Inspired by Reynaldo Hahn’s enchanting song, L’heure exquise, this hour-long programme weaves together light, fragrant and poignant songs of the French mélodie repertoire. It opens with a selection by the composer Gabriel Fauré, a master of this genre. The first song in this set, Le papillon et le fleur, was the first song Fauré ever published and is delightfully representative of his style. The charming text of Victor Hugo dances off the page in a whimsical waltz expressing with great clarity the feelings of a fleeting romance.
The cycle Banalités by Francis Poulenc is a setting of five poems by the poet Guillaume Apollinaire. This marriage of minds offers music of great contrast from the flurry of city life in Chanson d’Orkenise to the lazy sensuality of Hôtel. We hear the wind gusting over the moss-hags of Belgium in Fagne de Wallonie and a heartbreaking tribute to the dreamer in Sanglot. While this programme was created to be performed in West Cork, we took delight in rehearsing the remaining song in this cycle Voyage à Paris in Paris!
Olivier Messiaen’s Trois Mélodies were conceived by the composer in 1930 at the age of 22. Although these are early songs, they demonstrate many facets of Messiaen’s later style, expressing ecstatic Christian inspiration and brilliant modal colors.
The hour closes with a bouquet of songs by the fin de siècle composer Reynaldo Hahn. Hahn crafted each song like a painting, exploring emotions with tenderness and ease. In the center of this set is L’Énamourée which floats through an ethereal space in gentleness and grace.
European Broadcast 8pm Irish Standard Time
North American Broadcast 8pm ET (1am Irish Standard Time)
On Demand will become available after the conclusion of the North American broadcast for 48 hours (14 June 2am – 16 June 2am IST)
|Gabriel Fauré||Le papillon et la fleur; La fée aux chansons; Tristesse; Green; Au bord de l’eau; Les berceaux; Notre amour|
|Olivier Messiaen||Trois Mélodies|
|Reynaldo Hahn||Trois jours de vendange; Le rossignol des lilas; L'Énamourée; L'heure exquise; Le printemps;|
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