Songs With and Without Words

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Songs With and Without Words


Soprano Annette Celine and pianist Christopher Gould perform a selection songs transcribed for voice and piano. Includes Percy Grainger’s solo piano arrangement of Fauré’s ‘Après un rêve’. Other composers on this disc include Cui, Granados and Obradors.


Soprano Annette Celine and pianist Christopher Gould perform a selection songs transcribed for voice and piano. Includes Percy Grainger’s solo piano arrangement of Fauré’s ‘Après un rêve’. Other composers on this disc include Cui, Granados and Obradors.

  • Felix Mendelssohn – Allnächtlich in Traume seh’ich dich (1’40)
  • Felix Mendelssohn – Der Mond (1’48)
  • Felix Mendelssohn – Song Without Words Op. 19b (piano solo) (3’40)
  • Giuseppe Verdi – Stornello (1’50)
  • César Cui – Tsarskoye Selo (1’27)
  • Anton Rubinstein – Night (3’18)
  • Johannes Brahms – Wiegenlied (1’56)
  • Edvard Grieg – Ich liebe dich (2’27)
  • Edvard Grieg – Mit einter Primula veris (1’04)
  • Edvard Grieg – Mit einter Wasserlillie (2’16)
  • Edvard Grieg – Grüss (1’03)
  • Edvard Grieg – Ein Traum (2’16)
  • Edvard Grig – Ich liebe dich (solo piano) (3’23)
  • Gabriel Fauré (arr. Grainer) – Après un rêve (piano solo) (2’39)
  • Gabriel Fauré – Après un rêve (2’37)
  • Gabriel Fauré – Tristesse (2’51)
  • Maude Valérie White – Chantez, Chantez jeune inspirée (2’36)
  • Cécile Chaminade – L’amour captif (1’46)
  • Cécile Chaminade – L’anneau d’argent (1’54)
  • Claude Debussy – Beau soir (2’25)
  • Henri Duparc – L’invitation de voyage (4’21)
  • Enrique Granados – La Maja Dolorosa No. 1 (2’25)
  • Enrique Granados – La Maja Dolorosa No. 2 (2’42)
  • Enrique Granados – La Maja Dolorosa No. 3 (3’18)
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff – Lilacs (1’36)
  • Raynaldo Hahn – Le Rossignol de Lilas (2’19)
  • Raynaldo Hahn – Rêverie (2’26)
  • Raynaldo Hahn – Si mes verse avaient des ailes (2’16)
  • Johannes Brahms (arr. Grainger) – Wiegenlied (3’38)
  • Fernando Obradors – Del cabello más sutil (1’23)
  • Igor Stravinsky – Tilim Bom (1’17)

Total running time (73’17)

“When Christopher Gould and I were planning this collection we found that some of my favourite songs had been transcribed for solo piano. We’re delighted to present some of them here, with vocal and solo piano arrangements of songs by Fauré, Brahms and Grieg.”
(Annette Celine and Christopher Gould (London, December 2002)

Brazilian Soprano Annette Celine studied in Milan with Mercedes Llopart and Elvira de Hidalgo and made her European debut at the Teatro Reggio di Parma in a programme of Mozart arias. She has performed at major festivals all over the World and at the 50th Anniversary celebrations for the United Nations. Her recordings include collaborations for Decca with Luciano Pavarotti and Montserrat Caballe.

Christopher Gould read music at Clare College, Cambridge before winning a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied with John Streets and Malcolm Martineau.

In 1996, he was the first young pianist to receive an award from The Geoffrey Parsons Trust. He is also a recipient of the Gerald Moore Award (1998) and a first prizewinner in the Wigmore International Song Competition (2001).

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) wrote and published some 240 solo, duo and part vocal works yet they are neglected on the concert platform today in favour of the wider emotional range offered by the songs of Schubert and Brahms. This is neither surprising nor the composer’s fault. Mendelssohn’s songs were intended for home performance and enjoyment rather than for public scrutiny. Here we have two love songs with text by Emanuel von Geibel (Allnächtlich im Traume seh’ ich dich / Nightly I see you in my dreaming) and Heinrich Heine. (Der Mond / The Moon), as well as the piano solo version of Song Without Words (Op. 19b).

In contrast, Stornello (Rhyme) by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) offers defiance in the face of lost love “A constant love affair is only madness”. César Cui (1835 – 1918) gives us Tsarskoye Selo, a short contradictory tale of a young girls’ sadness amid miracles. In Noch, (Night) Anton Rubinstein (1829 – 1894) gives us an insight into the long mournful, candlelit night of a grieving lover.

In the vocal arrangement of Wiegenlied (Lullaby) by Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897) we are invited to ‘Behold paradise in your dreams’ in the text by Georg Scherer. This work can also be heard later, in the solo piano arrangement made by Percy Grainger.

Edvard Grieg (1843 – 1907) wrote 180 songs, all of them for his wife Nina. It’s not surprising then to find one called Ich Liebe Dich (I Love You) which is offered here in both the vocal and solo piano arrangements. Grieg celebrates the beauty of Primroses and Water Lillies in Mit einer Primula Veris (With the Early Primrose) and Mit einer Wasserlillie (With the Water Lilly). He returns to the subject of love in Gruss (Greeting) and Ein Traum (A Dream).

Après un Rêve (After a Dream) is perhaps the best known of the songs by Gabriel Fauré (1845 – 1924). This beautiful and contemplative masterpiece has been scored for many different instruments and here we hear the solo piano version followed by the original song. In Tristesse (Sadness) we hear a mysterious tale of unexplained sadness amidst the revelry and joy of others.

Maude Valérie White (1855-1937) was one of only a few successful 19th Century women composers. Her output was made up almost entirely of art songs and here we have Chantez, Chantez Jeune Inspire (Sing, Young Inspired).

Called ‘Petit Mozart’ by Bizet, and a frequent guest of Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle, Cécile Chaminade (1857 – 1944) wrote some 140 songs as well as orchestral works and opera. Her songs L’Amour Captif (Love Held Captive) and L’anneau d’argent (The Silver Ring) display her exceptional ability to set text with a fine feel for prosody and melody.

Claude Debussy (1862 – 1918) is represented here by his song Beau Soir (Beautiful Evening). In his resigned yet hopeful words, Paul Bourget compares the setting of the sun with the passing of life.

L’invitation au Voyage (Invitation to the Voyage) is one of just a few songs remaining by the French composer Henri Duparc (1848-1933). He was heavily influenced by Wagner and studied with Franck. Sadly, Duparc suffered from mental illness and destroyed much of his work. He had to abandon composition at the age of 36.

Enrique Granados (1867 – 1916) was a close friend of Camille Saint-Saëns and met Debussy, Ravel and Dukas while living and working in Paris. In these three songs, each entitled La Maja Dolorosa (The Desolate Maiden) he sets words of anger, denial and resignation respectively.

For some, true happiness may only be found in the beauty of nature. In Lilacs by Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) happiness ‘lives’ in the ‘lilac crowds’, the ‘crisp dawn’ and the ‘fragrant shade’.

Proust said “Never since Schumann has music painted such sorrow”. He was speaking about the music of Reynaldo Hahn (1875 – 1947). In Rêverie and in Si mes vers avaient des ailes (If my verses had wings), we hear the words of Victor Hugo set with melancholy and introspection.

Fernando Obradors (1897 – 1945) was a self-taught composer of orchestral and vocal music and the conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Gran Canaria. However, it is his songs that endure and the art song Del cabello más sutil (From the Finest Hair) is the best known of these.

The last song on this CD is Tilim Bom by Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971). It’s a charming song for children based on a folk tale.

(This album was recorded in 2002 at St. Paul’s School, London.)
ends not in the original key but in preparation for the finale with its sprightly theme in a major key. The concerto ends surprisingly in a reassertion of C sharp minor.

(Recorded at the Klessheim Palace, Salzburg in 1968)


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