Ernest Chausson: Le charme (The Charm)

1 04 2009

I did not know I loved you until I saw that first tear

I did not know I loved you till I saw that first tear

With a falling melody, Chausson shows the singer literally falling in love as the song progresses. There is a sense, though, that the singer is resisting — the melody avoids falling down to the tonic note of the scale. Finally, the singer reaches resolution at t’aimais – “I loved you.” The singer does not hold that tonic pitch, and the line continues to descend as the tear falls; even the final note in the piano does not reach a definitive resolution, with the final pitch played being the third, not the tonic. A beautifully captured sense of both the beauty and the tentativeness of falling in love!

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Ernest Chausson: Le Colibri (The Hummingbird)

6 03 2009
Le vert colibri, le roi des collines

Le vert colibri, le roi des collines

Chausson perfectly captures a dreamy and sensuous garden in which a hummingbird floats in midair.  He creates a delicate line, notes that simply float away, and arpeggios that seem to perfectly capture a hummingbird’s movement.  The poem’s sense of longing for love are also not lost.

I was impressed with the videos of two young singers Emily Peragine and Laura Intravia. As a friend recently wrote, “If you’re going to put it on YouTube, it better be good.” Well, these two young women most certainly are, and I have no qualms including them as models of this sublime mélodie.