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Track(s) taken from CDA67523

L'invitation au voyage

First line:
Mon enfant, ma sœur
1882; in collaboration with his brother Lucien; No 12 of Vingt mélodies; à Hermann-Léon
1882; in collaboration with his brother Paul; No 12 of Vingt mélodies; à Hermann-Léon
author of text
second stanza and couplets omitted, order of lines changed

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: 1 minutes 52 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)
The painting of L’embarquement pour Cythère by Watteau depicts a happy party of eighteenth-century courtiers preparing for the voyage of a lifetime—a journey of sybaritic luxury and communal jollity. The Hillemachers’ L’invitation au voyage (marked Assez animé) is of this ilk, far from the transcendental nature of Duparc’s mélodie, and less flirtatious than Cressonnois or Godard. This voyage, like the one undertaken by Chabrier to L’île heureuse, is optimistic and even slightly hearty. Like Duparc the Hillemachers set only the first and last verse of Baudelaire’s poem (they omit the second strophe about the polished furniture). The composers have also omitted those great lines ‘Là, tout n’est qu’ordre et beauté,/Luxe, calme et volupté’ from their setting. Perhaps this is just as well as the song with its tripping triplets is not exactly calm. This carefree omission and other liberties taken with the order of the text are also signs that at the time of the song’s composition Baudelaire’s controversial poetry was not yet revered and considered of canonical importance.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2006
English: Richard Stokes

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