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Track(s) taken from CDA67523


First line:
Nina, ton sourire
1882; in collaboration with his brother Lucien; No 13 of Vingt mélodies; à Madame la comtesse Hugo
1882; in collaboration with his brother Paul; No 13 of Vingt mélodies; à Madame la comtesse Hugo
author of text
1851; Cantate de Bettine, from Bettine

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: 2 minutes 9 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 poem only appeared in later editions of Musset’s work; it is taken from the comedy Bettine (1851), and the poet’s title was originally Cantate de Bettine, not Sérénade. Like the more famous Venise, this poem is a reflection of Musset’s Italian enthusiasms. The Hillemachers’ music is whimsically charming; one is reminded of Hugo Wolf’s contemporary Italienische Serenade and, at times, the delightful lolloping gait of Chopin’s third Ballade for piano.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2006
English: Richard Stokes

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