L'invitation Au Voyage: M+lodies From La Belle +p
This latest recital from the eternal spring of Graham Johnson’s pioneering research is entitled L’invitation au voyage (four settings of the famous Baudelaire text are included) and takes us on a fascinating armchair tour of twenty-four mélodies from ‘La belle époque’, that period of ‘settled and comfortable life in France preceding the First World War’ (Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable). No fewer than eight composers are new to the Hyperion catalogue, already so rich in French song, and while these microcosms of salon charm are rarely sublime, every note is eminently civilisé. So change the wallpaper for something a bit more fin de siècle, allow yourself to join Graham Johnson and the exquisite John Mark Ainsley for a magical hour-and-a-half (time allowed for the refilling of glasses, of course). Comprehensively annotated and generously illustrated, this new addition to The Hyperion French Song Edition is essential for anyone with a care for a time when nothing really mattered.