L'Invitation au Voyage - Mélodies from La bell époque

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
L'invitation au voyage, so-called because the first and last tracks as well as two tracks in-between are settings of Baudelaire's poem of the same name from Les fleurs du mal, bears the subtitle "M?lodies from La belle ?poque," that is, songs from the period between the Franco-Prussian War and the Great War. The for the most part nearly unknown composers represented here can be separated into two groups: those with beards and those without beards. Those with beards tend to write pop-oriented songs with instantly memorable tunes, ingratiating chord changes, infectious rhythms, and immediately graspable forms. Those without beards tend to write art-oriented songs with ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
L'invitation au voyage, so-called because the first and last tracks as well as two tracks in-between are settings of Baudelaire's poem of the same name from Les fleurs du mal, bears the subtitle "Mélodies from La belle époque," that is, songs from the period between the Franco-Prussian War and the Great War. The for the most part nearly unknown composers represented here can be separated into two groups: those with beards and those without beards. Those with beards tend to write pop-oriented songs with instantly memorable tunes, ingratiating chord changes, infectious rhythms, and immediately graspable forms. Those without beards tend to write art-oriented songs with yearning themes, restless harmonies, supple rhythms, and elusive forms. But with or without beards, the composers invariably write mélodies that are sweet, light, clear, and, despite chromatic flirtations with Wagner, quintessentially French. The same cannot be said of the performances by tenor John Mark Ainsley and pianist Graham Johnson. Certainly, Ainsley has a fine, clear voice with sweet tang in his upper range. And surely, Johnson's accompaniments are light, clear, lucid, and exceedingly sensitive. But their performances hardly sound quintessentially French -- indeed, they hardly sound French at all. Ainsley's diction is too precise and his pronunciation is too arch, while Johnson's accompaniments miss the lilt of the harmonies and the sway of the tempos. Although clearly first-class technically and interpretively, Ainsley and Johnson's performances sound more like admiring tourists than natives. Still, for first-class performances of sweet, light, and clear songs by nearly unknown French composers from La belle époque, this disc can't be beat, especially with Hyperion's trademark clean, warm sound.
Daily Telegraph - Richard Wigmore
John Mark Ainsley understands the idiom of these beguiling songs and delivers them with grace, fluency and clear diction.... A delectable disc.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/11/2006
  • Label: Hyperion Uk
  • UPC: 034571175232
  • Catalog Number: 67523

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 L'invitation au voyage, song for voice & piano - John Mark Ainsley & Jules Cressonnois (3:37)
  2. 2 Départ, song for voice & piano - John Mark Ainsley & Léo Delibes (4:27)
  3. 3 Bonjour, Suzon!, song for voice & piano (or orchestra) - John Mark Ainsley & Léo Delibes (3:04)
  4. 4 Regrets!, song for voice & piano - John Mark Ainsley & Léo Delibes (5:01)
  5. 5 La Cigale et la Fourmi, for voice & ensemble - Charles Lecocq & John Mark Ainsley (1:49)
  6. 6 La Chauve-Souris et les deux Belettes, for voice & ensemble - Charles Lecocq & John Mark Ainsley (3:23)
  7. 7 Le spectre de la rose, song for voice & piano - Émile Pessard & John Mark Ainsley (4:46)
  8. 8 Oh! quand je dors, song for voice & piano - Émile Pessard & John Mark Ainsley (2:39)
  9. 9 Chanson du berger, song for voice & piano - John Mark Ainsley & Benjamin Godard (2:00)
  10. 10 Guitare, song for voice & piano - John Mark Ainsley & Benjamin Godard (2:38)
  11. 11 L'invitation au voyage, song for voice & piano - John Mark Ainsley & Benjamin Godard (4:18)
  12. 12 Viens!, song for voice & piano - John Mark Ainsley & Benjamin Godard (2:56)
  13. 13 Madrid, song for voice & piano - John Mark Ainsley & Paul Puget (3:31)
  14. 14 Comment, disaient-ils, song for voice & piano - John Mark Ainsley & Paul Puget (2:33)
  15. 15 Soupir, song for voice & piano - John Mark Ainsley & Paul Hillemacher / Lucien Hillemacher (3:34)
  16. 16 Si mes vers avaient des ailes, song for voice & piano - John Mark Ainsley & Paul Hillemacher / Lucien Hillemacher (1:39)
  17. 17 L'invitation au voyage, song for voice & piano - John Mark Ainsley & Paul Hillemacher / Lucien Hillemacher (1:56)
  18. 18 Ici-bas, song for voice & piano - John Mark Ainsley & Paul Hillemacher / Lucien Hillemacher (2:00)
  19. 19 Sérénade, song for voice & piano - John Mark Ainsley & Paul Hillemacher / Lucien Hillemacher (2:15)
  20. 20 Psyché for voice & piano - Emile Paladilhe & John Mark Ainsley (2:47)
  21. 21 Les papillons, song for voice & piano - Emile Paladilhe & John Mark Ainsley (3:01)
  22. 22 La chanson des blondes, song for voice & piano - Emile Paladilhe & John Mark Ainsley (3:28)
  23. 23 Danse indienne, song for voice & piano - Emile Paladilhe & John Mark Ainsley (6:12)
  24. 24 L'invitation au voyage ("Mon enfant, ma soeur"), song for voice & piano (or orchestra) - John Mark Ainsley & Henri Duparc (4:30)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Mark Ainsley Primary Artist
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