The Songs Of Duparc

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01Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert20150331

Tenor John Mark Ainsley and pianist Joseph Middleton present the first of four concerts exploring the songs of Duparc.

The name Henri Duparc is admitted into the great roll-call of French song composers on account of only 16 solo songs and a duet. Born in 1848, by the time he was 35 he had written the songs that were to ensure his musical immortality and, due to an obscure nervous disease, he wrote no more until he died, aged 85, in 1933. Duparc's first song was written in 1868, a year before the death of Berlioz; his last in 1884, a year after the death of Wagner. He destroyed many compositions, such was his perfectionist nature. This series seeks to place Duparc's solo songs in the wider context of his friends, influences and contemporaries, thus highlighting his remarkable gift for setting poetry for voice and piano.

In this first concert from the Cowdray Hall in Aberdeen, they contrast his songs with those of his teacher César Franck and other contemporary composers Chaminade, D'Indy, Bordes and De Bréville.

DUPARC Chanson triste; Soupir

FRANCK Le mariage des roses; La procession

CHAMINADE Chanson triste

DE SEVERAC Paysages tristes

D'INDY Lied maritime; Madrigal

CHAMINADE L'amour captif

CHAUSSON Serenade; Nanny; Sérénade italienne; Apaisement

BORDES Colloque sentimental

DE BREVILLE Harmonie du soir

DUPARC Le galop; Sérénade florentine

John Mark Ainsley, tenor

Joseph Middleton, piano.

02Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert20150401

02Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert20150401

Pianist Joseph Middleton and soprano Mary Bevan explore how poets inspired the songs of Duparc and his contemporaries. From the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.

The name Henri Duparc is admitted into the great roll-call of French song composers on account of only 16 solo songs and a duet. Born in 1848, by the time he was 35 he had written the songs that were to ensure his musical immortality and, due to an obscure nervous disease, he wrote no more until he died, aged 85, in 1933. Duparc's first song was written in 1868, a year before the death of Berlioz; his last in 1884, a year after the death of Wagner. He destroyed many compositions, such was his perfectionist nature. This series seeks to place Duparc's solo songs in the wider context of his friends, influences and contemporaries, thus highlighting his remarkable gift for setting poetry for voice and piano.

Today's recital in this series looks to poets for inspiration. For Duparc, one poet marks a special relationship, the result of which are two masterpieces that distinguish a compositional style which seems entirely idiosyncratic. His songs L'invitation au voyage and La vie antérieure are both settings of Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) and these two songs represent his greatest achievements as a song composer.

Other fine settings of Baudelaire in today's recital include Les hiboux by Déodat de Séverac (1872-1921) and Harmonie du soir by Pierre de Bréville. Both composers, like Duparc, were students of César Franck. Two songs from Debussy's Cinq Poèmes de Baudelaire complete our mini-tour of settings of this poet. The middle of the recital is dedicated to Goethe and the plight of the young waif Mignon, a heroine who has bewitched composers ever since her tale was told in Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre (1795-1796). Duparc sets Wilder's translation of Goethe's Kennst du das Land? in a simple strophic form. Juxtaposed with this song are four settings Schubert made exploring the ever-deteriorating mental state of this vulnerable girl. Just as Baudelaire unlocked Duparc's profound ability for setting poetry to music, so the same could be said for Goethe's influence upon a young Schubert.

DUPARC L'invitation au voyage

CHABRIER: L'invitation au voyage

FAURE Chant d'automne; Hymne

DUPARC Romance de Mignon

SCHUBERT Nur wer die sehnsucht kennt; Heiss mich nicht reden; So lasst mich scheinen; Kennst du das Land?

DE SEVERAC Les hiboux

DE BREVILLE Harmonie du soir

DEBUSSY Harmonie du soir

DUPARC La vie antérieure.

02Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert20150401

Pianist Joseph Middleton and soprano Mary Bevan explore how poets inspired the songs of Duparc and his contemporaries. From the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.

The name Henri Duparc is admitted into the great roll-call of French song composers on account of only 16 solo songs and a duet. Born in 1848, by the time he was 35 he had written the songs that were to ensure his musical immortality and, due to an obscure nervous disease, he wrote no more until he died, aged 85, in 1933. Duparc's first song was written in 1868, a year before the death of Berlioz; his last in 1884, a year after the death of Wagner. He destroyed many compositions, such was his perfectionist nature. This series seeks to place Duparc's solo songs in the wider context of his friends, influences and contemporaries, thus highlighting his remarkable gift for setting poetry for voice and piano.

Today's recital in this series looks to poets for inspiration. For Duparc, one poet marks a special relationship, the result of which are two masterpieces that distinguish a compositional style which seems entirely idiosyncratic. His songs L'invitation au voyage and La vie antérieure are both settings of Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) and these two songs represent his greatest achievements as a song composer.

Other fine settings of Baudelaire in today's recital include Les hiboux by Déodat de Séverac (1872-1921) and Harmonie du soir by Pierre de Bréville. Both composers, like Duparc, were students of César Franck. Two songs from Debussy's Cinq Poèmes de Baudelaire complete our mini-tour of settings of this poet. The middle of the recital is dedicated to Goethe and the plight of the young waif Mignon, a heroine who has bewitched composers ever since her tale was told in Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre (1795-1796). Duparc sets Wilder's translation of Goethe's Kennst du das Land? in a simple strophic form. Juxtaposed with this song are four settings Schubert made exploring the ever-deteriorating mental state of this vulnerable girl. Just as Baudelaire unlocked Duparc's profound ability for setting poetry to music, so the same could be said for Goethe's influence upon a young Schubert.

DUPARC L'invitation au voyage

CHABRIER: L'invitation au voyage

FAURE Chant d'automne; Hymne

DUPARC Romance de Mignon

SCHUBERT Nur wer die sehnsucht kennt; Heiss mich nicht reden; So lasst mich scheinen; Kennst du das Land?

DE SEVERAC Les hiboux

DE BREVILLE Harmonie du soir

DEBUSSY Harmonie du soir

DUPARC La vie antérieure.

03Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert20150402

Joseph Middleton is joined by soprano Jane Irwin for a further exploration of the songs of Duparc and his influences - France goes to Bayreuth: l'esprit de Wagner.

The name Henri Duparc is admitted into the great roll-call of French song composers on account of only 16 solo songs and a duet. Born in 1848, by the time he was 35 he had written the songs that were to ensure his immortality and, due to an obscure nervous disease, he wrote no more until he died aged 85, in 1933. Duparc's first song was written in 1868, a year before the death of Berlioz; his last in 1884, a year after the death of Wagner. He destroyed many compositions, such was his perfectionist nature. This series seeks to place Duparc's songs in the wider context of works by his friends, influences and contemporaries, thus highlighting his remarkable gift for setting poetry for voice and piano.

In this concert from the Cowdray Hall in Aberdeen, his songs are contrasted with those of his teacher César Franck and other contemporary composers Chaminade, D'Indy, Bordes and De Bréville.

DUPARC Au pays où se fait la guerre; La vague et la cloche; Elégie

WOLF Anakreons Grab

LISZT Der du von dem Himmel bist

CHAUSSON Serre chaude; Oraison

WAGNER Wesendonck Lieder

DUPARC Sérénade; Extase; Phidylé.

04Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert20150403

Mezzo-soprano Catherine Wyn-Rogers joins pianist Joseph Middleton in this exploration of songs by Duparc and his contemporaries.

The name Henri Duparc is admitted into the great roll-call of French song composers on account of only 16 solo songs and a duet. Born in 1848, by the time he was 35 he had written the songs that were to ensure his immortality and, due to an obscure nervous disease, he wrote no more until he died age85, in 1933. Duparc's first song was written in 1868, a year before the death of Berlioz; his last in 1884, a year after the death of Wagner. He destroyed many compositions, such was his perfectionist nature This series seeks to place Duparc's songs in the wider context of works by his friends, influences and contemporaries, thus highlighting his remarkable gift for setting poetry for voice and piano.

This concert is themed 'Constraint au silence'. The singer is mute - madness and the sacred in music.

DUPARC Le manoir de Rosemonde; Testament

WOLF Nun bin ich dein; Nun wandre, Marie; Die ihr schwebet; Ach, das Knaben Augen; Herr, was trägt der Boden hier

SCHUMANN Gedichte der Königen Maria Stuart

FAURE Au cimetière; Das les ruines d'une Abbaye; Mélisande's Song

DUPARC Lamento; La vie antérieure.