Wagnerian murmurings of Duparc, as well as the sybaritic undulations of the less well-known Chabrier setting with its bassoon obbligato. The style is close to that of an Offenbach waltz where the piano-writing is accented on the off-beats, a displacement that emphasizes the risqué undertones of this proposed voyage. In the absence of any tempo direction from the composer a rollicking pace has to be avoided for the sake of these immortally suave words. For ‘Là, tout n’est qu’ordre et beauté’ the metre changes to a demure 2/4 Andantino and changes back to triple metre at the beginning of the next verse. Cressonnois set all three of Baudelaire’s verses; the second strophe refers to furniture, rather too heavy a subject for effective musical imagery as Duparc clearly realized. Here we restrict ourselves to two strophes, the first and third. Cressonnois’ song is straightforwardly strophic so there is no loss of new musical material.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2006
English: Richard Stokes

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