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A lay of the early spring

1872; also set to French words as Chanson d'avril
author of text

While he was in England Gounod continued to compose songs to French texts, some of which were published simultaneously in both the original language and English translation. A lay of the early spring was originally Chanson d’avril with a text by François Coppée (1842– 1908). The poem was taken from Le Passant, a play staged in 1869 in Paris starring Sarah Bernhardt. A poet named Horace Smith provided the English words, and it is rather unlikely that the English publisher was aware that the song had a double life as a mélodie.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1993


Gounod: Songs


Track 14 on CDA66801/2 CD2 [2'43] 2CDs

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