La Chanson d’Ève Op.95

Composer: Gabriel Fauré (b. 1845 - d. 1924)
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Composer: Gabriel Fauré (b. 1845 - d. 1924)

Performance date: 07/07/2016

Venue: St. Brendan’s Church

Composition Year: 1907-10

Duration: 00:26:08

Recording Engineer: Richard McCullough, RTÉ lyric fm

Instrumentation Category:Duo

Instrumentation Other: Mezzo, pf

Artists: José Gallardo - [piano]
Anna Reinhold - [mezzo-soprano]

The second Fauré song-cycle in the Festival this
year is a rare treat, not often heard today. Charles van Lerberghe [1861-1907]
was a Belgian writer and symbolist poet whose work was highly regarded in
French artistic circles at the start of the 20th century. His
reputation rests on two collections of poems, one of which La Chanson d’Ève attracted Fauré and he set ten of the  poems from it between 1906 and 1910.  Various songs had individual performances in
the ensuing years, with the full set having its première at the newly-formed
Société Musicale Indépendante on April 20th 1910, sung by Jeanne
Eaunay with the composer accompanying. It was a landmark concert, including
Ravel’s Ma mère l’oye and songs by

Lerberghe’s poems reflect on an immense subject:
the creation of the world. It is taken from Eve’s perspective, reflecting her
wonderment at the world that has just been established. She tells us of the
emergence of Paradise and then moves through various aspects of life and love,
with poems on a wide range of subjects: the creation of sound, roses and water,
dawn and twilight.   Both poet and
composer bring a special magic to their words and notes as the first days of
creation are evoked in beautifully floating, often ecstatic phrases.  It is a remarkable, large-scale work not
often undertaken and this is a valuable occasion to hear it performed.