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Here Bizet amuses himself with writing another piece in the old style. It is neither the suave and courtly evocation of Vieille chanson, nor the sixteenth-century air de cour of Sonnet. Rather it is a deliberately rustic musette in the style of the hurdy-gurdy music which was fashionable when Marie-Antoinette played at being a shepherdess in the twilight of the ancien régime. Alternations between minor and major keys are the order of the day, with the stylized interchanges between the shepherdess and her Colin yielding to a surprising (and correspondingly virtuosic) willingness to surrender in the last strophe. The piano ritornello suggests an oboe accompanied by strings. Noske finds this summons up a feeling for Provence, no doubt because the music is reminiscent of the F sharp minor chorus in L’Arlésienne. Unlike Le matin (published in the first recueil and entirely modelled on this chorus), Pastorale is in fact an original song and, despite its modest musical means, one of Bizet’s most charming mélodies.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1998

Bizet s’amuse maintenant à écrire une autre pièce dans le style ancien. Ce n’est ni l’évocation suave et courtoise de la Vieille chanson, ni l’air de cour (XVIe siècle ) du Sonnet, mais plutôt une musette délibérément rustique, dans le style de la musique pour vielle, à la mode lorsque Marie-Antoinette jouait à la bergère, au crépuscule de l’Ancien régime. Les alternances entre les tonalités mineure et majeure sont de mise, les échanges stylisés entre la bergère et son Colin cédant au profit d’un enthousiasme surprenant (et tout aussi virtuose) pour capituler dans la dernière strophe. Le ritornello pianistique évoque un hautbois accompagné de cordes.

extrait des notes rédigées par Graham Johnson © 1998
Français: Hypérion


Bizet: Songs
CDA66976Archive Service


Track 14 on CDA66976 [3'03] Archive Service

Track-specific metadata for CDA66976 track 14

Recording date
7 May 1997
Recording venue
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Bizet: Songs (CDA66976)
    Disc 1 Track 14
    Release date: February 1998
    Deletion date: January 2013
    Archive Service
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