Gateway to French Melodies leads us into a fragrant garden of poetry and music that is both passionate and refined. Each song brings to life one of the great themes of French art- love, nature, the purpose of life--with sensuous beauty, beguiling grace, and often with humor.
Understanding what you sing is the basic concept of the Gateway series. Each lyric is translated, both word-by-word and in readable English. The singer can learn the song with confidence, as obscure points of phonetics, grammar and interpretation are made clear. The cultural context of each song is illuminated, along with its place in the life and works of the composer.
Many of the marvelous songs found here been out of print for more than a century and a few are published here for the very first time. The songs include:
"Plaisir d'amour," the quintessential song of bittersweet love, edited from the composer's original 1784 edition
Seven works by women composers, including two sisters who were divas of Romantic opera, Maria Malibran and Pauline Viardot
Works of French operatic masters such as Gounod, Saint-Saens, Bizet, and Massenet
Six songs by Gabriel Faure and four by Claude Debussy
Two duets from contrasting historical periods
Piano accompaniments are heard on the companion CD, beautifully played by Joan Thompson and expertly engineered by Grammy Award winner Matthew Snyder.