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Track(s) taken from CDA67523

Danse indienne

First line:
Les bayadères
1873; à Henri Cazalis
author of text
published 1875; Chants panthéiste section of L'illusion
author of text
published 1875; Chants panthéiste section of L'illusion

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: 6 minutes 6 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)
Here we have a full-scale Indian pièce caractéristique worthy of a grand opera like Delibes’s Lakmé. The poem appears in the Chants panthéiste section of L’illusion, a collection of poems (1875) by Jean Lahor, pseudonym of Henri Cazalis. The book is a typical fruit of L’esprit décadent in relation to many of the songs of the period. Cazalis was the poet of Duparc’s Chanson triste and Extase; as an art critic he was also responsible for giving the cabbalistic name Les Nabis to a group of post-impressionist painters. Danse indienne is dedicated to Cazalis; the date of the composition, 1873, shows that the composer must have had access to a manuscript copy of the poem, as he did to the poetry of Aicard. Although it is in duple rather than triple measure the hypnotic nature of this extended dance has something in common with Ravel’s Boléro; whereas that work ends with a forte chord, this music rises to a frenzied climax (perhaps the composer had something drug-induced in mind only to die down in the languid murmurings of the Brahmin observers.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2006
English: Richard Stokes

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