A Verlaine Songbook
Sheet Music

Item Number: 20391104
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SKU: NX.BIS-2233

By Carolyn Sampson and Joseph Middleton. By Camille Saint-Saens, Charles Bordes, Claude Debussy, Deodat de Severac, Ernest Chausson, Gabriel Faure, Joseph Szulc, Maurice Ravel, Poldowski, and Reynaldo Hahn. Classical. Hybrid super audio CD (1 disc). Published by Naxos (NX.BIS-2233).

In his poem Art poetique, Paul Verlaine declared that poetry above all should be musical: 'De la musique avant toute chose'. This quality in his work was recognized by composers already during his lifetime, and it is sometimes claimed that Verlaine has been set to music more often than any other poet after him.+ For their Verlaine Songbook, Carolyn Sampson and Joseph Middleton have selected songs by ten composers, including two complete cycles - Faure's La Bonne Chanson and Debussy's Ariettes oubliees. The 33 songs on the release set a total of 25 texts - several poems by Verlaine have attracted more than one composer, and Clair de lune appears three times, in versions by Debussy, Faure and Joseph Szulc, while La lune blanche can be heard no less than four, in versions by Faure, Ernest Chausson, Reynaldo Hahn and Poldowski - the pseudonym of the Belgian-born British composer Regine Wieniawski. Released in 2015 to critical acclaim, Carolyn Sampson's debut recital disc, Fleurs (BIS-2102), was a flower-themed anthology with songs by composers ranging from Purcell to Benjamin Britten via Schubert and Debussy. On the present release the repertoire is rather more concentrated in time - all songs were composed during a span of 35 years (c. 1880-1915) - but the variety is nevertheless striking: a reflection of how different artistic temperaments have interpreted the many-facetted Verlaine.